At the Y, we celebrate this powerful moment in our nation’s history together and honor the slaves who suffered for so many years. As we remember, we encourage you to join us in taking social responsibility in our communities. We can be the change together and forge a brighter future for ourselves, our youth, our neighbors, and everyone in between. We are still fighting for equity and we will not stop because we believe in a brighter tomorrow. Find out how you can celebrate freedom Juneteenth with us below!
Celebrate With Us!
All YMCA of Delaware locations will be open to the community, June 19th and 20th for free! Check the list below for activities by location. *Excludes outdoor pools.
- Walnut Street YMCA Block Party – Saturday, June 18th, 12 – 4 PM: Join us for food, moon bounces, games, Drill Team performances, vendors, haircuts and more. Plus, we will celebrate the Grand Opening of our new Walnut Street Y Lobby! Lobby Grand Opening and tour begins at 11 AM.
- Bear-Glasgow YMCA Ice-Cream Truck – Monday, June 20th, 2 – 4 PM
- Brandywine YMCA – Sunday, June 19th: Join us for a Community Open House, Juneteenth giveaways (while supplies last). Monday, June 20th, our Community Open House continues with healthy treats for all (while supplies last). We encourage all to join the Walnut Street YMCA Block Party Saturday, June 18th!
- Western YMCA Party – Sunday, June 19th, 10 AM – 2 PM: Join us for tons of family fun including your chance to win a one-month family membership, vendors, group exercise classes, outdoor family classes and more! (excludes complex)
- Middletown YMCA – Monday, June 20th, 8:30 – 11:30 AM: Crafts in the Kids Zone and special treats for all.
- Dover YMCA Cookout – Monday June 20th, 1 – 2:30 PM at the outdoor pool (YMCA members only)
- Sussex Family YMCA Barbecue – Monday, June 20th, 11 AM – 1 PM
What is Juneteenth?
On June 19, our YMCA celebrates Juneteenth, Freedom Day! Juneteenth is the oldest nationally-celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863, it took two and a half years for the slaves in the state of Texas to hear of their freedom. Juneteenth is the celebration of the day in the United States when all enslaved individuals became aware of their freedom.
Although Juneteenth has been considered a Texas holiday, it has slowly gained recognition across the country. Today, many communities organize local Juneteenth celebrations which include the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, singing traditional songs, prayer, participating in cookouts, picnics, street fares, parades, brass bands, and rodeos – all to commemorate and honor slaves of that time, and their descendants.
Learn More about Juneteenth History
- Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture: “The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth”
- Youth-focused videos from BrainPOP and Kid History
- Vox: “Why all Americans should honor Juneteenth”
- PBS: “What is Juneteenth? 4 things you should know”
- New York Times, The Daily podcast: “The History and Meaning of Juneteenth”