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For Immediate Release: Monday, June 17, 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. 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.

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich will attend Juneteenth events, including several that are part of the Annual Scotland Juneteenth Heritage Festival and Children's Carnival. The history of the Scotland community and the efforts of community members to celebrate Juneteenth in a big way, were discussed by County Executive Elrich and Scotland resident LaTisha Gasaway-Paul in a video that can be seen at

Juneteenth has been a Federal holiday in the U.S. since 2021. However, the day's official status and how it is celebrated differs 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. The Emancipation Proclamation, which came into effect on Jan. 1, 1863, declared slavery to be over in states in rebellion with the U.S. 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 laid the base for future Juneteenth activities. The word “Juneteenth” resulted from the words 'June Nineteenth' being combined in speech.

Maryland, a border state, outlawed slavery in 1864. The 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolished slavery in the U.S. It was passed in 1865.

The Montgomery County events celebrating Juneteenth will include:

  • 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, Potomac. 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 are 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 Eagles and 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. More information is available at

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Release ID: 24-280
Media Contact: Neil H. Greenberger 240-205-1915
Categories: Holiday