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Culture & Heritage Festival

two adults and six children in Scout uniforms carrying Ohio and USA flags

BSA Troop 106 performs opening ceremonies

Ironton Mayor Sam Cramblit speaking at festival

Ironton Mayor Sam Cramblit speaks to audience

Two adult women and two young children dance outdoors while holding hands

Attendees dance while enjoying live music

A man shows two people historic items on display related to slavery

Attendees view historic items on display

Two people talking to vendors sitting behind table full of books for sale

Attendees explore vendor tables

Ohio University Southern is excited to host the inaugural Culture & Heritage Festival from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 17, leading up to the Juneteenth holiday.

Although Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19 each year, has long been celebrated in the African American community, this monumental event remains largely unknown to most Americans. Annually, starting in June 2021, Ohio University celebrates this occasion with programming and activities.

Culture & Heritage Festival Vendor and Tabling Request Forms

Community organizations and vendors (food and other items) are invited to table and offer services during the Culture & Heritage Festival. Below are links to vendor and tabling forms for businesses and organizations to request to participate in the Culture & Heritage Festival being held on Saturday, June 17th, 2023 from 12 to 7 p.m. at Ohio University Southern Campus.

The deadline for registration is is 5 p.m. Monday, May 22.

For more information concerning participation, please email Robert Pleasant.

Vendor Registration FormTabling Registration Form

About Juneteenth

On “Freedom’s Eve,” or the eve of January 1, 1863, the first Watch Night services took place. On that night, enslaved and free African Americans gathered in churches and private homes all across the country awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation had taken effect. At the stroke of midnight, prayers were answered as all enslaved people in Confederate States were declared legally free. Union soldiers, many of whom were black, marched onto plantations and across cities in the south reading small copies of the Emancipation Proclamation spreading the news of freedom in Confederate States. Only through the Thirteenth Amendment did emancipation end slavery throughout the United States.

But not everyone in Confederate territory would immediately be free. Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was made effective in 1863, it could not be implemented in places still under Confederate control. As a result, in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas, enslaved people would not be free until much later. Freedom finally came on June 19, 1865, when some 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas. The army announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved black people in the state, were free by executive decree. This day came to be known as “Juneteenth,” by the newly freed people in Texas. 

Source: National Museum of African American History and Culture. (2020). Historic Legacy of Juneteenth. Retrieved online.

Learn more about the Historic Legacy of Juneteeth by visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture website.

Interested in volunteering?

We have many volunteer opportunities available. Register now!

The Culture & Heritage Festival is made possible by a POWER Grant received from the Appalachian Regional Commission in partnership with the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation.