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Celebrating Juneteenth In The Willamette Valley

With the passage of House Bill 2168, Oregon has taken steps toward establishing Juneteenth as a state-recognized holiday; we hope that, someday soon, it becomes a federal holiday.

We at the Willamette Valley Visitors Association recognize that the Emancipation Proclamation alone did not grant freedom to all in our country. Two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was enacted, on June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Texas to inform enslaved African-Americans the Civil War had ended and that they were free.

Yet we wanted to mark the occasion with a page honoring Juneteenth—complete with a Juneteenth timeline going back to 1865, ideas for celebrating, and resources for learning more. 

We have partnered with Clinton Street Consulting, who created the below informative resource on ways your business can take action in support of Juneteenth (June 19, 2021). Click the below image to access the PDF for full use of linked URLs in the image.

These resources can offer background information and context on Juneteenth:

Video: This short video from looks at how President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation—and its implications on the Civil War.

Audio interview: Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed discusses Juneteenth, the legacy of slavery, and more on NPR's "Fresh Air" in this 41-minute interview.

Book: Annette Gordon-Reed's On Juneteenth looks at the origins of Juneteenth and the hardships that Black Americans have endured in the century since.

Podcast: This New York Times podcast looks at the history and meaning of Juneteenth—and grapples with what freedom means in the modern-day United States..

Businesses throughout the Willamette Valley are hosting events in honor of Juneteenth. Here's how (and where) to celebrate in 2021:

June 15: The L.A. Times Food Forum brings together the restaurant industry’s most distinguished chefs and culinary stars for a virtual event entitled Red Drinks for Juneteenth: Exploring the Black Foodways of the Juneteenth Holiday and Beyond. The free virtual event is from 6-7 p.m. June 15.

June 19: A free Juneteenth celebration will be held from 12-7 p.m. at Alton Baker Park in Eugene. The Juneteenth event will include Black-owned food carts, performing arts, speeches, educational moments, and more.

June 19: Eugene's Wildcraft Cider Works is hosting a Juneteenth celebration after-party at 9 p.m. June 19, complete with live music.

June 19: The City of Wilsonville is hosting its first annual Juneteenth celebration at 10 a.m. June 19. The event will include community speakers and a short program.

June 19: Unite Oregon City will host its second annual Juneteenth event from 2-3:30 p.m. June 19. Performers and speakers will discuss the past, present, and future of the Black community in Oregon City.

June 19: The city of Lake Oswego is cohosting a Juneteenth event with Respond to Racism from 4:30-6:30 p.m. June 19. The event will include remarks and live performances.

June 19: The Black community of Milwaukie is holding its first annual Juneteenth celebration from 3-6 p.m. June 19. The event will include speakers, spoken-word performances, vendors, music, and food trucks.

If you'd like to submit a Juneteenth event to be featured on this page, please email

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