2013 EVENT LOCATION IS BOB EVANS FARMS, 1054 STATE ROUTE 588, RIO GRANDE, OHIOGallia County Emancipation Celebration is partners with:
During the November 17th Emancipation Meeting Ms. Luella Henry was named Honarary Member.
The Emancipation Proclamation has been celebrated and observed in Gallia County, Ohio continuously since 1863. The Gallia County Emancipation Day Celebration is reported to be the longest continuous celebration in the United States.
Historically, the original celebration was always celebrated on the 22nd of September. This coincided with President Abraham Lincoln's historic signing of the Emancipation Proclamation which declared slaves "thenceforth and forever more free". It was conducted in a religious atmosphere. Activities and games such as baseball, sack racing, hog calling and greasy pole climbing were included to stimulate interest and maintain enthusiasm. Bands, famous orators, politicians, parades, dances and queen contest were also included in the celebration.
Kerr Station, Vinton "Bean Dinner" Park, Bush Park, Bidwell-Porter, Gallipolis City Park and the Gallia County Fairgrounds have served as locations for the annual celebration.
As many as 2,500 people have attended the celebration. In recent years, people from as far away as California, New York, Texas, Florida and Canada have been represented. In fact, the Emancipation Celebration is often thought of as a "homecoming" for Gallia County and the surrounding communities. Along with paying tribute to the freedom of Blacks, guests have gained much from reuniting with their family and friends. The celebration provides a great areana to reflect upon the past, experience the present and project the future of African-Americans in Southeastern Ohio, Ohio and OUR Nation.