DEPTFORD — A full year after Juneteenth was named a national holiday, the date which commemorates the end of slavery was celebrated with food, music, speeches, vendors and education about the meaning of the day.

In Deptford, the Gloucester County NAACP’s celebration at Fascola Park drew some of the top politicians in the state, included U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross, former New Jersey State Senate Speaker Steve Sweeney, Congressional candidate Tim Alexander, and Gloucester County Sheriff Jonathan Sammons, among others.

Gloucester County NAACP President Loretta Winters, who is also a committee chair with the New Jersey NAACP State Conference said she was not surprised how her event and others like it have grown in size and participation around the state.

Winters said the need the get out not only to celebrate and share the meaning and the cause of Juneteenth was important to many of the attendees.

On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas an informed them about the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing them from bondage, some two years after President Abraham Lincoln made it official.

Every county in South Jersey held a celebration honoring Juneteenth, starting earlier this month and continuing through Monday, where the federal government closed offices in its observance of the national holiday. Below are photos from the numerous ceremonies celebrating Juneteenth around New Jersey.

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