Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. It was on June 19, 1865 that Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863.

The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

Juneteenth is an opportunity for people to celebrate freedom, history, heritage and culture.

Wichita

All events will take place at the historic McAdam’s Park and Recreation Center, with the exception of the Wichita Natural Hair Expo. Attendees must have a $5 Juneteenth wristband to attend any of the events.

Sat. Jun. 16 The Wichita Natural Hair Expo (WNHE) will be held at the Eugene M. Hughes Metropolitan Complex, 5015 East 29th St N. This event is hosted by Lai-L Daugherty, founder and coordinator. Back by popular demand are Raylan and LaRhonda, owners of gimMee Oils and Tendai Robin Morris is back with her essential hair care session, “Texture Talk.” 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sat., Jun. 16 Health Fair & Gospel Celebration by HOPE Inc. Health fair runs 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: dental, vision, mammograms, blood pressure, STD tests. Kids’ activities, games, prizes, healthy food court. Gospel Celebration at 4 p.m. HOPE Inc. 2137 S. Battin, call 316-618-8652.

Sun., Jun. 17 Father’s Day Recognition A day to celebrate the strong fathers or father figures in our community. 2 -6 p.m.

Mon., Jun. 18 Urban Housing and Economic Development Fair Conversation with John Hall, director of the City of Wichita Dept. of Housing and Community Development. Understand the Fair Housing Act and the Landlord Tenant Act. The fair will educate on home repairs, purchasing a home and other important opportunities the community can take advantage of. Armando Minijarez will also be sharing the Horizontes Project and how the community can get involved. 6-8 p.m.

Tues., Jun. 19 Re-Defining Blackness Play and Juneteenth Keynote Address. Re-Defining Blackness is a wonderful youth play, written by local poets. This play will show how our youth benefit from the achievements of African Americans and how our roots tie back to this day of pride. Doors Open, 5:15 p.m., Re-Defining Blackness Play, 6 – 7:20 p.m., Education Panel, 7:30-8:15 p.m., Q&A 8:15-9:30 p.m.

Wed., Jun. 20 Senior Breakfast: The Journey of Juneteenth As Told By Our Elders. The community’s elders will be celebrated while they share their stories with their families and those in attendance from the Greater Wichita community. There will also be a youth market hosted by Camp Innovation Destination. 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at McAdams Park Recreation Center.

Thurs., Jun. 21 Juneteenth Day of Service – In the spirit of engaging and improving the community, working on the 9th Street Project mosaic being led by artist Ella Baccus. The goal is to encourage participation in service projects that will help improve the aesthetic of northeast Wichita. The project includes painting so dress accordingly. First Shift 8 -10 a.m., Lunch 11a.m. – Noon, Second Shift 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Fri., Jun. 22 Juneteenth Evening of Blues & Jazz – Enjoy an evening of blues and jazz in the park. Enjoy music, food and vendors. 5-9 p.m.

Sat., Jun. 23 Juneteenth Parade and Celebration – A community-wide Family Reunion along with event-filled day at McAdam’s Park. This celebration will begin at 10 a.m. with a parade beginning at 17th & Fairmount and going west to McAdams Park. The park will be filled with local food and merchandise vendors, inflatable bounce houses, activities and performances to keep the whole family engaged. The park festivities will begin at 11 a.m.

Junction City

Sat. Jun. 9 Juneteenth Celebration Stone Soul Festival at Heritage Park 6th & Washington The day will include live entertainment, Gospel music, vendors, games, educational displays, food & beverages, and lots of family fun. Motorcycle and Car Show. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Manhattan

Sat. Jun. 16 Celebrate Juneteenth free T-Shirt while supplies last. Annual Unity Walk at 11 a.m. Judge the BBQ Grilling Contest. Test your free throw and 3-point skills in the basketball contest. Vendors and various fun activities all day. End the night in the park enjoying the smooth sounds of JahVelle and the A/C Band and the funk, soul & RB sounds of the Charles Walker Band.

Juneteenth KC

Fri. Jun. 1 First Fridays Edition Stroll through the streets of the historic 18th & Vine district for an evening of live entertainment and art showcased by minority vendors and artisans.

Sat., Jun. 2 Passport to Freedom Cultural Parade The spirit of African-American pride and freedom returns with the 2nd Annual Cultural Parade, an extravagant procession of marching bands, drill teams, civic clubs and various organizations through the 18th & Vine Historic District. Parade starts at Noon

Sat., Jun. 16 Heritage Festival The 7th annual JuneteenthKC Heritage Festival features KC’s best local live entertainment and free activities for the entire family. Explore local businesses, service agencies and over 50 local/regional retail vendors of products and services. 18th & Vine area 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Kansas City

Sat., Jun. 9 Juneteeth Activities at the Nelson Atkins Museum

10–10:30 a.m. Prelude Piano Music

Kirkwood Hall, Plaza Level, Nelson-Atkins Building. Pianist Elijah Thomas

10:30–11:30 a.m. Kirkwood Hall, Plaza Level, a special presentation by the United States Air Force honoring Ed Dwight. Remarks by local dignitaries and recognition of Makeda Peterson.

11:30–11:50 a.m., Story Telling

Gallery L5, Bloch Tracy Milsap.

11:45–12:15 p.m. & 1–1:30 p.m. The Kansas City Boys Choir and the Kansas City Girls Choir, Kirkwood Hall, Plaza Level, Nelson-Atkins Building

12:15–12:45 p.m. Special Presentation featuring Artist, Ed Dwight, Atkins Auditorium

1–2 p.m. Spoken Word , Gallery L5, Lobby Level, Bloch Building. Glen North and Sheri “Purpose” Hall.

12:45–1:30 p.m. The Amber Underwood Project, Bloch Lobby

Jazz flautist Amber Underwood including drum, keyboard, guitar, and vocals.

1:45-2:15 p.m. Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey, Atkins Auditorium

Enjoy a dynamic dance performance.

2:15–2:45 p.m. The Charlie Parker Memorial Foundation Jazz Ensemble

Kirkwood Hall, Plaza Level, Nelson-Atkins Building

2:30–3:20 p.m. Music & Kansas City 2-Step Showcase, Bloch Lobby

Enjoy the rhythmic sounds of DJ Joe.

3:20–4 p.m. Free Dancing DJ Joe accompanies De Barker from the Big Step Off 2018 with dancers from the Kansas City 2-Step community followed by free dancing.

10 a.m. & 4 p.m. Gullah Basket Weavers, Bloch Lobby Gullah basket weavers from South Carolina share their signature basket weaving styles.

10 a.m.–4 p.m., NedRa Bonds, Anthony High, Michael Toombs – Bloch Lobby.

Topeka

Sat., Jun. 16 5th Annual Family & Friends Day Hillcrest Community Center & Park, 1800 SE 21st. Activities include: Essay award, scholarship award, Comedian Ed Davis and gift basket raffle. Kid’s activities, first 160 kids swim for free. Emcee Eugene Williams, Executive Director of KTWU and Donna Rae Pearson, Local history Librarian. Food and craft vendors. Noon – 8 p.m. Free

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Kurt Oswald

Kurt joined The Community Voice team in 2021 as the company’s chief executive. He is responsible for the business side of the company including sales, distribution, and operations. Kurt brings to the...

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