Longest Running Emancipation Celebration

Ohio played a crucial role in the Underground Railroard as the Ohio River separated the slave states in the South from the free states in the North. One county in Southeastern Ohio is especially proud of the part it played in the Underground Railroad and celebrates the freedom of slaves on an annual basis. The Gallia County Emancipation Celebration is considered the longest continuously running celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation in the United States. Gallia County has celebrated this legislation every year since 1863, which is only one year after the initial proclamation was made. The annual festival is celebrated in September which coincides with the date that President Abraham Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation. As many as 2,500 people visit Gallia County each year to attend the celebration. Festivities include various family-friendly games, concerts, historical reenactments, and a vigil walk to the Ohio River.

 

Gallia Emancipation Celebration

Photo via: Gallia Chamber Blog