Juneteenth Festival 2021
7th Annual Bluffton Juneteenth Celebration

The annual Bluffton Juneteenth Celebration will be held June 19th, 2021 from 3:00 pm till 9:00 pm at the Burnt Church Distillery located at 120 Bluffton Road. This event is free and will feature Gullah vendors, food trucks, live entertainment. This is a family-friendly event and will benefit The Bluffton MLK Observance Committee

Burnt Church Distillery Bluffton

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth commemorates the effective end of slavery in the United States.

Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee had surrendered at Appomattox Court House two months earlier in Virginia, but slavery had remained relatively unaffected in Texas—until U.S. General Gordon Granger stood on Texas soil and read General Orders No. 3: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”

The Emancipation Proclamation 

The Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, had established that all enslaved people in Confederate states in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” 

But in reality, the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t instantly free any enslaved people. The proclamation only applied to places under Confederate control and not to slave-holding border states or rebel areas already under Union control. However, as Northern troops advanced into the Confederate South, many enslaved people fled behind Union lines.