EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct the location for the  “Unity in Community” Denton Hometown Heroes Reception, which takes place at 2 p.m. Saturday at the American Legion Senior Center, 629 Lakey St., at Fred Moore Park.

The annual Denton Juneteenth Celebration starts Friday and continues through Saturday.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865 — the date the U.S. Army sailed into Galveston on naval ships. The military’s intent: to see that Texas Confederates followed the edict of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and finally freed Texas slaves.

This year’s event begins at 6 p.m. Friday with the annual Gospel Extravaganza at Fred Moore Park, 501 S. Bradshaw St.

The commemoration continues Saturday with a parade around the downtown Square from the Denton Civic Center to Fred Moore Park, the annual softball tournament, a Hometown Heroes reception, children’s games, a historical project and live music.

This year, the Denton Juneteenth Celebration will include the dedication of a county historical marker honoring Fred Moore.

Contestants in the Miss Texas competition will participate in the parade.

Hometown Heroes

Roshaunda Thomas, Rivera Elementary School principal, receives a Denton Hometown Heroes Award from Cecil Collier during a reception last year at the American Legion Senior Center. 

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