Across the country, African-American communities across the country will celebrate “OUR” Freedom Day, Juneteenth, recognizing the ongoing struggle while celebrating the enduring contributions of African Americans.
Communities across the Midwest, in small and large cities alike, have planned great celebrations of this day. Here is a list of activities we’ve found within the region. Consider getting out and exploring the great things other communities have to offer.
A $6 arm band is required for all Wichita activities
Fri., Jun 17, McAdams Park, 6-9 pm, Sounds of JuneteenthICT: 6:30 pm – African Drumming, 7 pm – Father’s Day Recognition, 7:30 pm – Rudy Love & The Encore
Sat. Jun 18, McAdams Park, 10 am – 9 pm JuneteenthICT Park Celebration: 8 am, Carl Brewer Cookoff; 8 am, Annual Wichita Athletics Track Club Jubilee 2-mile walk/run; 11:30 am, Park & Vendors open; 11:30 am – 4 pm, Kid’s Corner; 11:30 am – 4 pm, Health Village; 12:05 – 12:20 pm, 3 Keys Fitness; 1-2 pm, State of the Youth; 3 pm, Brewer Cookoff Awards Ceremony; 6:30 – 9 pm, music by Nostalgia, Robert Banks & Positive Productions
Sun: Jun 18, McAdams Park: 6 – 7:30 pm, JuneteenthICT Gospelfest
Mon. Jun 19, McAdams Park: 6-9 pm:,JuneteenthICT featuring Blakkfist & LV featuring Jewels
Sat., Jun. 17, Heritage Park: 1-9 pm, Juneteenth Festival: A family Fun-filled day with Music Festival, Presentations, Vendors, Food, Kids Zone, Games, Dominoes & Spades Tournament
Thru June 14, Downtown Art Walk: Downtown businesses are the host locations for the 2nd annual Juneteenth Art Walk. The community is welcome to stroll the district and view art created by local artists. The theme this year is: “And Still We Rise: Strong, Loud and Proud.”
Thur., Jun. 15, Douglass Activity Center, 6 pm, Music and Art: An Evening with Nate McClendon Mixer and Live Auction of art featured in the art walk.
Fri., Jun. 16, City Park, 7 pm, Juneteenth Soul Jam Cook-off Competition. $5 tasting kits.
7 – 9 pm, Juneteenth Soul Jam: Featuring Grammy nominated, award winning, hit maker of “Kissing You” Keith Washington with Master of Ceremony, Mister Gary, Doctor DJ, the J Love Band, vendors and food trucks.
Sat., Jun. 17, Douglass Center Park or Yuma Park: Juneteenth 5K Fun Run, Zumba, 8 am; Yoga, 9am; Mayor’s Proclamation, 10 am; Manhattan Juneteenth Unity Walk, 11am; Community Festival, 11am – 2pm with photo booth, live DJ, dancing, Juneteenth Kids Zone, bouncy house, prizes, 3 on 3 BB, competitions, Juneteenth Youth Book give-away, vendors, food trucks
7 – 9 pm, City Park, Kyla Jade in concert: Coming back to Kansas for the Manhattan Kansas Juneteenth after taking the music industry by storm as a part of Team Blake on Season 14 of the Voice with her unique blend of Jazz, R&B, and Gospel.
Kansas City Area
Johnson County, Sat., June 17, 10 am – 1pm, 4th Annual Advocacy and Awareness Peace March and Rally. This event begins at Overland Park City Hall, gathering at 10 a.m. with a march commencing at 10:30 a.m. to Thompson Park, 8045 Santa Fe Dr. The march is focused on celebration, honoring the past and building a better future for all. At the park there will be a DJ, entertainment, speakers, vendor booths and more.
Overland Park, Sat., Jun 10, 10 am, Juneteenth at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave. This family-friendly event, built with community partners, provides an opportunity to honor the history and celebrate Juneteenth with art, music, food, and more!
Prairie Village, Sat. June 17, 4 – 7 pm, 3rd Annual Juneteenth Freedom Celebration, Harmon Park, W 77th & Delmar St. Celebration will feature an essay contest for middle & high school students, a poster contest for elementary students, inflatable bounce houses, face painting, crafts, games and more. We will have a program filled with city impactors, influencers and artists. Music and headliner will be the Funk Syndicate Band.
Lawrence, Sat., Jun. 17, 8 am, Juneteenth 2023, South Park, 1141 Massachusetts St.. A Juneteenth multicultural celebration that emphasizes education, family, and community.
Kansas City, KS, Sat., June 17, 10 am – 5pm, Third Annual Juneteenth Parade and festival. Starts at 5th and Rowland ends at 5th and Everett. The parade begins at 10a.m. with Mayor Tyrone Gordon as the parade grand marshall.
Kansas City, KS, Sun., June 18, 3-7 pm, Juneteenth in the Dotte Celebration, 2515 N. 27th St. Multiple community vendors, music, art and lots of great food. There will be a special ceremony at the Quindaro Ruins at 3 p.m.
Leavenworth, Sat., Jun. 17, 6 pm, Juneteenth Twilight Parade & Festival, Haymarket Event Center, 618 Cherokee. Hosted by the Leavenworth County NAACP, with live music, games, vendors, food, and fun. Parade will start at dusk.
Olathe, Mon., Jun 19, 10 am – 4 pm, Juneteenth Celebration, Olathe Indian Creek Library, 16100 W 135th. Schedule of Events: 10 am, Family Storytime; 11 am. (repeats at 1 pm) Historical Figure Portrayal, David Page, early Black Olathe resident; 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, Jadabay’s Tasty Kitchen Food truck on-site; 1:30 pm, Family Storytime; 3 – 4 pm, How the Word is Passed Discussion; 3 – 4 pm, Children’s Craft.
Topeka (June 3 – 19)
Activities planned by the Topeka Friends and Family Juneteenth Celebration Committee will run through Mon, June 19 at several locations across the city.
Sat., Jun 3, 6 pm: Miss Juneteenth Pageant, at The Beacon, 420 SW 9th.
Mon., Jun 5, 11:30 am: Flag Raising & Unity Walk at the Kansas State Capitol Building. Part of a national flag raising by Juneteenth committee across the country at noon, their time.
Sat., Jun 10, 11 am: Juneteenth Parade in downtown Topeka predominantly goes up Kansas and down Quincy and is followed by a program at Cushinberry Park. See the map.
Mon., Jun 12, 6 pm: TFFJC Youth Celebration, location to be determined.
Tue., Jun 13, 6 pm: Taco Tuesday at Betty Phillips Neighborhood Park, 3303 SE Irvingham St.
Thu., Jun 15, 6 pm: Essay Contest Banquet, Open Arms Outreach Church, 2401 SE 11, Applications for the contest remain open through June 4. The contest is open to Shawnee County residents who are middle and high school students attending a public or parochial high school. The winner will receive a $500 scholarship.
Sat., Jun 17, Noon – 10 pm: Juneteenth Community Celebration, Hillcrest Community Center
Sun., Jun 18, 3 pm: Gospel Extravaganza, St John AME Church, 701 SW Topeka Ave.
Mon. Jun 19, 7:30 pm, A Tribute to Black Female Composers, Sunflower Music Festival. White Concert Hall, Washburn University, 1700 SW Jewell Ave. includes compositions by trombonist, Melba Liston, as well as singers Billie Holiday and Nina Simone FREE.
Kansas City (May 31 – June 19)
Kansas City Black Film Festival, Screenland Armour Theatre, North Kansas City: The inaugural JuneteenthKC Film Festival, curated by film critic Shawn Edwards, features a mix of classic and new films that celebrate the Black experience through cinema. Click for more information or go to https://bit.ly/3C3LC25 The festival features and dates are:
Wed., May 31, 7 p.m. “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (2023), Hosted by Fox 4 News’ Shawn Edwards, Free.
Thur., June 1, 7 p.m, “The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster” (2023) Hosted by Magic 107’s Ivani Bing
Mon, June 5, 6:45 p.m., “Miss Juneteenth” (2020), $13, hosted by Makeda Peterson Chair of JuneteenthKC
Tue, June 13, 7 p.m., The Blackening (2023), free, hosted by KCTV 5’s Lonita Cook
Mon, June 19, 3:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m., “Do the Right Thing” (1989), $8, hosted by Makeda Peterson Chair of JuneteenthKC
Fri., June 2, 7 p.m, Growing up Hip-Hop in Kansas City, 2000 Vine Building, Shawn Edwards, a former writer for The Source, Vibe and XXL magazine, and prolific music producer Don Juan will walk you through an uncut oral history of Hip-Hop in KC. Moderated by local YouTube star Kimology, Event also features DJ Skeme and artist Warren ‘Stylez’ Harvey who will create a Hip-Hop inspired painting live featuring DJ Skeme.This event is free, but tickets are required. A JuneteenthKC event.
Sat., June 3, JuneteenthKC Cultural Heritage Parade: Pre Festivities begin at 10 am with the parade down 18th Street to the Jazz District beginning at noon. Click for more parade details and map or go to https://bit.ly/42n9Lf2
Sat., June 10, 10 am to 4 pm, 6th Annual Juneteenth Celebration at Nelson Atkins Activities for families, including kids. All activities and performances are FREE and tickets are not required, but attendees are requested to reserve a timed ticket in advance to ensure the museum does not exceed capacity restrictions.
11-11:40 am, Atkins Auditorium, Lobby Level,Shinique Smith, Breathing Room: Evocation, A new performance led by artist Shinique Smith, created especially for the Junetteth commemoration, featuring local performers as they breathe, sing, and create movement while draped in swaths of billowing fabrics and shades of indigo. Reserve Tickets atbit.ly/3qnulyf
Noon–12:30 & 1–1:30 pm, Kirkwood Hall, Plaza Level, The Kansas City Boys & The Kansas City Girls Choirs
2-3 pm, Atkins Auditorium, Lobby Level, special performance, I Want to Testify, by the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey Reserve tickets at bit.ly/3qnulyf
3-3:30 pm, Kirkwood Hall, Plaza Level, Kansas City 2Step Showcase featuring dancers from The Big StepOff. Followed by open dancing from 3:30 – 4 pm, with music by DJ Joe Straws.
Gallery Visit: Learn about the cultural and historical significance of the painting Goodnight Irene by Charles White and more.
Drawing Demonstration, noon to 2 p.m., artist and educator Anthony High reproduces one of Charles White’s images and discusses his process.
Arts and Crafts, create paper quilt squares and Juneteenth Bookmarks, 1 – 4 pm, Explore books and other resources highlighting African American artists, snap a photo in front of the North Star Quilt. Special dining menu, barbecue and soul food.
Sat., Jun. 17, noon to 10 pm, JuneteenthKC Heritage Festival: The Homecoming, 1722 E 17th Terrace, KCMO, 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District, FREE. vendors, food and activities for children. Stage lineup and times: noon, Gospel Jubilee; 2pm, community performances, including guest personalities, contests and giveaways; 6 pm, Kim Key & Loc’d; Kevin Church Johnson, 7 pm; Pokey Bear, 8 pm; Sir Charles, 9 pm.
Sun., June 18, Juneteenth in Steptoe: Father’s Day Celebration, 4 pm start, 508 W 43rd St. Steptoe was once home to freed slaves and the oldest school for African Americans west of the Mississippi. Steptoe Lives, a grassroots coalition of former Steptoe residents, former Penn School students, local neighborhood groups, and institutions with an interest in commemorating the African-American Steptoe community, successfully requested the city return the name of W. 43rd Terrace to Steptoe Street to honor that legacy. The new street signs will be officially unveiled at the Juneteenth celebration. Other. Other activities will include stories, poems, dances, and original music all specifically created to honor Steptoe.
Sun., June 18, Movie, “A Step Above the Plaza, 6 pm, Westport Presbyterian Church, 201 Westport Road. Following the activities in Steptoe above, the celebration will move to the Westport Presbyterian Church, where this film about Steptoe will be showed.
Mon., Jun 19, 6 – 9 pm: Juneteenth Freedom Bash, Boho Sway at Canary, 3835 Main St. KCMO. Come celebrate Freedom Day with your favorite Black Male Educators, Open bar, 3 course meal by Chef Guroux, Entertainment. Cost $30 https://bit.ly/3pEKZJp
Wed. Jun 21, 7 – 8 pm: Rebuild Honestly: Juneteenth Panel, Keystone CoLAB, 800 E 18th, KCMO. Platform was created to provide a safe space for courageous conversations surrounding economic development in the Black community. The goal is to spark collaboration and encourage a unified course of action to push the Black community forward. FREE
Other Upcoming Cultural Celebrations
Thur., July 27 – Sun., July 30, 145th Nicodemus Homecoming Emancipation Celebration
Thurs., Aug 3 – Sun. Aug. 6, 134th Annual Emancipation Day Celebration, Hutchinson, KS
If we missed your celebration, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org