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Sand Ridge Nature Center to host annual Juneteenth Celebration
Annual event to include history displays, interactive hikes

Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Special to suffredin.org

Sand Ridge Nature Center invites the public to celebrate family, freedom and country during the annual Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 17.

“Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Emancipation Day or Juneteenth Independence Day, commemorates the abolition of slavery in the United States,” said Sand Ridge Nature Center Director James Carpenter.

While the intent of the Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1863, was to free enslaved people, some remained in bondage in Texas for another two years. On June 18, 1865, Gen. Gordon Grainger marched Union troops into Galveston, TX. On the following day, he read General Order No. 3, enforcing the Emancipation Proclamation for all. The following year, on June 19, Juneteenth was celebrated as the rightful end to slavery in the United States, a tradition that continues today.

During this historical Juneteenth Celebration and Underground Railroad program, attendees can enjoy a variety of activities including interactive interpretive hikes, history and wild edibles displays, traditional music, period recipe samples, crafts and more.

“We hope that attendees take away a new or enhanced appreciation of this era in our history, a history that was punctuated by fortitude, resilience, bravery and a commonality of spirit,” said Carpenter.

Sand Ridge Nature Center, located at 15891 Paxton Avenue in South Holland, is one of six nature centers operated by the Forest Preserves of Cook County, and offers a variety of educational events and festivals throughout the year.

The Juneteenth Celebration is free to attend, and will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information on the Juneteenth Celebration, call the Nature Center directly at 708-868-0606. A complete listing of all programs is posted to the Forest Preserves’ events website at fpdcc.com/events with seasonal brochures that can be downloaded.

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