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Juneteenth 2022: Here are the events taking place across Northeast Ohio

There are numerous events and festivals happening across our area this weekend to commemorate Juneteenth.

CLEVELAND — Events are set to take place all across Northeast Ohio this week to observe Juneteenth, the day that marks the end of slavery in America.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas — two months after the Confederacy had surrendered. That was also about 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the Southern states.

Last year, President Joe Biden signed a bill into law making Juneteenth the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983.

There are many events scheduled across Northeast Ohio to commemorate Juneteeth. Here is our list:

Cleveland

MetroHealth Cleveland Juneteenth Freedom Fest

Where: Mall C Downtown Cleveland 

When: Saturday, June 18 | 12 p.m. - 10 p.m. 

Event Information: There will be a mainstage performance from Karamu House and a fireworks finale. There will be black businesses as vendors, community programming and education, spoken-word performances and more! 

Click here for more information

The Khnemu Foundation and Western Reserve Land Conservancy: Juneteenth Celebration 

Where: Khneumu Group 966 East 105th Street, Cleveland

When: Saturday, June 18 | 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Event Information: A lineup of inspiring speakers is scheduled for the event to educate the audience on the significance of the holiday to Clevelanders. 

Mx. Juneteenth: A Black and Queer Liberation Celebration 

Where: BLK Punx Press Studio 4701 Perkins Ave #1 Cleveland, OH 44103 

When: Saturday, June 18 | 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. 

Event Information: This is a space is to celebrate Juneteenth by adhering to a Black queer feminist framework. 

Click here for ticket information

Cleveland Public Library Juneteeth Events

Last Fugitive Slave-Ohio 

Where: Glenville Library 11900 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland, OH 44108

When: Friday, June 17 | 2 p.m. 

Event Information: Learn about the Lucy Bagby, a runaway slave in Cleveland. 

The Africans Origins of Sickle Cell Disease

Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Branch 1962 Stokes Blvd, Cleveland OH 44106 

When: Saturday, June 18 | 11: 30 a.m. 

Event Information: A conversation surrounding sickle cell disease and the impact of families of African descent. 

Juneteenth Jewelry: Children can play and learn about Juneteenth by picking up a take-and-make craft kit to create a Juneteenth necklace or bracelet. Craft kits are available at the Addison Branch Tuesday through Saturday, June 15 – 18.

Juneteenth Jamboree: The Collinwood Branch will host a celebration on Thursday, June 16 at 3 p.m. to instruct families about the history and importance of Juneteenth.

Visit cpl.org/Juneteenth for more information on Juneteenth events.

MORE: Cleveland Public Library announces Juneteenth programs and events

Juneteenth Freedom Rides 

Where: University Circle

When: Saturday, June 18 from 10:30 a.m - 1:30 a.m 

Event Information: A bike tour that will highlight contributions made by African Americans in Cleveland.

Click here for more 

The Real Black Friday Fathers Day and Juneteenth Event, presented by Bedrock and local entrepreneurs 

Where: Tower City 

When: Sunday, June 19, 2022 from 1:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. 

Event Information: All events are geared to educating the African American community in the areas of financial literacy and leadership. Click here for more.

Juneteenth Celebration Cleveland, presented by Empowering Women in Every Community 

Where: Christ Lutheran Church, 13812 Bellaire Rd Cleveland, OH 44135 

When: Saturday, June 18, 2022 | 12:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. 

Event Information: This is a ticketed event, click here for information.

The Runway, presented by Fashion Talks 

Where: The Cleveland Museum of Art

When: Sunday June 19 at 6:30 p.m. 

Event Information: Cleveland’s annual high fashion runway show curated with elegance, diversity and inclusion. 

Click here for more.

Midtown Juneteenth Celebration, presented by Midtown Celebration, Inc. 

Where: Dunham Tavern 6709 Euclid Ave Cleveland, OH 44103

When: Saturday, June 18 | 12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. 

Event Information: There will be free food vendors and live entertainment. 

Click here for more.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Where: Union Home Mortgage Plaza outside of the Rock Hall

When: Saturday, June 18

Event Information: The Rock Hall has seven hours of programming planned beginning at 2 p.m., highlighted by a performance by Ohio-based dance company Djapo Cultural Arts Institute at 8 p.m. The celebration is completely free and open to the public.

Anybody interested in attending can register online for free tickets HERE

  • 10k Movement Dance: 2 p.m.
  • Charity Barnes: 3 p.m.
  • Bucket Drum Interactive Demonstration with Rainey Institute: 4 p.m.
  • Jul Big Green DJ Set: 5 p.m. 
  • Djapo Performance with The Hands of Tim: 8 p.m.

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument Juneteenth Celebration

Where: 3 Public Square

When: Saturday, June 18 | 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Event Information: The family-friendly event will feature programming dedicated to the origins of Juneteenth, including readings of General Order No. 3 and dialogue about its meaning. Story time featuring books from the Cleveland Public Library, coloring stations, snacks and Monument tours will also be available for guests.

Click here for more information

Akron/Summit County

The Summit County Historical Society and the Downtown Akron Partnership are holding several events to commemorate Juneteenth. 

Juneteenth Freedom Day: African Migration/Juneteenth Farm Friday

Where: Perkins Stone Mansion at 550 Copley Road, Akron 

When: Friday, June 17 at 10:30 a.m.

Event Information: This event will spotlight the African American migration to Akron/Summit County. 

Community Talk Back: Empowering a Community

Where: John Brown House 550 Diagonal Road in Akron

When: Saturday, June 18 at 10:30 a.m.

Event Information: GinaKaye Maddox, John Brown Institute Task Force chair, will moderate the panel discussion. Community Talk Back programming was founded at the Society by Reva Golden, Education and Community Outreach Coordinator. Click Here to learn more.

A John Brown Open House, featuring “Conversations of Grace,” an exhibition curated by artist Dara Harper, will take place from 12-3 p.m. 

There will also be a soul food cooking demonstration by Chef Dannika Stevenson of Sip Savor Soul at 12:15 p.m. at the Perkins Stone Mansion. 

Joy Park Juneteenth Festival in Ward 5 

Where: Joy Park Community Center on 825 Fuller St. in Akron 

When: Saturday, June 18 from 12 p.m.- 6 p.m. 

Event information can be found on the Facebook page for the event here. There will also be a Ward 5 Meet and Greet on Friday June 17 from 6-8 p.m. at the Joy Park Community Center.

Students With a Goal (SWAG) Juneteenth Celebration

Where: Summit Lake Nature Center 411 Ira Ave., Akron

When: Saturday, June 18 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. 

Event Information: The celebration will feature guest speakers Dr. Philathia Bolton and Kwame Williams. It will also include community pop-up vendors and guided lake canoeing.

New Generation Youth Juneteenth Event 

Where: Perkins Park, 899 Diagonal Rd, Akron. 

When: Saturday, June 18 from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 

Event Information: Includes family-friendly music and games for children of all ages, a “What is Juneteenth?” coloring contest for young children and an essay contest for older children.

Downtown Akron Partnership's Juneteenth Celebration at Lock 3 

Where: Lock 3 Park, 200 S. Main St. in Akron

When: Saturday, June 18 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Event Information: The event starts with a ticketed dinner and community conversation from 5-6:30 p.m. Tickets are limited to 90 people and will be available to purchase for $10 each. Learn more and sign up here.

Music and dancing with DJ Forest “Getemgump” Webb and the Unit Band will run from 7-10 p.m. and is free and open to all.

Gospel Meets Symphony

Where: E.J. Thomas Hall

When: Saturday, June 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Event Information: The Akron Symphony Orchestra and the inspirational voices of the Gospel Meets Symphony Choir join together to present Gospel Meets Symphony.

The concert – one of Northeast Ohio’s proudest and most enduring musical traditions – features the Orchestra as well as a variety of inspirational songs performed by some of the area’s best musicians and vocalists, including the GMS 2.0 Choir, the junior gospel choir. Click here for tickets.

Juneteenth Akron History Hike

Where: Meet up at the Akron Zoo, 500 Edgewood Ave 

When: Sunday, June 19 at 9 a.m. 

Event Information: You can hike to the John Brown Monument for Juneteenth and Father's Day guided by Dave Lieberth, Summit County Historical Society Director Emeritus. Enter the Akron Zoo main entrance and follow the signs guiding you left and to the back of the main parking lot.

Note: Attendance to this special Akron History Hike does not provide free access to the Akron Zoo. See their website for ticket information and reservation requirements.

24th Annual Akron Juneteenth Festival, presented by Akron Black Coalition

Where: Stoner/Hawkins Park, 1201 S. Hawkins Ave. Akron

When: Sunday, June 19 from 12 - 7 p.m.

Schedule of Events:

  • 12 pm - West Akron Parade (starts from Buchtel. To join call 330-622-1797)
  • 1 pm - Buy Black Business Market opens
  • 2 pm - Opening ceremony and Community Drum Circle
  • 3 pm - Sponsor messages and community giveaways
  • 4 pm - Gerald R. Carter Teen Talent Show 
  • 5 pm - Family Kickback and Father / Son Flag Football Games
  • 6 pm - Ancestral Balloon Release and West Side Car Show.

Event Information: Free food for kids, family fun, live DJ, giveaways, food trucks, open mic and vendor market.

Other celebrations

Kent State University Juneteenth Jubilee

Where: Kent State University's Manchester FIeld (between the Kent Student Center and Eastway Center on KSU campus)

When: Saturday, June 18 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Event Information: The jubilee will include vendors, live performances, face painting, head wrapping demonstration, music and dancing. It will also feature a showcase of Black business owners in the community.

Click here for more information about Kent State’s Juneteenth Jubilee.

Juneteenth Celebration Festival in Oberlin

Where: Underground Railroad Center–Station Square–behind the McDonalds on S. Main St. 

When: Saturday, June 18 from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Event Information: The event will feature a New Orleans Second line parade which will be led by Oberlin graduate, Kevin Lewis. There will also be face painting, raffles, vendors and food. Click here for more.

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