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For the first time, East Multnomah County will have its own Juneteenth Celebration.

For the first time, East Multnomah County will have its own Juneteenth Celebration — an event commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

Rockwood's Juneteenth Celebration will be a free community event, presented by Beyond Black, that will run from 2-10 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, at Vance Park, 1400 S.E. 182nd Ave. There will be free food, live music, a barbecue competition, and fireworks.

The Juneteenth Celebration is sponsored by Multnomah County REACH, city of Gresham, PAALF, MESO, ASPIRE/Stay Clean, Black Community of Portland, Juneteenth Oregon, Gentrification is Weird, and Friends of Noise.

Juneteenth began in 1865 when Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, with news the war had ended and that the enslaved were free. Traditional celebrations of the day include festivities and feasts. On Jan. 1, 1980, Juneteenth became an official state holiday in Texas, and has since spread across the country.

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