Planning for Wheeling’s Juneteenth Celebration Underway

Planning is underway for Wheeling’s Juneteenth Celebration to commemorate the end of slavery in America. The event, which is free and open to the public, is slated for 6 p.m., Wednesday, June 19 at Heritage Port. It will begin with a ceremony. Music and entertainment by Voices of Praise of Macedonia Baptist Church and Ezra Hamilton will follow. A vendor market will be setup at Heritage Port as well.

Speakers for the event’s opening ceremonies include City of Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott; Hayden Cook, Men of Change; Darryl Clausell, President, WV NAACP; Owens Brown, Member, Wheeling NAACP Branch; Unique Robinson-Murphy, Member, Wheeling Human Rights Commission; and Nathan Rouse.

The Wheeling Juneteenth Committee, which is made up of representatives from the City of Wheeling, Wheeling Heritage, Wheeling YWCA, Wheeling NAACP, Oglebay Institute, the Ohio Valley Underground Railroad Museum and local leaders in the Black community, are hosting the festivities again this year.

In the leadup to the ceremony on June 19, several community organizations have put together events to commemorate Juneteenth. The YWCA and Towngate Theater are hosting A Taste of Tradition: Soul Food Cook-Off and Film Screening at 6 p.m., Sunday, June 16. A Juneteenth Special Edition Lunch with Books featuring Raymond Thompson, Jr. is slated for noon, Monday, June 17 at the Ohio County Public Library. A Juneteenth Community Art Project: Our Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams will be held on Tuesday, June 18 at Heritage Port. The time will be announced soon. For details on each of these activities or the Juneteenth Celebration as a whole, please visit

The Wheeling Juneteenth Committee is still accepting vendor applications. Interested parties should apply online at or by visiting the event website.

About Juneteenth

Juneteenth celebrations date back to June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This was more than two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which had become official on January 1, 1863. Juneteenth was officially recognized as a US federal holiday on June 17, 2021.

More: City News