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18th Annual Juneteenth celebration begins Friday

18th Annual Juneteenth celebration begins Friday

Two day event to include dancing, jazz

SCHENECTADY -- The Hamilton Hill Arts Center will host its 18th Annual Juneteenth celebration in Schenectady on Friday and Saturday.

This year’s festivities will begin with a ceremony to honor ancestors buried in Vale Cemetery at 6 p.m. on Friday. Juneteenth activities will continue on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m in Central Park.

Vale Cemetery was added to the historic itinerary of the National Park Service’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom in 2012.

Saturday will include performances by the Schenectady high School jazz group and the Umoja African Dancers. Workshops, kids activities, and vendors will also join Saturday’s celebration.

The event celebrates 153 years since African-American slaves received news of their freedom -- more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was announced by President Lincoln in 1863.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit hamiltonhillartscenter.org, or call 518-312-6129.

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