By Sahar Chmais
CORRECTION: The event will be on Saturday, June 19, not Sunday.
Buda will host its second annual Juneteenth celebration on Sunday, June 19, so community members can commemorate the day slaves in Texas gained their freedom.
Last year, the city hosted a parade to comply with COVID-19 mandates, but this year the celebration will be more interactive. Residents will meet at the Buda City Park Pavillion from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to listen to music, partake in activities and eat food in an outdoor setting.
Juneteenth is known as an independence day that commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas and other former confederate states on June 19, 1865. This came nearly two years after slaves in the U.S. gained their freedom. The Texas Legislature was the first state to establish Juneteenth as a holiday of significance in the late 1970s and made it a state holiday in 1980.
Buda was ground to this piece of history as it is home to the Antioch Colony, a rural African-American community built by freed slaves in 1870. On Feb. 1, 1859, Joseph F. Rowley and his family emigrated from California to Texas and purchased 490 acres near Onion Creek. He sold tracts of the property to former slaves after the Civil War, which helped them establish a farming settlement.
Buda hosted its first Juneteenth celebration in 2020 bringing a message of peace and establishing tradition. Residents of all ages joined the parade with banners, music and lively chatter. Minnie Nelson and Winnie Moyer, descendants of the Antioch Colony’s early settlers, also joined and discussed their roots in Buda.