GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- June 19th, 1865, marks the day enslaved African Americans in Texas were made aware of their freedom, nearly three years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.
This historic day, formally known as Juneteenth, is widely celebrated by millions of Americans each year and is the “oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States,” according to Juneteenth.com.
With the return of in-person events in West Michigan, several organizations and local businesses are hosting a series of events to honor emancipation and to spread awareness about the holiday’s significance!
Join in on this year’s Juneteenth celebration by participating in these local events (in-person and virtual) held primarily across the community.
Black Impact Collaborative Presents: Roll Bounce Grand Rapids Juneteenth Celebration
Celebrate Juneteenth by heading to a “free 4 all community event” hosted by the Black Impact Collaborative (BIC). Beginning Friday, June 18-Sunday, June 20 from 3:00 PM-9:00 PM, enjoy free roller-skating, live music, giveaways and Zumba in Calder Plaza!
Date & Time: Friday, June 18-June 20. (3:00PM-9:00PM nightly)
Location: Calder Plaza, 300 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, MI, 49503
Visit BIC’s website for additional information
Juneteenth Pop-Up Shop hosted by Charity Christine
Join the community in supporting local businesses from Grand Rapids, Detroit, Benton Harbor, Muskegon & Kalamazoo. Grand Rapids salon owner, Charity Christine, is hosting a free outdoor pop-up shop event featuring 60+ vendors, a live DJ, food trucks and giveaways.
Location: 755 Fuller AVE, SE, Grand Rapids, MI, 49506
Date: June 19, 2021
Time: 1 PM-5PM
Justice 4 all Juneteenth Jam!
This year, the City of Grand Rapids is hosting its first annual Justice 4 All Juneteenth Jam! This free event is open to the public and will be a day to “celebrate black art, entertainment, culture and experience,” as described by Justice 4 All. Have a great time tuning in to live performances from local artists and DJs, games, graffiti art showcases, black-owned vendors and more!
Date: June 19, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM- 5:00 PM
Location: Ah-Nab-Awen Park, 220 Front Ave, NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Trio Nomadic, Damon Warmack, Nate Winn and Demetrius Nabors: Juneteenth Celebration at GR Noir
Kick-off Juneteenth weekend by planning a visit to GR Noir! On Friday, June 18th from 7:30 PM-9:30 PM, listen to live spoken word and jazz artist performances, all while sipping on a fine glass of wine!
Walk-ins welcome but reservations are highly encouraged.
Location: 35 S. Division Ave, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
West Michigan Jewels of Africa Presents: “Dickinson Park Dunumba Power in The People” (Independence Day Celebration)
Get your friends and family together and join the West Michigan Jewels of Africa for their Juneteenth Parade and Festival happening Saturday, June 19 from 12:00-7:00 PM at 1635 Willard St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI, 49507.
West Michigan Jewels of Africa is a traditional African drum and dance troop providing entertainment, arts and education to families of all ages across the West Michigan community.
Statewide Juneteenth Kickoff: They Say We Are Free
Emergent Justice, PACCT, UPLift Kalamazoo, Urban Democracy, FEAST, Urban Exposure Initiative, Fresh Start and Majyck Radio are teaming up to host a Juneteenth Kickoff in Kalamazoo. The event will feature live music, theatrical performances and a showing of a special documentary, “Amend: The Fight for America.”
Date: June 18, 2021
Time: 6:00 PM-Until
Location: 804 W North St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Black People Lansing Michigan presents: Juneteenth Mixer
Youshine Events Consulting and Black People Lansing Michigan are hosting a Juneteenth Mixer! Enjoy great music and food while you mix n’ mingle with guests in the capital city! Plus, get your hands on a cool swag bag with every ticket purchased from local black businesses in Lansing.
Learn more here.
Date: June 18, 2021
Time: 5:00 PM- 9:00 PM
Location: The Lansing Studio, 701 East South Street, #STE 217, Lansing MI, 48910
A Year of Atonement: History and Healing for Our Future Generation (Juneteenth Festival)
On Saturday, June 19 from 4 PM- 8 PM, join the I AM Academy in commemorating the special holiday by participating in their Juneteenth Freedom Festival! Enjoy fine food, entertainment and history!
Location: Kollen Park, 240 Kollen Park Drive, Holland, MI 49423
For more information, visit the City of Holland’s website.
City of Battle Creek Juneteenth Celebration
Join the city of Battle Creek and the Battle Creek Community Foundation for their Juneteenth celebration which features a children’s puppet show, video contest, motorcade and more! Maranda has more details. Watch here.
Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom virtual showcase
Enjoy an afternoon of live music, spoken word, and dance with Soul Artistry LLC via Facebook Live on June 19 from 1 PM- 3 PM.
Step Afrika! Juneteenth Virtual Celebration
Step Afrika! is taking the stage once more for a virtual Juneteenth celebration. On Friday, June 19th at 8:00 pm (EST), Step Afrika will stream a live virtual show to their Facebook and YouTube pages.
Tune in to three unique works by Trane, Little Rock Nice and The Movement. Learn more here.
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture Virtual Tour
Learn more about the history and significance of Juneteenth by taking a free virtual tour at the Smithsonian museum located in Washington, D.C.
Know of an additional Juneteenth event that isn’t listed? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to have it included!