The first recorded celebration of Juneteenth in Denton, Texas occurred in 1892 at “The Y” – the intersection of Pecan Creek and Cottonwood Creek between the Denton Civic Center and Emily Fowler Library. Prior to 1892, emancipation celebrations may have occurred in Denton, but were not recorded.
Historians suggest the original celebrations in Denton County were probably held in nearby Pilot Point. There, a church existed for enslaved people (County Line Baptist Church); the assumption being the church may have been the site of the county’s first celebrations.
Statewide, early Juneteenth celebrations began with a parade or march. Participants would gather in their finest clothing and walk together to a picnic site. Often, such marches were led by a musical ensemble.
Denton’s parade route includes a significant symbolic tradition that started by happenstance. The parades at the Denton Civic Center (near the site of the original celebrations) and travels to Fred Moore Park, where contemporary celebrations are held. Periodically, the route changes, but the beginning and ending locations have been constant for several decades.
Organizers claim the parade has the longest route of all parades in the City of Denton, and is the only known Juneteenth Parade in Denton County. For over fifty years, this historic event has been hosted by what is now known as the Denton Juneteenth Organizing Committee (DJOC.)
Private Juneteenth celebrations have occurred county-wide, but the annual celebration in Fred Moore Park is thought to be the County’s only large annual commemoration partially supported by public funds.
The 2023 parade promises to be an extraordinary family-oriented event featuring a variety of entertaining units. To increase enjoyment, the route has been divided into numerous zones where groups may assemble and enjoy the parade together. (See Candy Hotspots.)
Production of the 2023 Denton Juneteenth Parade is a partnership effort between Denton Juneteenth Organizing Committee and Juneteenth University, a new Denton-based non-profit organization chartered to promote Texas Emancipation Day and National Juneteenth Independence Day.
The Post-parade Ceremony will occur at the Collins Pavilion in Fred Moore Park. The DJOC coordinates that event.
Saturday, June 17, 2023
Line-up begins. All units must be present no later than 30 minutes before the parade begins.
Parade begins at Denton Civic Center.
First parade unit expected to reach the end of the route (Intersection of Wilson St. at Bradshaw St.)
Last parade unit expected to reach the end of the parade route.
Closing Ceremony / Parade Awards to be presented at Collins Pavilion, Fred Moore Park.
Opening / Closing Ceremonies
At 10:00 AM on the southwest corner of the Denton Square, spectacle and pageantry will launch the 2022 Denton Juneteenth Parade. The Opening Ceremony is a salute to the ceremonial flag raising of the United States flag that occurred in Galveston, Texas at 11:00 AM, June 5, 1865. The ceremony will begin with the debut of Freedom’s Fanfare, an original composition to be performed by Juneteenth University Brass.
Four upstanding community members will unveil and hoist a United States, The flag initially flew over the United States Capital on December 6, in honor of the Denton Juneteenth Celebration. December 6, 1865 was the day slavery was officially outlawed in the United States. The flag is scheduled to fly over other nationally significant locations prior to the Denton parade, including the site of the original Galveston flag raising.
Nominate a Flag Bearer
Any organization, business, school or church in Denton County may nominate one person who lives, works or attends school in Denton County to serve as a U.S. flag bearer during the opening ceremony of the 2022 Denton Juneteenth Parade. Nomination deadline is January 31, 2022. Names will be drawn during the Black History program at the Denton Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center on Saturday, February 26, 2022. A list of nominees will be posted no later than one week before the drawing. If multiple organizations nominate the same person, only the organization whose form was drawn will be acknowledged.
The four flag bearers will be selected from nominations. Anyone who lives, works or attends school in Denton County may be nominated.
The ceremony will also include placement of a wreath at Denton County’s All Wars Memorial in honor of the victorious troops who valiantly served in the Civil War, and unveiling of the 2022 Denton Juneteenth flag. For more information about The Opening Ceremony contact Juneteenth University. The Post-parade Ceremony will occur at the Collins Pavilion in Fred Moore Park. The Denton Juneteenth Organizing Committee coordinates that event.
The 2023 parade will begin at the Denton Civic Center and end at Fred Moore Park. Route:
- West on E. McKinney Street to Austin Street
- North on Austin Street to East Oak Street
- West on East Oak Street to Elm Street. (Denton Square)
- South on Elm Street to Hickory Street. (Denton Square)
- East on Hickory Street to Industrial Street.
- South on Industrial Street to Bell Ave.
- South on Bell Ave. to East Prairie Street.
- East on East Prairie Street to Lakey Street
- South on Lakey Street to Wilson Street.
- East on Wilson Street to Bradshaw Street. (SE corner of Fred Moore Park)
Numerous streets in and near downtown Denton will be closed before and during the parade. A complete list of closures and times will be posted here two weeks before the parade.
Great parades should not be enjoyed alone. Why wait until parade day to find a spot to squat? Check out the parade route, choose the perfect spot for your brood, tell us where you’ll be, and we’ll be sure to save some goodies just for you. The Denton Square is always a great location, but so are many other lots of less populated spots. By announcing locations here, friends and families may plan parking and gather for pre-parade tailgating, photo taking, and memory making without the playing “where are you?”. To join our who’s where list, click the “Claim a Spot” form below. This is not a reservation list. Its just our way to assemble friends and families.
Claim a Spot
Apply for Inclusion
Every entity interested in participating in the 2023 parade must submit a registration form. For public security and safety reasons, units that arrive without prior registration will not be allowed to participate in the parade.
CLICK HERE for a printable copy of the rules and regulations.
The parade line-up will be posted no sooner than June 1, 2023.
One of the parade’s newest components is a 10-member Honor Guard. This gallant ensemble features ten upstanding high school students carrying the parade’s marquee. Participation invitations have been extended to all of Denton ISD’s five high schools: Braswell, Denton, Guyer, Moore and Ryan. The schools are welcome to establish their own selection guidelines, but good citizenship must be a primary factor.
Members of the Honor Guard will wear their school’s shirt, white cargo shorts and hats. For additional information, CLICK HERE.
NOTICE: The Juneteenth Parade High School Honor Guard and Juneteenth Scholar Program are separate, unrelated programs. For information about the Juneteenth Scholar Competition, contact the Denton Juneteenth Coordinating Committee (email).
The Marshalls of Denton’s 2022 Juneteenth Parade are upstanding eighth grade students selected from Denton’s Middle Schools. Click here for complete details and participation requirements.
NOTE: The Grand Marshall is an honorary title awarded by the Denton Juneteenth Organizing Committee.
The Grand Marshall, Ms./Mr. Community Service, and Mr./Mr. Juneteenth are selected by the Denton Juneteenth Organizing Committee. For information about those honors contact the DJOC.
The Walking Timeline is a solemn reminder of Juneteenth’s significance. The massive unit will include 494 walkers, each representing one year from 1528 when the first enslaved African was recorded in what is now Texas, to 2022. Walkers will be divided into three groups: 1) the enslavement years; 2) the segregation years; and 3) the post-segregation years.
Participation is open to everyone. To sign-up for participation, complete the following form.
Join the Timeline (Click here)
Everyone planning to be part of the living timeline must complete and submit this participant registration form.
Several awards will be presented by Juneteenth University during the post-parade ceremony. Winners will be selected by the parade audience. Each eligible entry will have a QRC. Parade watchers simply click every QRC they like. The three units collecting the most votes will receive fun plaques designed specifically for the Denton Juneteenth Parade. All entries except the hosts’ floats are eligible for the award.
The Denton Juneteenth Organizing Committee (DJOC) presents 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place cash awards for the best parade entries. Presentations are made at the Collins Pavilion in Fred Moore Park. For details, contact the Denton Juneteenth Organizing Committee.
The 2022 Juneteenth parade is expected to attract a large audience. Free parking is available in several locations for parade watchers who prefer spectator viewing spots on or near the square. (Map). The Denton Civic Center and Denton City Hall parking lots will not be available.
Parade participants are advised to carpool to this event. Drivers should drop off their passengers at the Civic Center, then park in one of the reserved lots near Fred Moore park (where parade terminates.) Free shuttle busses will be available to transport drivers from reserved parking lots back to the Civic Center, before the parade. Shuttles will not be available to transport participants back to the Civic Center, after the parade.
Parking attendants will be available at all lots to provide assistance. Fred Moore Park is located at Wilson and Lakey streets in Denton.
The last pre-parade shuttle will leave at 10:15 AM.
Need more information?
Questions and concerns regarding the topics listed above should be directed to Juneteenth University
Questions and concerns about the parade route, awards, honorees and safety requirements should be directed to the Denton Juneteenth Organizing Committee.