Events in the Phoenix area on Juniteenth 2021 include festivals and history

Juneteenth is the annual commemoration of June 19, 1865, the date the enslaved people of Texas learned they were free two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

Since then, the occasion has been shaped in a variety of ways, from dark memories to happy celebrations.

The holiday has been celebrated in Arizona since the early 1900s. There were large events like the annual celebration in Phoenix’s Eastlake Park, which drew an estimated 20,000 people, as well as smaller events in the neighborhood.

Over the past year, many local events have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Eastlake Park celebrations. Metro Phoenix’s Juniteenth events have bounced back a lot this year, however, with events like a vegan block party, talent competitions, marches, and a family reunion in Avondale.

And yes, the Eastlake Park celebration will take place in 2021.

Here are 10 events taking place on Metro Phoenix this year.

Juniteenth Freedom Week events in Chandler

A variety of events, both online and in person, in Chandler include a virtual panel discussion with the Chandler Police, a kick-off and performances at the Chandler Center for the Arts, a spoken word / poetry event at the West Alley BBQ, and the Chandler 4 Change Caravan and festival in Folley Park.

Details: 15.-19. June, various locations in Chandler.

Vegan Block Party: Juneteenth Edition

This downtown Mesa event features music, storytelling, poetry, vegan and cruelty-free food and vendors. Presented by Zen Nights.

Details: 6-10 p.m., June 18, 1 N. MacDonald (am Main and MacDonald), Mesa.

June th: How the Phoenix Black community celebrates the holiday

Tempe Juneteenth Festival

This festival includes an outdoor stage with community group performances, scholarship presentations, Our Stories in honor of the women who led the African American Advisory Committee over the years, and a presentation by Mayor Corey Woods. There will also be presentations on black firefighters (then and now), COVID vaccinations (from Tempe Fire and Rescue), hands-on projects for children, and a fruit cart and fruit bar vendor.

Details: 7-9 p.m., June 18. Tempe History Museum, 809 E. Southern Ave., Tempe.

The struggle for judicial and police reform after George Floyd continues

Presented by the Men’s Ministry of the First Institutional Baptist Church, this online event will be an open discussion designed to move men from anger to action. Panellists include ASU professor and retired assistant to the Phoenix Police Chief Kevin Robinson, Rep. Reginald Bolding, and Tremikus Muhammad, an activist and inspirational speaker.

Details: 10 a.m., June 19. The event is online. Participation is free, but registration is required.

Mesa Historical Museum Juneteenth Presentation

Bruce Nelson will host a discussion at the Mesa Historical Museum on his current exhibition Matriarchs of Washington Park: The Women Who Persevered Through Racism in Segregated Mesa, AZ. The women featured in Matriarchs of Washington Park will be honored with portraits that lead to an accompanying photo book and documentary.

Details: 10: 30-11: 30 a.m., June 19. Mesa Historical Museum, 2345 N. Horne, Mesa.

Family reunion in June

Organized by the West Valley NAACP, this event includes panel discussions, live music, a spoken word artist, a sweet potato pie contest, and a youth education corner. There will also be a keynote presentation by speaker and activist Calvin Tarrell.

Details: 11 am-7pm, June 19, West Point High School, 11620 W. Encanto Blvd., Avondale.

Juniteenth Networking Event at WAYL.A. Studios

THEWRLDISOURS is hosting this event with food trucks, pop-ups from seven different companies, a DJ and live performances. This is a networking event so bring plenty of business cards.

Details: 1 pm-5pm, June 19th. WAYL.A. Studios, 4130 N. Seventh Avenue, Phoenix.

Juniteenth Celebration at AZ Bizzles on Central

This is the 13th year for this free indoor and outdoor family-friendly event that includes a fashion show, talent contest, paint-n-sip, and the chance to interact with a variety of black-owned companies and vendors. Masks are compulsory.

Details: 2-8 p.m., June 19. Bizzles on Central, 3602 S. Central Avenue, Phoenix.

June 10th Scottsdale Freedom Celebration

Scottsdale partnered with GenerationBLK for this celebration at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. The event includes a DJ and live music, food from AZ BBQ Shack, games, and historical information. Beer permits are available for purchase. Families can bring chairs or picnic on the lawn. Tickets (the park has a carousel and train ride) cost $ 3 per person.

Details: 2-7 p.m., June 19. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 7301 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale.

Valley of the Sun Celebration in Eastlake Park

This free festival is one of the longest running in this culturally significant community center. Hosted by Arizona Informant newspaper, it features arts, food, music, cultural presentations, health screenings, dialogues, and workshops.

Details: June 19, 5 pm-10pm. Eastlake Park, 1549 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix.

You can reach the reporter at [email protected]. Or follow him on Twitter @weldonjohnson.

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