OUR PURPOSE

2014 EVENT LOCATION IS BOB EVANS FARMS, 10854 STATE ROUTE 588, RIO GRANDE, OHIO

Annual Emancipation Day

The Emancipation Proclamation has been celebrated and observed in Gallia County, Ohio continuously since 1863. The Gallia County Emancipation Day Celebration is reported to be one of the longest continuous running celebrations of the Emancipation Proclamation in the United States.

Historically, the celebration originally was always celebrated on the 22nd of September. This coincided with President Lincoln’s historic signing of the Emancipation Proclamation which declared slaves “thenceforth and forever more free.” It was conducted in a religious atmosphere. Activities & games such as baseball, sack racing, hog calling and greasy pole climbing were included to stimulate the interest and maintain enthusiasm. Bands, famous orators, politicians, parades, dance and queen contests were also included in the celebration.

Kerr Station, Vinton “bean dinner” park, Bush Park, Bidwell-Porter, Gallipolis City Park, Gallia County Fairgrounds and most recently Bob Evans Farms in Rio Grande have served as locations for the annual celebration.

As many as 2,500 people have attended the celebration. In recent years, people from as far away as California, New York, Texas, Florida and Canada have been represented.

The 2010 theme for the Emancipation Celebration was “Chains to Change”, the Committee built on that same vein with the 2011 theme “Are We There Yet?” and the 2012 theme “149 Links in the Chain to Freedom”. The 2013 theme was “Looking Back to Move Ahead” and in that same frame of mind the 2014 theme is “Moving Together in Unity”.

The celebration provides a great arena to reflect upon the past, experience the present and project the future of African-Americans in Southeastern Ohio and the Nation.

Gallia County Emancipation Celebration is proud to partner with: