Welcomes public to tour ‘hallowed-ground’ Gethsemane Cemetery and serves as partner for upcoming Juneteenth events

(HACKENSACK, NJ) – County Executive Jim Tedesco and the Board of County Commissioners announce programming for this upcoming weekend in celebration of Juneteenth.

The County’s Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs (DCHA) under the County’s Department of Parks will open the County-owned historic site Gethsemane Cemetery in Little Ferry from Saturday, June 17th to Monday, June 19th from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. for self-guided tours. The cemetery which dates back to 1860, is a historic one-acre burial ground that served as the eternal resting place for African American who lived in Hackensack from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Among those buried former slaves, wealthy landowners, and two Civil War veterans.

The County is also a presenting sponsor for two upcoming Juneteenth events which will also be open to the general public:

Thursday, June 15 at 12:30 p.m. – Juneteenth Celebration hosted by the County’s African American Advisory Committee – Bergen County Courthouse Green, Hackensack

Saturday, June 17 at 12 p.m. – Juneteenth Celebration hosted by the Bergen County NAACP in partnership with the County of Bergen – Overpeck County Park, Leonia

On Saturday, June 17 from 11:30am to 3:30pm, Bergen County’s Division of Community Transportation will provide continuous shuttle transportation from Overpeck County Park to Gethsemane Cemetery to allow attendees to visit both events.

"Juneteenth is an important day in our nation's history, commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. It is crucial that we honor this significant milestone and celebrate the contributions and resilience of the African American community here in Bergen County,” said County Executive Jim Tedesco. “We remain committed to promoting diversity, inclusivity, and understanding throughout our community."

"Bergen County is dedicated to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for all residents. By sponsoring these Juneteenth celebrations and partnering with local organizations, we are actively demonstrating our support for the African American community and their rich heritage,” said Bergen County Commissioner Chairman Thomas J. Sullivan. We encourage everyone to participate in these events and join us in reflecting upon the struggles and achievements that have shaped our nation. Let us unite in celebrating Juneteenth and working towards a future of equality and justice for all."

The public can also access a recorded tour of Gethsemane Cemetery on the Bergen County website featuring historian Dr. Arnold Brown of Englewood, who was instrumental in saving this location. For more information, contact the Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs at 201-336-7272.

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