Juneteenth, also known by the names Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, Black Independence Day, and Emancipation Day, is a day commemorating the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.
A contraction of the word “June” and number “19,” Juneteenth holds significance this year in particular, as the fight for racial justice permeates cities across the country. In Minneapolis, a pivotal location in this current movement, there are numerous events across the city celebrating Juneteenth.
When: Friday, June 19, 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Where: Target parking lot, 2500 E. Lake St., Minneapolis
This family-friendly celebration will feature food trucks, live music and community voices. There will be guest appearances from Dr. Brittany Lewis and David Billingsley. Musical guests and performers include Ginger Commodore, DJ Mickey Breeze, and Jamela Pettiford. Additionally, well-known local artist Peyton Scott Russel and members of his youth camp will paint a mural wall and display art during the celebration. Event organizers encourage the public to bring items for a food a supply drive, including dry and canned goods, sanitizing products and toiletries. A full list of items to bring can be found on the event’s Facebook page.
When: Friday, June 19, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. (Rally starts at 4 p.m.)
Where: Cub Foods, 701 West Broadway Ave., Minneapolis
This North Minneapolis event will celebrate the community’s strength and love during a time of continued fights for justice. Starting at noon, Pimento Jamaican Kitchen will serve hot food to the public. The event will also feature live music and provide free mental health kits for children (while supplies last), toys, cloth masks, hand sanitizer, and free T-shirts. At 4 p.m., there will be a rally honoring George Floyd and others lost to police violence.
When: Friday, June 19, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: 1900 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis
Another free community event, the June 19th Community Celebration promises both food and fun. In addition to free food and opportunities to meet local businesses, the event will provide resources for those in need, including a tent dedicated to mental health. The celebration, along with commemorating Juneteenth, aims to foster strong community relationships. Event organizers are also accepting donations to support the community, which will be “given to organizations dedicated to bringing justice and providing the needs of our community,” says the event’s Facebook page.
What: Juneteenth Jubilee
When: Friday, June 19, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Where: Webber Park, 4400 Dupont Ave. N., Minneapolis
Hosted by the Sit to Breathe Project, which launched in June and aims to amplify the voices of Black youth, this event was created to be a community celebration with time to reflect on the persisting countrywide state of unrest. This event is a “drive by”—the public will be able to participate, receive food and take pictures from inside their vehicles. Organizers encourage participants to wear masks and stay in their cars during the event. There will be authentic soul food and drinks, goodie bags for children and information about the traditions and history surrounding Juneteenth.
When: Saturday, June 20, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Where: The Trailhead, 1221 Theodore Wirth Parkway, Minneapolis
Hosted by Slow Roll, Free Black Dirt and Paige Ingram, the Juneteenth Revolutionary Blackout Bike Ride is an “all Black ride for healing.” Arrive from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. to mingle with fellow participants. The bike ride will start at 5:15 p.m. and includes rests and time for reflection at the Walker Art Center, the George Floyd Memorial on 38th and Chicago. The ride will eventually circle back to the Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Parkway. Event organizers encourage riders to bring water, snacks, a face mask and a helmet. Extra bikes to borrow are available as well (in limited quantities)—just text “Bike Please” to 612-875-7803.
When: Saturday, June 20, 8 a.m.
Where: The George Floyd Memorial, the intersection of 38th St. and Chicago Ave., Minneapolis
Meeting bright and early, this event is meant to honor George Floyd and celebrate Juneteenth by completing an 8.46-mile course. Participants are encouraged to complete the course in the way they choose—whether that is running, walking or biking. Bystanders are also welcome to support the participants. The course will begin and finish at the George Floyd memorial. The event organizer also says that people unable to come to the memorial site can complete their 8.46 miles in solidarity at other locations.