top of page

The Emancipation of Upson County

ec1.jpg
ec2.jpg

Upson
Emancipation

Thomaston is famous for the Emancipation Celebration held on or around May 29 each year! This event is organized by The Emancipation Committee of Upson; this popular and worthy local event has an unbroken 157-year history since the end of slavery in Upson County in 1865.

William Guilford is credited with organizing the first celebration. Most of what we know about the first event comes from William Guilford himself, in a memorial furnished to the Thomaston Times in 1891 by the Colored Celebration Association (as the committee was then called). Guilford wrote that there were five speakers on May 29, 1866: Thomas S. Sharman, Peter W. Alexander, Jennings Thompson, James W. Greene, and (future Georgia governor) James M. Smith. 

The earliest newspaper account, 1876, tells us that the speaking was held at Benjamin White's Grove. In 1927, The Emancipation Celebration was moved and celebrated to a location that is known as Lincoln Park where it has remained until today.

The traditions of the official program of singing and speeches, the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, the parade through Thomaston and the happy party atmosphere have remained in tack.

Emancipation Celebrations Over The Years

ec16.jpg

Articles About The Emancipation Celebration

ATTENTION: 
This is a family-oriented event with a strict ban on suggested
violence, profanity, racial epithets and misogyny.  
Help us continue the oldest Emancipation Celebration! 

 
​ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-EIGHTH ANNUAL
EMANCIPATION CELEBRATION OF UPSON


Location:
LINCOLN PARK
235 Martin Luther King Drive, Thomaston, GA 30286

Event Date:
May 27, 2023


Upson Emancipation

May 29th


Parade Date:
May 27, 2023

11:00am

This Year's Theme:

OUR STRENGTH LIES IN UNITY
BLACK UNITY
BLACK STRENGTH
OUR HISTORY MATTERS
FAMILIES MATTER

UNITED WE STAND

 

 

THE EMANCIPATION COMMITTEE OF UPSON COUNTY, INC.

EMANCIPATION CELEBRATION OF UPSON

MAY 29TH

 

On May 29th, 1865, the slaves of Upson County finally

received the news that they were free.

For over 150 years the traditions of a parade, program and happy party atmosphere

have continued to be an element of this community!


Thomaston, Georgia is famous for the Emancipation Celebration!


Join us for The Emancipation Celebration of Upson aka May 29th
No matter what part of the world you are from, you are welcome to celebrate with us!
A unity among our people that can lead to a powerful change!

We are only as strong as we are united,

as weak as we are divided.

 

Everything that is celebrating history, celebrating traditions and celebrating culture

falls under The Emancipation Committee of Upson and the May 29th Celebration.

Your donation is helping us continue this celebration for many years to come!


​We appreciate your support!
The Emancipation Committee of Upson County, Inc.

is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3). 

Your donation is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
You can donate by selecting the following link:

Have questions call us: (770) 648-4753, no answer, please leave a message.


ecu@upsonemancipation.org


Upson Emancipation Copyright©
All rights reserved! 2023
Non Profit 501 (c)(3) Organization
Celebrating History. Celebrating Traditions. Celebrating Culture.

CELEBRATING HISTORY

CELEBRATING TRADITIONS

CELEBRATING CULTURE

bottom of page