FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – The City of Florence, in collaboration with the University of North Alabama, will host its first every Juneteenth celebration on Sunday, June 19.

Juneteenth is a national holiday that was adopted in 2021.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, two months after the Confederacy had surrendered. It was about 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in Southern states.

A Juneteenth celebration will be held at Lewis Field in Florence from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Dozens of vendors, free food, live music, and family-friendly activities will be available.

Florence city council member Kaytrina Simmons told News 19 that she is grateful for the opportunity to share this holiday with the Shoals Area.

“We’re just encouraging everyone to please come out,” Simmons said. “It is not a Florence event, it is not a community event for district one. It is a Shoals Area event.”

Simmons later added that it will be very hot on Sunday and asked that people stay hydrated during the event. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own tents, chairs, and coolers. No alcoholic beverages are allowed.