Juneteenth is an annual celebration marking the day when federal troops marched into Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War had ended and that all enslaved people were free. This took place in 1865 – two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Last year, Juneteenth, short for “June Nineteeth,” officially became a federal holiday. And in Flint – where Juneteenth has been celebrated for many years – several events are scheduled in celebration.
To begin, there’s the week-long 50th Annual Jubilee Juneteenth Celebration, for which the festivities begin June 11, with a pre-launch event at Ballenger Park, at 1151 DuPont St., Flint. Festivities will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include bounce houses, games, music/entertainment, community resources and food.
On June 12, Historical Healing Circles will be held from 3-5 p.m. at MLK Peace Garden, located at Martin Luther King Blvd and McCelland. There, activities will focus on healing and mental health. Additional events include War Stories – History of Liberation at Berston Fieldhouse (June 13), Taste of Unity at Hasselbring Senior Center (June 14), Bridging the Gap at Comma Bookstore (June 15), Freedom Fund Youth Dinner at McCree Theater (June 16), Jubilee Celebration at Sloan Museum (June 17), the Ujamaa Black Business Expo at Flushing Professional Suites (June 18) and a Juneteenth celebration, parade and concert that will start in Max Brandon Park and end at Riverfront Park (June 19).
To learn more about times and locations for any of these aforementioned events, click here.
Additionally, the Flint Juneteenth City Wide Coalition is promoting a variety of events on its website. This includes the Black Wallstreet Vendor Expo at Flint City Hall, where vendors will be on site from 3-6 p.m. on June 17. It also includes a parade, which will run along Saginaw Street, from 5th Street to the downtown Flint flat lot – this particular event is scheduled for June 18 and will run from noon to 2 p.m. Later that night, there will be a Flint Juneteenth Fireworks Concert with Mama Sol performing on the Rutherford Ramp Rooftop from 8-9:30 p.m.
Also on the calendar is the Juneteenth Family Fun Day Celebrations at Berston Field House on June 18. From 3-10 p.m., there will be food, live music, DJs and kids activities throughout the day. Visitors will also enjoy live performances from James Fortune, Big Daddy Kane, RL & Q(Host), and Midnight Star. To purchase tickets, which will benefit community arts programming, click here.
There's also Flint’s 3rd Annual Juneteenth Festival, which will be held June 19 in the downtown Flint flat lot. There, visitors can patronize more than 80 vendors, participate in activities for all ages and enjoy live entertainment and food from 4-9 p.m.
Know of an event, activity or exhibition recognizing Juneteenth that’s not included here? Submit the details to the Explore Flint & Genesee Events calendar here.