Frends Fromleft to right, Deloris Taylor, Christine Macon, Marina Magee, Rosa Jackson, Connie Saucier and Margaret McCraw at the 12th Annual Juneteenth Celebration at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in Long Beach. The festival featured live musical performances, food vendors, crafts and a Safety & Health Fair with stress reduction services, massages, and information on physical activity and various health screenings. Juneteenth Celebrations started on June 19, 1865, when word reached the people of Texas that President Lincoln had signed the proclamation freeing slaves two years earlier on January 1, 1863. Jubilation over this news turned into annual celebrations and homecomings for those who had been separated from their families and friends. These annual celebrations became known as Juneteenth.