Pages Navigation Menu

Ariel-Ann Carson Dater Performing Arts Centre

150th Emancipation Celebration

Join the historic Ariel-Dater Hall in welcoming the Gallia County Emancipation Celebration Committee and guests who usher in the 150th Annual Emancipation Celebration!

6:00pm Homecoming Reception, 2nd Floor Banquet Hall
7:00pm Concert, Ariel Theater Main Auditorium

• Featuring the group “Ordinary People” of Gallipolis, Ohio
• Guest Soloist: Crystal Wagner of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
• Guest Soloist: Phillip Armstrong of Tulsa, Oklahoma

8:00pm Candelight walk to Ohio River

• Song: “We Shall Over Come” – All Sing
• Remarks: Deacon Glenn Miller
• Song: “Lift Every Voice and Sing” – Lead by Bobby Dean Gordon & Jeannie Williams, both of Gallipolis, Ohio

Closing Prayer

• Reverend Gene Armstrong, Pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, Bidwell, Ohio

~~Everyone Welcome~~
(Disregard ticket button below.)

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 Lincolns 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 arena to reflect upon the past, experience the present and project the future of African-Americans in Southeastern Ohio, Ohio and OUR Nation.