June 19th marks the end of slavery with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Cincinnati’s Juneteenth tradition began in 1988 as a neighborhood festival–attracting some 1500 participants to a neighborhood park. As it has grown, the annual Festival has continued to reflect its origins in a racially integrated community, with both multi-racial organization and attendance. In the following years, the Festival has mushroomed, with attendance estimates as high as 15-20,000. Festival features have included such diverse, family-centered (and free!) activities as traditional storytelling, magic acts, sack races, sweet potato pie bake-off, and music (blues, African drumming & dancing, gospel, jazz, reggae, etc.). Festival vendors offered a wide variety of food, clothing, art, folk crafts, ethnic literature, etc. Visit Juneteenth Cincinnati for more information.