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Emancipation Day Celebration

Jul 24, 2013

Beginning in 1889 the Black Community of Hutchinson, Kansas has annually celebrated the January 1, 1863 issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. By signing the Emancipation Proclamation President Lincoln initiated the legal process that resulted in the total abolition of slavery in the United States with the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. This year marks the 124th observance of the event in Hutchinson.

Emancipation Day Celebration events for 2013 will take place on Friday, August 2nd, Saturday, August 3rd, and Sunday, August 4th. 

The weekend starts off Friday evening with a free Music Concert (8:00-10:0pm) and hotdog feed in Ave. A. Park. Salt City Soul a group of native Hutchonians and fine musicians are coming together as Salt City Soul to play in our beautiful Ave. A Park. “. Soul in the Park” is made possible through a partnership of the Emancipation Day Committee, Downtown Hutchinson and the Hutchinson/Reno County Arts and Humanities Council. After the concert the evening continues with more music, community, and fun at Gray’s Barbershop, 501 S. Main St., the corner of Main and Ave. E.

Saturday’s events begin at 7:30am for 3 on 3 basketball tournament at Ave E and Main, and then the celebration continues at 10:00am with the popular Emancipation Day parade. This year’s procession promises not to disappoint with numerous local groups and marching groups from out of town taking part The 2013 Parade Marshall is the Dr. Mildred, Director of the Governor’s Commission on African American Affairs. The parade route runs from 12th Ave. and Main St. to Ave. F and Main St

At the conclusion of the parade the public is invited to the Home Builder’s Building in Carey Park for the Free Community Picnic. After a welcome from local dignitaries and remarks by the Grand Marshal the picnic will begin at approximately 12:00pm. The food will be great; along with music, fellowship, and fun.

Saturday evening the always popular “Old School Jam Dance” will take place at the Sunflower North Building on the Fairgrounds. The dance will start at 9:00pm, please use the 23rd and Main St. Entrance. The event is BYOB, and is a fundraiser for the Emancipation Day Committee; admission is $18.00 per couple and $10.00 for a single.


The “Gospel Fest” will take place Sunday afternoon, 3:00pm at the Stringer Fine Arts Center on the HCC Campus. This Free concert features local and regional Gospel Choirs that always raise the roof and bring joy to those attending. After the event everyone is invited to stay for the free ice cream, cake.

The Emancipation Day Celebration Committee is a volunteer non profit organization that derives its funding through fundraising efforts as well as donations from private and corporate sources, and with support from the City of Hutchinson’s Cultural Activity Fund. The Committee consists of twelve board members with approximately 30 community members actively working with the Board on Committee projects.

Although the Emancipation Day Celebration has its origins in the unique historic experience of Black America these events are open to people of all races to celebrate and enjoy. The public is encouraged to attend.

For more information contact the Hutchinson/Reno Arts and Humanities Council at 620/662-1280 or e-mail