Traditionally celebrated on June 19, Juneteenth celebrates the day in 1865 when Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas carrying the belated news that the Civil War had ended. It’s regarded as the last community of slaves in America to get the word that they had been freed.
In New Paltz on Sunday, June 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Juneteenth will be celebrated by Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) a little early with an event intended this year to honor the community’s black veterans. It will feature a living history program with Civil War-era reenactors of the NY US Colored Troops. This group’s historical portfolio includes portraying the 20th, 26th and 31st Regiments, but this time around, the focus will be on the 20th NY US Colored Infantry – the same regiment that New Paltz resident Jacob Wynkoop fought in during the Civil War.
The freeborn Wynkoop was a carpenter who constructed a number of homes on and around Huguenot Street, some of which still stand today. He will be highlighted at this event through a free public exhibit on display in the DuBois Fort Visitor Center, and two walking tours that will lead visitors to homes that he constructed. The Wynkoop Walking Tours begin at the Visitor Center at 12:30 and 2 p.m. General admission tickets for the tour cost $10, with discounts for HHS members, seniors, students and children under age 13. Active military members and veterans may attend the tour for free.
Professed Southern Gothic, alt-country blues singer/songwriter Amythyst Kiah will perform two sets at Juneteenth at 11:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. There will also be a community cookout catered by 3 Ball BBQ of Albany. For more info and to preregister, visit www.huguenotstreet.org/juneteenth.
Juneteenth celebration, Sunday, June 2, 11 a.m-3 p.m., Free/tours $10, Historic Huguenot Street, New Paltz, www.huguenotstreet.org/juneteenth