While it has long been celebrated in African American communities, Juneteenth has taken on a higher profile after becoming a federal holiday last year in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.
Known as Black Fourth of July, Independence Day, Freedom Day, and Jubilee Day, Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when slaves in Galveston, Texas, learned that they were free—two years after the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863.
Locally, unlike early celebrations of Juneteenth that saw one large communal gathering, this year’s celebrations, like last year’s, look to be a series of events leading up to and on Juneteenth.
One catch this year? The weather. Weather forecasts point to a sweltering Juneteenth/Father’s Day on June 19, with temps soaring close to 100 degrees. So make sure to stay hydrated if celebrating outdoors.
Below, find a list of free or low-cost indoor and outdoor events to celebrate the nation’s newest federal holiday.
8:30 am – 10:30 am @ Minnesota Humanities Center, 987 Ivy Avenue East
Celebrate Freedom Day with the soulful sounds of Jevetta Steele, followed by a talk by Angela Tate, curator of women’s history at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, who will highlight the role of women, and in particular Black sororities, in upholding Juneteenth traditions nationwide. Professor Duchess Harris will moderate a discussion. $10.
10 am & 7 pm @ Breck School’s Carlson Theatre, 123 Ottawa Ave. N., Golden Valley
This year Sweet Potato Comfort Pie will host its 2nd Annual Juneteenth Jubilee with two live theater productions at Breck School’s Carlson Theatre. Written by Rose McGee, the 90-minute fictitious, two-act play weaves music and storytelling together to celebrate and recount the history of Juneteenth. Free.
St. Cloud Juneteenth 2022
3-9 pm @ Lake George Municipal Park, 1101 7th St S. St. Cloud
The Higher Works Collaborative is celebrating its 25th Annual Juneteenth Celebration with a salute to Black women. Community members are invited to enjoy a full day of live music, games, activities, vendors, a grill-off, health clinics, and more. Free.
Juneteenth: Freedom Aint Free
4:30 pm – 7:30 pm @ North Hennepin Community College | 7411 85th Ave N, Brooklyn Park
With the theme of “freedom ain’t free,” this community gathering is open to all Brooklyn Park residents. The celebration includes family activities, performances, storytelling, a resource fair, DJ, raffles, food trucks and more. Free.
Apple Valley Juneteenth 2022 – Unapologetically Black
4:30 pm-8:30 pm @ Apple Valley Community Center, 14603 Hayes Road, Apple Valley
Billed as a Juneteenth event like no other, this celebration offers an unabashed celebration of Blackness from history to commerce. The event features a dance production, vendors, a community booth with resources and more. Free.
5:30-7:30 pm @ Harrison Park, 503 Irving Ave. N., Mpls
Harrison Recreation Center and Harrison Neighborhood are collaborating for an outdoor celebration with music, dancing, activities, and food. Free.
6-7 pm | Online event via Zoom
Master storyteller Nothando Zulu will offer lessons on Juneteenth, Reconstruction and more at this Hennepin County Library event. Free.
Creekview Juneteenth Celebration
6-8 pm @ Creekview Park, 5001 Humboldt Ave. N., Mpls
This Minneapolis Park Board event offers music, food, children’s activities, and more with a dusk screening of the movie “Summer of Soul” directed by Best Documentary Oscar-winner Questlove. Free.
11 am – 3 pm @ Sanctuary Covenant Church, 710 W Broadway Ave. N., Mpls.
Bring the whole family out for a full day of activities on the lawn of Sanctuary Sanctuary Covenant Church. The festivities include a kids’ zone, a community health fair, a Black business marketplace, free food, local entertainment, face-painting, games, and more. The event is organized by Strong Roots Foundation, Agape Oasis, and Twin Cities Recovery Project Inc. Free.
11 am-6 pm @ Bethune Park, 1304 N 10th Ave.
Presenting by the Juneteenth Community Board, the MPRB-sponsored festivities begin with a parade at 11 am that will end at Bethune Park, where from 12-6 pm community members can enjoy food trucks, kids’ activities, vendors, and exhibitors. Entertainment includes DJ Dime, Brooklyn Park Lions Drum and Dance Group, Niles, Legacy Arts Group, Jovonta Patton, Cornisha Garmon, Jerome Treadwell, and Chase & Ovation. Free.
11 am-2 pm @ Ojibway Park Pavilion, 2695 Ojibway Dr., Woodbury
Woodbury for Justice and Equality’s second annual Freedom Day celebration features food, music, speeches, and activities. Free.
10 am – 4 pm @ Caty Park, 300 St. Albans St. N, St. Paul
This all-ages event promises fun for the entire family with opportunities to share our books with children of all ages. Free.
11 am – 7 pm @ Centennial Park, 6301 Shingle Creek Parkway, Brooklyn Center
Celebrate Freedom Day at this City of Brooklyn Center gathering offering food, vendors, and activities for all ages and a performance by the Sounds of Blackness at 3:30 pm. Free.
12-3 pm @ Central Court – 920 E. Lake Street, Mpls.
Billed as an entertaining and educational event, Midtown Global Market’s Juneteenth celebration features a presentation by storyteller Beverly Cottman, readings by author Crown Shepherd, and offerings by Creative Innovators, a group of young entrepreneurs. Informational organizations, as well as Black-owned businesses, include Baked Brand, Blackbird Awakening, New Start Fashion, Take Care and Amani’s Crafts. Free.
12-3 pm @ Sun Ray Public Library, 2105 Wilson Ave., St. Paul
This free event features a live performance, food, games, crafts, and more. Free.
12-6 pm @ Willow Park, 1626 Queen Ave. N., Mpls to UROC, 2001 Plymouth Ave. N., Mpls
Hosted by the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, this gathering honors the past, commemorates the present, and envisions the future with speakers, storytellers, teach-ins, musicians, performers, DJs, roller skating, books, free food, free haircuts, mural and artmaking, free haircuts and more. The march kicks off at Willard Park down Penn Ave. to UROC. Free.
12-1:30 pm | Online event via Zoom
Genealogist and artist Mica Anders will introduce tools for genealogical exploration, highlight uniquely African American sources, and help attendees uncover the stories of their family to honor its legacy.
12-5 pm @ Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Park, 1738 E. Center St., Rochester
The Rochester Branch of the NAACP will celebrate Juneteenth with a free music concert.
1-3:30 pm @ North River Hills Park, 11501 19th Ave., Burnsville
Enjoy musical performances from Heather McElrath, Catalyst Artist Collective, Chadwick “Niles” Phillips, a dance performance by Afrocontigbo Dance Group, live painting by Kenneth Caldwell, a line dance party, and kids’ crafts. Directions: Take W River Hills Drive/River Hills Drive to 19th Ave to get to the park. Free.
3-7 pm @ Boyd Park, 335 Selby Ave., St. Paul
Jearlyn Steele hosts this YWCA event and shares the stage with other artists including Thomasina Petrus & Band, Johnnie Brown, Beverly Cottman, Brittany Delaney, Sound Effects and more. The afternoon also features activities for kids and food trucks. Free.
JUNETEENTH, JUNE 19
8 am-6 pm @ 1007 West Broadway Ave., Mpls.
Shop with Black vendors, enjoy food trucks and activities for kids, listen to live entertainment and inspiring guest speakers, and more. Free.
10 am @ Independence Park, E Lyon St. Marshall
Community members are invited to come out and celebrate Freedom Day with food from Tavern 507, Taste of Soul and Moore Good Eats. Also, enjoy music and live entertainment, inflatables, yard games, story hour for the family, and more. Free.
11 am-3 pm @ Centennial Lakes Park, 7499 France Ave. S., Edina
This is the city of Edina’s first Juneteenth Community Celebration. The event will offer family activities, food vendors, entertainment, and more. Free.
11 am – 4 pm @ Minnesota Governor’s Mansion | 1006 Summit Ave., St. Paul
Celebrate Juneteenth by demanding economic justice for Black lives.
11 am-6 pm @ Central Park Maple Grove, 12000 Central Park Way N., Maple Grove
Enjoy yoga, a vendor fair, music, food trucks, e-sports, splashpad and more. Free.
12-6 pm @ 3736 Chicago Ave. S., Mpls.
Community members are invited to soak up good vibes and live music at this block party in George Floyd Square. Also on hand will be free food provided by Target, vendors, games, a DJ, and more. Organizers will also be accepting donations for the nonprofit youth organization Forward Thinking Foundation. Free.
12-6 pm @ Rondo Commemorative Plaza, 315 N Fisk St., St. Paul (block party on Fisk St., between Carroll and Condoria Avenues)
Celebrate Juneteenth in the historic Black Rondo neighborhood with live performances, MN Museum exhibits, spoken word, food, and keynote speaker, CNN legal analyst Laura Coates. Free.
1- 6 pm @ Under The Canopy at Hook and Ladder Theater, 3010 Minnehaha Ave., Mpls.
This festival features live music, speakers, poets, a Black-owned business marketplace, live art and food vendors. Performers include Blackfish Movement, iLLism, Basement Gang, Supa Juke, Kashimana, Dance with Purpose, RAWTWHYLAH, Micheal Kleber-Diggs, Kokou Kha, and J’mere. Free.
4-8 pm @ Frank Rog Amphitheater Central Park, 2540 Lexington Ave., Roseville
Roseville’s 5th annual Juneteenth celebration offers free food from two Black-owned eateries, Adam’s Soul to Go and Dar’s Double Scoop—while supplies last—family activities, and entertainment featuring DJ D.I.M.E., the Dancing Divas Dance Team, and R&B/soul singer/songwriter Shannon Ileah. Free.
Let us know of more events in the comments and we’ll add them to the list.