GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — In honor of the 158th annual Emancipation Day Celebration, set for this Saturday and Sunday, the Gallia County Board of Commissioners proclaimed Sept. 18 and 19, 2021 as the 2021 annual Emancipation Celebration weekend.
Commission President Harold Montgomery read the proclamation. The Gallia County Emancipation Proclamation is the longest, continuously running celebration of the proclamation to date.
“Whereas the Emancipation Proclamation has been celebrated and honored in Gallia County, [continuous] since 1863 and it’s reported to be the longest continuous celebration in the United States,” stated the proclamation. “Whereas, on September 22, 1842, the first anniversary of President Lincoln’s proclamation of slavery and has continued consecutively and [we] pay tribute to this document.”
The celebration event will be held at the Gallia County Jr. Fairgrounds with family-friendly and educational events planned for both Saturday and Sunday.
All commissioners present — Montgomery, Commissioner Q. Jay Stapleton and Commissioner M. Eugene Greene — approved the motion to adopt the proclamation.
A similar proclamation from the City of Gallipolis Commissioners was also read during the meeting by City Commissioner Tony Gallagher, noting support and the significance of the event.
“I’d just like to add… it is almost unreal that Gallia County is the only place in the United States that has celebrated this event for 158 years continuously,” Montgomery said. “It’s really beyond imagination.”
Montgomery also mentioned Juneteenth will be celebrated Sept. 17 for Gallia County as it was not able to observed by the county earlier in the year.
“We all got our heads together and thought this would be a very good weekend for Gallia County, in this year, to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday,” Montgomery said.
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Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (740) 444-4303 ext. 2555.