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Each June, Galveston hosts several days of festivities to celebrate Juneteenth - a holiday that originated in this historic beach town - but in 2015 the island is prepared to put on the biggest celebration yet in honor of its 150th anniversary complete with a new logo and expanded events lineup.
Galveston's Juneteenth committee meets monthly to plan the event, and committee member Sam Collins is proud to announce the committee has recently adopted a new logo to mark the milestone.
"We are excited about celebrating this momentous occasion and look forward to working with local businesses to help spread the word by embracing the new logo."
The Galveston Juneteenth committee is encouraging local businesses to use the logo on their websites and promotions to help celebrate Juneteenth throughout 2015.
The logo was designed by Houston-based 121 Creative Solutions, a graphic and web design company specializing in creative media for print and web.
The 2015 Juneteenth festivities will include a variety of events, including festivals, picnics, African-American heritage exhibits, reenactments and concerts. The annual reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in front of the official Juneteenth monument will take place June 19 at Galveston's Ashton Villa to help commemorate June 19, 1865 - the date the last slaves were freed in the South.
Many people think slavery ended on September 22, 1862 - the date Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. In reality, many slaves weren't freed until much later when news of the proclamation reached their towns. The last of those slaves lived in the South and were freed on June 19, 1865 after the Emancipation Proclamation was read on a harbor pier in Galveston, Texas. This date eventually became known as "Juneteenth." While celebrations were long held in Galveston and various parts of the country in earlier years, Texas lead the way in making Juneteenth an official state holiday in 1980. Today, Juneteenth is celebrated in more than 40 states throughout the country.