With the Great American Cleanup, the Waynedale Parade and our other May activities behind us—isn’t 2017 just flying by—we turn now to our June activities. This month the Wayne Township Trustee Office will be at two events with our information booth; one is the annual Juneteenth celebration at Weisser Park and the other is Fort Wayne Housing Authority’s Fourth Annual Father’s Day Celebration.
“What is Juneteenth?” you might be asking; you wouldn’t be alone as there are many people haven’t heard about it. In fact, Juneteenth commemorates the day that Texans, particularly African-American Texans, learned about something that they hadn’t heard of: that slavery in the United States had been abolished. Even though President Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862 (that freed the slaves in the Confederate states to take effect January 1, 1863), the slaves in Texas did not learn the news until the Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865. That day, more than two years after the official Proclamation took effect, Union General Gordon Granger read aloud the announcement to a joyous crowd. That day, June 19th, became known as “Juneteenth,” the day that many thousands of folks in bondage found out that they were, in fact, free.
Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday in 1980, and since then all but seven states have recognized it as a state holiday or day of observance. Indiana became the 34th state to make it official in 2010 under Governor Mitch Daniels.
This year the Weisser Park Youth Center will host their Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June the 17th with entertainment, sporting events, food, fun and free activities for all ages. The celebration will be from 2 to 6 PM at Weisser Park, 802 Eckart Street. You can find out more about the event by calling Weisser Park at (260) 427-6780.
On June 20th the Wayne Township Trustee Office will be at the Fourth Annual Father’s Day Celebration. This event is hosted by the Fort Wayne Housing Authority to celebrate families and fatherhood in our community. On offer is food, door prizes and lots of fun activities for children to celebrate the Father’s Day weekend in Fort Wayne.
Seeing the community celebrate fatherhood and family togetherness like this is heartwarming to me. As a father and grandfather myself, I know how important it is for children to have a strong family to guide, support and encourage them as they make their way through an often challenging world. Here at the Trustee’s office we often see the harm it does to people to be without such family support. Whether a child or an adult, we can all use a father-figure at some time in our life. So, let me be the first to say “Happy Father’s Day” to you and yours, and I hope to see you at Juneteenth, the Father’s Day Celebration or another early summer activity held in our own Wayne Township.
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