The mounted Buffalo Soldiers are a big hit at the Nicodemus Homecoming Emancipation Celebration

The 145th Nicodemus Homecoming Emancipation Celebration, originally held to mark the emancipation of slaves from the West Indies, has been celebrated continuously since 1878 and draws together the descendants of Nicodemus and community supporters for a celebration attracting up to 1,000 people.

Held traditionally on the last weekend in July, this year’s celebration is slated for July 27-30.  

The three-day event features a parade, the Buffalo Soldiers Cavalry, 5KRun/Walk, children’s activities, free pancake breakfast, food vendors, music in the park, vintage baseball, dances, fashion and talent shows, and church service on Sunday.  

Thursday’s opening day is set aside for the annual meetings of Nicodemus Homecoming and Nicodemus Historical Society and an early arrivals’ reception. 

Nicodemus, established in 1877, was founded shortly after the Civil War by former enslaved African Americans from Kentucky. 

Like so many other small towns which were founded in the late 1800s, Nicodemus has lost most of its population, but continues to exist … which lends itself to this year’s celebration theme, “From Perseverance to Preservation. The Legacy Continues.”

Today the townsite has about 30 residents and its status as the last remaining all-Black town west of the Mississippi River helped gain it recognition as a National Park site.   

For more info about the celebration, visit and follow NicodemusHomecoming on Facebook.