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Sand Ridge Nature Center to host 11th annual Juneteenth Celebration on June 15

Annual event to include history displays, interactive hikes

Information provided by Sand Ridge Nature Center

SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (June 10, 2024) – Sand Ridge Nature Center is inviting the public to celebrate family, freedom, and country during the 11th annual Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 15.

“Juneteenth — also known as Freedom Day, Emancipation Day or Juneteenth Independence Day — commemorates the abolition of slavery in the United States,” said Sand Ridge Nature Center Director Credell Walls. “We honor the day at Sand Ridge to celebrate and enjoy the diversity of our shared cultural heritage here in Cook County.”

During this historical Juneteenth Celebration, attendees can enjoy a variety of activities at Sand Ridge Campus.

Beginning with an opening ceremony at 10 a.m., attendees will hear a live rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” performed by Lana Lewis, followed by a dance performance from Dance4OurLives.

The opening ceremony will also be led by remarks from Cook County Board and Forest Preserves President Toni Preckwinkle; Commissioners Bill Lowry, Stanley Moore, Donna Miller, Monica Gordon, and Tara Stamps; Forest Preserves Director of Conservation and Experiential Programming Jacqui Ulrich; and other officials.

Throughout the event, drop-in programs and scheduled presentations at the nature center include art-making projects, games, and partner-led guided walks and presentations on the Underground Railroad and more. Beginning at 11 a.m. at Camp Shabbona Woods, attendees can enjoy lawn games and activities, live storytelling and music at 11:15 a.m., and a hot dog roast at 1 p.m.

Juneteenth history

While the intent of the Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, was to free enslaved people, some remained in bondage in Texas for another two years. On June 18, 1865, Gen. Gordon Grainger marched Union troops into Galveston, TX. On the following day, he read General Order No. 3, enforcing the Emancipation Proclamation for all. The following year, on June 19, Juneteenth was celebrated as the rightful end to slavery in the United States, a tradition that continues today.

“We hope that attendees take away a new or enhanced appreciation of this era in our history, a history that was punctuated by fortitude, resilience, bravery and a commonality of spirit,” said Walls.

Attending the event

Sand Ridge Nature Center, located at 15891 Paxton Avenue in South Holland, is one of six nature centers operated by the Forest Preserves of Cook County, and offers a variety of educational programs and special events throughout the year. Camp Shabbona Woods, located at 15810 S Torrence Ave. in South Holland and connected to the nature center, is one of the forest preserve’s five campgrounds.

The Juneteenth Celebration is free to attend, and runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information on the Juneteenth Celebration, call the nature center directly at 708-868-0606, email [email protected] or visit the nature center in person.

The Lansing Journal
The Lansing Journalhttps://thelansingjournal.com
The Lansing Journal publishes news releases from state, county, and local officials who provide information that impacts local community life. The particular contributor of each post is indicated in the byline.


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