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For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 13, 2024

Montgomery County will again celebrate “Juneteenth” in a big way, with many events. The Federal and County governments recognize Wednesday, June 19, as the official holiday. However, the County celebration will include events on Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15, in Germantown. The holiday honors June 19, 1865—the day Union soldiers arrived to take control of Texas and enforce the emancipation of slaves in the state.

Juneteenth has been a Federal holiday in the U.S. since 2021. However, the day's official status and how it is celebrated differ from state to state.

Slavery in the U.S. can be traced back to the 16th Century when Spanish explorers brought African slaves with them to the New World. It lasted until the Emancipation Proclamation came into effect on Jan. 1, 1863. On that date, Texas was largely controlled by forces fighting for the Confederate States, which opposed the abolition of slavery.

On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived to take control of Texas and enforce the emancipation of slaves in the state. In Galveston, Tx., the newly freed slaves held large public celebrations and so laid the base for future Juneteenth activities. The word “Juneteenth” resulted from the words 'June Nineteenth' being combined together in speech.

The Montgomery County events celebrating Juneteenth will include:

  • African American “Living Legend Awards.” Friday, June 14. 7 p.m. BlackRock Center for the Arts. 12901 Town Commons Drive, Germantown. Montgomery County will present “Living Legend Awards” to six African American community leaders. County Executive Marc Elrich will host the awards ceremony, which will be part of the County’s 27th Annual Juneteenth celebration, which this year has a theme of “Celebrating Freedom at the Rock: Forever Unshackled.” The 2024 award recipients, all 75 or older, are being honored for their lifelong dedication to service, advocacy and selfless acts of kindness. The public is invited to the awards ceremony. The event is free to attend. The honorees are Dr. Judith Docca, Edgar E. Dove, Sr., Janice Freeman, Roy Priest, Charles G. Thomas, Jr. and Henry L. Williams, Sr.
  • Montgomery County’s 27th Juneteenth Celebration: Freedom at the Rock. Saturday, June 15. Noon-10 p.m. BlackRock Center for the Arts. 12901 Town Commons Drive, Germantown. Celebration will include concerts and performances, a bustling artisans market showcasing unique handmade goods and food from local vendors. Parking near the BlackRock Center is limited. Offsite parking: Shuttle buses will be traveling regularly from Montgomery College (Germantown) and Seneca Valley High School from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (NOTE: Towing will be enforced in the Safeway parking lot.). Event is free, but there are costs for purchasing food and beverages.
  • Scotland Juneteenth Heritage Festival Opening Night Celebration. Saturday, June 15. 5 -10 p.m. Bethesda Theater, 7719 Wisconsin Avenue Bethesda. Celebrate the VIP kickoff of the County’s premiere Black cultural event. The show kicks off with America’s Got Talent sensation Kelvin Dukes, followed by Daryl Davis’ second-annual tribute to the Du-Drop Inn of Emory Grove, featuring blues icon Jenny Langer on lead vocals. Festivities will include a dance contest, a best-dressed contest and then dancing to the sounds of the Chuck Brown Band. Doors open at 5 p.m. Showtime is 7-10 p.m. Table seats $100. Theater Seats $60. Tickets do not include food and beverage. More information is available at Scotland Juneteenth Heritage Festival Opening Night Celebration Tickets, Sat, Jun 15, 2024 at 5:00 PM | Eventbrite.
  • Kensington’s Third Annual Juneteenth Celebration. Saturday, June 15. Noon-4 p.m. St. Paul Park, 10564 St. Paul St., Kensington. A family friendly event with activities for all ages will bring together a multiracial coalition of organizers, historians, re-enactors, civic and faith leaders, local and Black-owned businesses and musicians. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. More information available at Free.
  • The Annual Scotland Juneteenth Heritage Festival and Children's Carnival. Wednesday, June 19. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. festival. Cabin John Regional Park, 7400 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda. Cabin John Regional Park will be alive with a children’s carnival, food court, Juneteenth parade and petting zoo. Montgomery Parks co-sponsors the event. More details are available at Juneteenth Scotland. Admission $5.
  • Scotland Juneteenth Heritage Festival 5K Road Race and Family 1-Mile Run. Wednesday, June 19. 8 a.m. Staged at Bells Mill Elementary, 8225 Bells Mill Road Road race will traverse the historic Black neighborhood of Scotland, including the 100-year-old Scotland AME Zion Church on Seven Locks Road in Potomac. Road race entry fee $38. Family 1-Mile Walk fee is $20. More information, including registration, can be found at Scotland Juneteenth 5K (
  • Scotland Heritage Festival Fireworks. Shirley Povich Field at Cabin John Regional Park, 10600 Westlake Drive, Bethesda. 9:45 p.m. This will be the first time in County history that there will be fireworks as part of the Juneteenth celebration.
  • Josiah Henson Museum and Park Family Day. 11410 Old Georgetown Road, North Bethesda. Wednesday, June 19. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Parking available at nearby Wall Local Park, 5900 Executive Blvd., North Bethesda. Celebrate Juneteenth by visiting the museum dedicated to abolitionist Josiah Henson. Henson was born into slavery in Maryland and eventually escaped to freedom in Canada. Once free, he served as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, helping others to freedom. The Josiah Henson Museum and Park is on the site of a plantation where Henson was once held in bondage. Self-guided tours and hands-on displays help visitors experience Henson’s story in his own words. Adult admission: $5. Seniors (55-and-over) and children (ages 6-17): $4. Tickets available onsite. 
  • Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park. 16501 Norwood Road, Sandy Spring. Wednesday, June 19. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Visit the Woodlawn Museum to learn about Montgomery County’s agricultural history, enslaved and free Black communities and the Quaker experience. The museum, located in a historic stone barn, features three floors of self-guided tours. The Underground Railroad Experience Trail will be available for self-guided walking tours. Adult admission: $5. Seniors (55-and-over) and children (6-17): $4. (Woodlawn Manor House will be closed) Tickets available onsite.  
  • Bethesda Big Train Third Annual Clarence “Pint” Isreal Juneteenth Classic. Wednesday, June 19. 7 p.m. (Gates open at 6 p.m.) Shirley Povich Field Cabin John Regional Park, 10600 Westlake Drive, Bethesda. Big Train baseball of college-age players hosts the Gaithersburg. Pint Isreal baseball cards will be distributed to first 500 fans. Game honors the man who played for Newark Eaglesand Homestead Grays in Negro League baseball between 1940 and 1947. He died in Rockville in 1987. Memorabilia will be on display from the Hubert V. Simmons Museum of Negro Leagues Baseball. Register in advance for 4 p.m. youth baseball and softball clinic at Field No. 2. Tickets $5 for bleacher seats and standing room. For more information go to

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Release ID: 24-279
Media Contact: Neil H. Greenberger 240-205-1915
Categories: Holiday