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Lathrop plans Juneteenth celebration at Generations Center Saturday, June 24
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It’s a Federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.

And now, Juneteenth – a portmanteau of “June Nineteenth” – will be recognized in Lathrop with a community event aimed at celebrating both culture and freedom.

Organized by the Lathrop Juneteenth Committee and sponsored by the City of Lathrop and the Health Plan of San Joaquin, the event will take place on Saturday, June 24, at the Lathrop Generations Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – welcoming the community for a day of food, music, and fellowship.

The Lathrop Generations Center is located at 450 Spartan Way across from Lathrop High School and can be accessed by taking the Lathrop Road exit off I-5 or following Lathrop Road west under I-5.

Vendors, food trucks, live bands, kids’ games, and spoken word will all be part of the festivities.

While slaves were technically freed in Confederate states under the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1863, enforcement of that was reliant upon Union troops advancing to those areas.

According to historians, because Texas was the most remote of the Confederate states and because it had a low number of Federal troops in the state, it took longer for troops to formally enforce the order. The Juneteenth holiday draws its name from the date that Major General Gordon Granger proclaimed slaves to be free in the State of Texas on June 19, 1865 – almost 2.5 years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been signed.

While the City of Lathrop is a co-sponsor of the event, the road to launch the community event wasn’t necessarily a smooth one.

Earlier this year the group Lathrop Black Society applied for the permits necessary to host the event at the Lathrop Generations Center, and when the matter came before the council for its approval sparked some backlash from people in the community that claimed that the city was deviating from its standard procedure because of the nature of the event.

Ultimately the council and the city issued the necessary approvals, and the event will move forward on the first Saturday following the Federally recognized June 19th holiday.

The event is free to the public, but those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP by visiting and searching for Lathrop Juneteenth.

To contact Bulletin reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.