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By Roanoke College News

Juneteenth events at and near Roanoke College

This Saturday, June 19, is Juneteenth, a day commemorating the end of slavery in the United States and celebrated since the late 1800s.  

In 2020, Roanoke College officially recognized Juneteenth for the first time in the College’s history. The College is recognizing and celebrating Juneteenth again this year with a Juneteenth Celebration and Cookout on Monday, June 21, for faculty, staff and students.  

The event will be held on the Back Quad from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Rain location: second floor of the Colket Center.) RSVPs to are appreciated.

Off campus, other Roanoke Valley events are being held to celebrate Juneteenth.  

  • On Saturday, June 19, the A. Byron Smith Founders Day Celebration is recognizing Black women entrepreneurs from the area. Natasha Saunders is one of the panelists; Virginia Tech professor Dr. Rowena Crabbe will deliver the keynote address. The event is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Dumas Hotel Legacy Inc. office at 1818 Centre Ave. in Roanoke. Call (540) 343-5219 for more information. 
  • Saturday at 10:30 a.m., the South County Public library will hold a special outdoor story time for families to teach young people about Juneteenth. It will be followed by a themed craft activity. Attendees are asked to wear a mask and maintain social distancing. The library is located at 6303 Merriman Road in Roanoke County. 
  • All Roanoke County Public Library locations are celebrating Juneteenth. Pick up a free copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, enter to win other prizes and learn more about Juneteenth at any of the libraries, which are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A full list of Roanoke County library locations can be found here. 
  • From noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, the City of Roanoke Parks and Recreation Department is hosting “A Day of Recognition, Restoration and Celebration,” Juneteenth 2021 Family Reunion. The event, held in Eureka Park in Roanoke, will include food, beverages, entertainment and more.