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BEST FESTIVAL Minneapolis 2000 -

Readers' Choice: Cedarfest

While more fuss is usually made over the Declaration of Independence, as liberation documents go the Emancipation Proclamation should not be sold short. That speech is the source of Juneteenth, a celebration of the day--June 19, 1865--when Union general Gordon Granger read the document in Galveston, Texas, belatedly freeing a quarter-million slaves. As word spread to individual plantations, celebrations welled up around the Lone Star State. A full 135 years later, the tradition continues in many major cities, and Minneapolis's version in Theodore Wirth Park (which this year falls on June 17) is a true freedom fest. In addition to a full day of family activities and food, Juneteenth has spawned a lecture series, a passel of exhibitions, and a Walker Art Center film festival that last year brought us the extraordinary, nine-hour family documentary An American Love Story). All reason enough to recognize an august day in American history.

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