Historic Huguenot Street is set to honor its community’s African-American veterans with a Juneteenth celebration consisting of live musical performances, a community cookout, educational tours, and a living history program with Civil War era reenactors of the NY US Colored Troops.
Juneteenth, which is traditionally celebrated on June 19, celebrates the day in June of 1865 when Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas carrying news that the Civil War had ended and that those still enslaved were to be freed.
The majority of the event is free and open to the public with the exception of the purchase of food and beverage, and the special tours that will be taking place. Free programming includes performances from professed Southern Gothic, alt-country blues singer/songwriter Amythyst Kiah, living history demonstrations from members of the 20th NY US Colored Infantry, and an exhibit of archival material relating to the life and accomplishments of Jacob Wynkoop and his family, a black Civil War veteran and one of the first black community members born free in New Paltz.
Jacob Wynkoop, born in the town of New Paltz, was also a carpenter and constructed a number of homes on and around Huguenot Street, some of which still stand today. He will be honored and highlighted at this event through a free public exhibit on display in the Visitor Center, and two walking tours that will lead visitors to a number of the homes that he constructed. The Wynkoop Walking Tours will take place at 12:30 and 2 pm. Tours will begin at the DuBois Fort Visitor Center.
General admission tickets for the tour are $10. Discounts are available for HHS members, seniors, students, and children under the age of 13. Active military members and veterans may attend the tour for free.
Interested attendees should pre-register for this free event in order to give HHS an approximate head count for catering, provided by 3 Ball BBQ out of Albany. Visitors will be able to purchase food stubs in the Visitor Center.
Juneteenth is sponsored by Ulster Savings Bank, Lothrop Associates, and Main Street Bistro. Made possible by the Robert R. Chapman Fund of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley.
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Photo of New York Regiment United States Colored Troops Reenactors provided.