Celebrate freedom at Oakville’s Emancipation Day Family Picnic on August 5

Friday, July 26, 2013 – for immediate release

Celebrate freedom at Oakville’s Emancipation Day Family Picnic on August 5

Celebrate a significant achievement in Canadian history! Join family and friends at the annual Emancipation Day Family Picnic on the grounds of Erchless Estate on Monday, August 5 starting at 1 p.m. This free afternoon of music, dance, games, crafts and activities celebrates Oakville’s role in the Underground Railroad as a port of entry.

Hosted by the Oakville Museum in partnership with the Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton (CCAH), this special event commemorates August 1, 1834 — the day slavery was abolished in Canada and throughout the British Empire. Oakville’s Emancipation Day Picnic dates back to 1850, when African Canadians from across the nation would gather at George’s Square in honour of their journey to freedom.

“Our town was a notable point of entry to Canada for those who escaped slavery via the Underground Railroad,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “This celebration is an important reminder of our past and reflects Oakville’s rich heritage. We are proud to be part of this annual tradition.”

Attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair, pack a picnic lunch, and take in cool breezes by the lake as they enjoy performances by Tsingory Dance, the Hope Gospel Choir, Beyond Sound Empijah, and the CCAH Steel Band.

On the morning of the picnic, Cycle Oakville will host its inaugural Black History Bike Tour from Bronte Harbour to Oakville Harbour to raise awareness of Oakville’s historic ties to the Underground Railroad. The official launch and coffee will begin at 10 a.m. at Taste of Columbia (67 Bronte Road), with the leisurely guided tour leaving at 10:30 a.m. The ride will end at the Emancipation Day Picnic with a tour of the Underground Railroad Exhibition at Erchless Estate. All cyclists are invited.

Located at 8 Navy Street in downtown Oakville, the Oakville Museum at Erchless Estate is easily accessible by foot, bike or public transit. To view the Oakville Transit holiday schedule, visit oakvilletransit.ca. For more information on this event or other Oakville Museum programs and activities, please call 905-338-4400.

Media contacts:

Susan Crane
Learning and Community Development Officer
Oakville Museum
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 5019

Janine Ivings
Senior Communications Advisor
Strategy, Policy and Communications
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3005

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Celebrate freedom at Oakville’s Emancipation Day Family Picnic on August 5