The City of Charleston has Juneteenth activities scheduled for Wednesday.

The Capital City will hold its ceremonies at Slack Park in downtown Charleston. Activities will start with a parade at 11 a.m. beginning at the Martin Luther King Center and will go through Court, Quarrier, and Summer Streets before finishing in Slack Plaza. More activities will continue in Slack Plaza through 5:30 p.m.

Juneteenth, the federal holiday on June 19 , celebrates the day when slavery in America was fully ended. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln gave the Emancipation Proclamation speech ordering the freedom of slaves in America, but in some areas, slavery continued. On June 19, 1965, General Gordon Granger made the final proclamation that slaves were free.

Ray Whiting, the committee chair for Wednesday’s event, said it’s an important celebration.

“It’s just a matter of jubilation that needs to be honored and celebrated,” Whiting said on “580 Live” with Dave Allen Monday morning.

Whiting also pointed out that, for African Americans in the United States, Juneteenth is a form of an independence day.

“Some people, they say, ‘Why not celebrate July 4th as Independence Day?’ Well, if you think about it, when America became America in 1776, if you read the Constitution, people of color were considered three-fifths human,” Whiting said.

Juneteenth was made a federal holiday in the United States under the Biden administration in 2021, making it the first federal holiday in America since Martin Luther King Day was introduced back in 1986.

Whiting said the holiday designation has heightened awareness.

“It just depends on how folks take it. If they want to celebrate it, if not, that’s on them,” Whiting said. “It should be commemorated because, again, this is something that took place in American history.”

For more information on Wednesday’s event, visit

The state marked Juneteenth with a celebration at the state capitol grounds.

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