The city of Rio Rancho will host a Juneteenth Freedom Day celebration from 5:30-8:30 p.m. June 16 at Campus Park at City Center.

This event is free to the public and will feature food, activities and a beer garden. There will also be vendor booths and community services booths on hand for event attendees to purchase goods and receive information about health care and other community/social services.

After the event, there will be a showing of the movie “42” starring the late Chadwick Boseman as legendary Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger issued General’s Orders Number 3 in Galveston, Texas, to ensure that all enslaved people would be freed.

Despite the Emancipation Proclamation being signed 2 1/2 years earlier, Black people were still being held as slaves in Texas. Following the Civil War, the Union Army was sent to ensure that all people, in every state, would be free. Communities throughout the United States have continued to celebrate Juneteenth. Texas became the first state to name Juneteenth as an official holiday in 1979 and on June 17, 2021, Juneteenth National Independence Day was made a federal holiday.