Sponsored by: DeSoto, Lancaster, Duncanville and Cedar Hill
The Best Southwest area which includes DeSoto, Duncanville, Cedar Hill and Lancaster is so named because of the cities’ ability to work together on projects that benefit Southern Dallas County. On June 19, 2004, these cities cooperated once again on a history making event by co-sponsoring a first-ever Best Southwest Juneteenth Celebration. The event rotates to each city every year.
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with the news that the Civil War had ended and that all slaves were now free. This was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official on January 1, 1863. In subsequent years, African Americans celebrated Juneteenth with music, skits, barbecuing, picnics and ethnic dress.