By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Juneteenth events Friday at Willow Hill, Saturday at the Fair Road Park

Two Juneteenth events will celebrate freedom Friday and Saturday in Bulloch County. Juneteenth: A Freedom Commemoration begins at 6 p.m. Friday, June 14, at the Willow Hill Heritage & Renaissance Center on Willow Hill Road near Portal.

Presented by the Bulloch County Branch of the NAACP and the Willow Hill Center, the Friday evening commemoration will feature entertainment, a Juneteenth exhibit, a tour of the historic Willow Hill School and the center’s other exhibits, plus other activities and refreshments.

Then, on Saturday, June 15, Juneteenth Bulloch Inc. presents its fourth annual Juneteenth Music and Food Festival, 3-9 p.m. at the Fair Road Park (officially Memorial Park), 1 Max Lockwood Drive in Statesboro. A lineup of local music will be headlined by soulful TG Live from Savannah. A “Kids Zone” play area and array of food vendors round out this family-friendly event.

The event poster states, “Remember to bring your lawn chair.”

Juneteenth, now a federal holiday, is officially June 19, next Wednesday. The state of Georgia, Bulloch County and the city of Statesboro are now observing it as well, with nonessential government offices to be closed Wednesday.


A contraction of “June” and “nineteenth,” Juneteenth designates the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when U.S.  Army Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger ordered the enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas. Thus, the holiday commemorates the various dates when formerly enslaved African Americans learned that they had gained their freedom, around the time that the Civil War ended.

The original Willow Hill School near Portal, Georgia, was founded by formerly enslaved families for their children nine years later, in 1874. The current building was constructed on or near the same site in 1954.

Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter