Methuen is inviting all residents to a free celebration of Juneteenth Saturday, June 18.
Mayor Neil Perry and Rev. Nathaniel Burnes of the First Baptist Church of Methuen asked the public to join the celebration which marks the effective end of slavery in the U.S. Federal troops arrived in June 1865 in Galveston, Texas, to bring word from President Abraham Lincoln that all slaves were free.
“There is nothing more important than being able to look past our differences and find commonality in our human experience,” said Perry. “We can all relate to the joy of being free, and in the case of those enslaved people of Texas in 1865, the jubilation of being freed.”
The collaboration grew out of meetings between Perry, Burnes and Methuen Police Chief Scott McNamara who met with Rev. Burnes early in his tenure as chief to discuss how to better connect the Police Department with Methuen’s faith-based community.
“We’re living in tumultuous times,” Burnes said. “Our nation needs healing. Let the healing begin right here in Methuen.”
The Juneteenth celebration takes place Saturday, June 18, from 1-3 p.m., at the Methuen Memorial Music Hall, 192 Broadway, Methuen. The free celebration includes music, speakers, food and fun for residents of all ages.
“Juneteenth” It has only recently been recognized as a state and federal holiday.