Every year on June 19th, Americans celebrate Juneteenth to commemorate the emancipation of those enslaved in the United States. This is the first year that Juneteenth will be recognized as a federal holiday, after a unanimous vote from the U.S. Senate and President Biden’s signing the legislation into law on Thursday. Here are six of the various celebrations going on in and around Indy this year, both virtual and in-person.
Eiteljorg Museum Virtual Juneteenth Celebration
For those not quite ready to jump back into in-person revelry, the Eiteljorg Museum is hosting a virtual community celebration of Juneteenth that will feature a panel discussion, activities and more. Their website is now hosting celebratory performances from Teresa Stewart, Freetown Village Singers, and the Rob Dixon Quartet, as well as virtual panel discussions about the history and significance of Juneteenth and three videos that discuss Black women who helped shape history. Virtual event.
Juneteenth Jamboree at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
The Children’s Museum is hosting a family-friendly Juneteenth celebration that will include live performances, activities like “giant Jenga” and tug-of-war, prize giveaways, and a showcase of community artists. Freetown Village Singers and the Griot Drum Ensemble will perform, and there will be live storytelling from Storytelling Arts of Indiana’s Portia Jackson. The museum will also feature art from Deona Craig, Ashley Nora, and Nathaniel Kyng Rhodes. Admission is free for members, and standard museum admission ($32) applies for all others. 3000 N. Meridian St. Indianapolis, IN 46208, Saturday, June 19, 10:00 a.m.
Voices Corp Juneteenth Celebration
Voices Corp, the local nonprofit youth center, is holding a Juneteenth celebration on Friday evening that will feature live music, vendors, food, and a talent show. 1415 Shelby St, Indianapolis, IN, Friday, June 18th, 5:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
2021 Indy Juneteenth Celebration
Riverside Park is hosting the Indy Juneteenth Celebration this year, thrown by the local nonprofit of the same name and featuring food trucks, vendors, live performances, and games. The celebration will also feature a parade, and a youth basketball tournament for kids in the fourth to eighth grades. The outdoor art gallery will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Anyone can participate in the parade, where entry is $40 but free for schools. RSVP on the celebration’s website. Riverside Park, 2420 E Riverside Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46208, Saturday, June 19 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Indy Night Market
At the Pan Am Plaza across from the Indiana Convention Center, the Indy Night Market will showcase African-American cuisine and culture from local Black artists, entrepreneurs, farmers, and restaurants. This will be the first of many Night Markets planned for the plaza, that will celebrate local culture with food, beer, wine, art, and entertainment at no cost. Four-legged, furry friends are also encouraged, as long as they’re on a leash. Pan Am Plaza at 201 S. Capitol Ave, Indianapolis, IN, Saturday June 19th 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Gal’s Guide Library in Noblesville is hosting a Juneteenth Read-IN to honor civil rights-era sit-ins. This event is open to all people looking to learn and read about the African-American experience. Gal’s Guide to the Galaxy, 107 S. 8th Street Noblesville, IN 46060, Saturday June 19th, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.