Juneteenth organizers are excited for in-person Juneteenth celebrations after completely virtual celebrations last year. Makeda Peterson, organizer of Juneteenth-KC in the 18th and Vine District, is especially looking forward to celebrating their 10-year anniversary.
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“With the city reopening and the numbers going down for Missouri, it does give a positive indicator that we’ll be able to have a great 10-year celebration,” Peterson said. Her father, Horace Peterson III, founder of the Black Archives of Mid-America, brought Juneteenth celebrations to Kansas City in 1980. Juneteenth-KC’s theme this year is “For the Culture,” and will include a heritage festival, parade, basketball tournaments, steppers challenge and prizes all in the Jazz District. The 13th annual Kansas City Juneteenth, organized by Sheoni Givens and Cortez Garlington will take place at Blue Hills Park on 53rd and Brooklyn Avenue with an all-day festival, Miss Juneteenth pageant and Car and Bike Show.
May 29: Mobile Community Baby Shower at Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Center, 3700 Blue Parkway KCMO from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. – Free diapers, baby kits and more for babies delivered from Sources around Kansas city.
June 18: All Black Everything Juneteenth Kick-Off party featuring K-Camp at Union Station at 5:30 pm – Artist K-Camp performinglive and vendor booths available. Tickets available here: www.eventbrite.com/e/black-bagboys– presents-juneteenth-kickoff-with-kcamptickets-152050795021
June 19: Juneteenth Festival at Blue Hills Park, 53rd & Brooklyn from noon to 9 p.m. – Celebration with horseback riding, two-step dancing, artists, a car giveaway, drill teams and car and bike show. Vendors can register here: https://kcjuneteenth.org/vendors-2/.
June 20 – Gospel Explosion at Blue Hills Park at 4 p.m. – Gospel Explosion will round out the weekend activities by showcasing the best of the best gospel groups in Kansas City.
The Nelson-Atkins’ 5th Annual Juneteenth Celebration
June 12: Virtual Celebration will include:
•A music video compilation of local talent filmed around Kansa City with the finale in the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
•An exhibition preview video about Testimony and the African American Artists Collective
•A new digital family gallery guide focusing on African American Artists in the museum’s collection and finding creativity all around us in music, history, fashion and more. Everyone is invited to visit the museum and explore the galleries using na.guide@org.
•Secret barbeque sauce recipe revealed with illustrated steps from Chef Marcus of Rozzelle Court Restaurant.
•Highlight of local children’s book author Tiffany Taylor, the author of Two Halves Make aWhole.
•Citywide scavenger hunt inviting people to learn about local history in partnership with Juneteenth-KC. Stay updated about the schedule at their website https://www.nelson-atkins.org/event/festivals/