Juneteenth is an annual celebration that signifies the day that federal troops marched in Galveston, Texas in 1865 with news that the Civil War had ended and that all enslaved people were free – two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Learn more about Juneteenth on the Flint Juneteenth website. 

In Flint, the holiday has been celebrated for many years. Last year, Mayor Sheldon Neeley announced plans to declare Juneteenth an official holiday, making Flint the first city in Michigan to do so. And to celebrate, the 2021 Juneteenth celebration is bigger than ever.

Multiple organizations and events have come together this year to create the Flint Juneteenth City Wide Coalition. This coalition includes Flint Freedom Festival, City of Flint, Kerale Events, For the Love of Dance, FlintBeat, Flint Police Department, Flint Development Center, Flint Institute of Arts, Uma Strong Marshall Outreach, Inc., Sloan Museum and What's Up Downtown Flint.

To celebrate this year, the coalition is hosting a weekend full of events.

Friday, June 18

Traditional Juneteenth Celebration

This two-day event celebrating Black liberation will begin on Friday, June 18 from 2 – 6 p.m. at the Sloan Museum and Longway Planetarium in the Flint Cultural Center. The event will feature a city council meet and greet, a concert, history and education, vendors, food and more.

Black Wall Street Vendor Expo

From 3 – 6 p.m. at Berston Field House the Black Wall Street Vendor Expo will feature Black-owned small businesses throughout the area. The event also pays homage to Tulsa’s Greenwood District, dubbed Black Wall Street, which was a thriving business district started by O.W. Gurley.

Concrete Jungle

The first in a three-month pop-up concert series in Riverfront Park, Concrete Jungle will feature local singers, rappers and DJs on June 18 from 7 – 9 p.m. The event is hosted by 810 Flow, presented by Sprout Worldwide and facilitated with help from What’s Up Downtown Flint.

Saturday, June 19

Juneteenth Champions Parade

The official day kicks off with a citywide parade at 12 p.m. from City Hall to Berston Field House. This year, the parade will feature the Detroit Pistons drumline and “Juneteenth GWOAT” Claressa Shields.

Freedom Festival

After the parade, the Freedom Festival at Berston Field House from 2 – 6 p.m. will feature food vendors, fun activities and educational exhibits.

Juneteenth Festival

In Brush Park from 4 – 8 p.m., Kerale C Events is hosting its second annual Juneteenth Festival featuring live entertainment, games, food, vendors and giveaways.

Black Buckham Juneteenth Festival

In Buckham Alley, Comma Bookstore is hosting a Juneteenth event with multiple vendors including Black-owned businesses, live music and family activities in the alley from 1 – 9 p.m. on June 19.

Traditional Juneteenth Celebration

The second day of the two-day event celebrating Black liberation will be held on Saturday, June 19 from 12:00 – 4:30 p.m. in Max Brandon Park with a parade following at 5 p.m. going from Max Brandon Park to the BLM Mural Zone.

Sunday, June 20

Gospel Festival

In Riverbank Park from 3 – 6 p.m., the Flint Gospel Festival will close out the weekend of activities featuring special guest Uncle Reese, music director George Warren and band High Definition hosted by Elder Jeff LaValley and Artie Dixson.