On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers rode into Galveston with the proclamation that slavery had been abolished. Celebrations amongst African Americans, now freed, broke out all over the state—the basis for today's Juneteenth events. Over the years, the day has become a colorful party and a state holiday. Parades, picnics, Miss Juneteenth Pageants, and traditional gospel and prayer meetings take place all over the state, from June 17th to well after the 19th. Travelers are invited to join in!