Celebrate Juneteenth 2023!
Click here for the Juneteenth map. (coming soon)
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond. Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement (juneteenth.com). To learn more, click here.
While you are in downtown, be sure to check out all of the other great events happening on June 17, 18 and 19, and make plans to grab a drink, a bite to eat or even do some shopping.
Juneteenth Adult Mixer
Friday, June 9 | 5 - 9 pm | The Knight Stage (Akron Civic Theatre) | free admission, space is limited: register below
Join us for a Juneteenth mixer at the beautiful Knight Stage. DJ Vinny will be spinning tunes to keep the evening festive and the vibe flowing. Enjoy free small bites throughout the event from Black-owned downtown eateries, including Ernie's Catering and Event Planning, DeJuan's, Urban Gourmet, Perfect Pour, and Essential Dipped Delights. Cash bar featuring signature drinks from Perfect Pour. Guests will receive a commemorative tile featuring artwork by Diane Johnson. Get tickets here.
Juneteenth Family Day Celebration
Saturday, June 10 | 4 - 10 pm | Cascade Plaza | Free & Open to All - All Ages
DJ J Boogie
Free concert from FunkyardX (9-piece band)
Spoken word with Xposyur
Black Beanz dance performance
Crafts and games
Downtown Akron Black-owned business vendor fair
The 2023 Downtown Akron Juneteenth Celebration is presented by DAP in partnership with Akron Civic Theatre, the City of Akron, Akron Children's Museum, North Hill Community Development Corporation, and Akron Civic Commons, with additional support from Akron Community Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, GAR Foundation, and Knight Foundation, and through the time and efforts of the Downtown Akron Juneteenth Planning Committee.
Juneteenth: Melanin & Mimosas Paint Night
Saturday, June 17 | 5 - 7 pm | Street Craftery
Join this guided paint and sip workshop with Da'Shika Street of Street Craftery, and create an abstract self-portrait painting. Click here to purchase tickets.
UNKNWN Akron Fit Club: Juneteenth Yoga Session
Monday, June 19 | 6 - 7:30 pm | UNKNWN
Led by yoga instructor Crystal Tyler. Register to attend.
Friday, June 16 | Akron Urban League
2 - 6 pm (parking lot)
1:45 pm Registration
2 pm Opening Ceremony with Drum Circle
2:15 - 5:45 pm Special Performances, Raffles, Line Dancing, Local Vendors, and More
5:30 pm Closing Ceremony
7 - 11 pm Evening Event - Game & Cocktail Party (Odom Hall, ages 21+)
2:30 pm – 3:15 pm – Session 1: Banned Books – SB 83 – The first 25 people will receive a book from the banned book list
3:30 pm – 4:15 pm Session 2: Health Equity – Covid-19 – Aftermath of Covid-19 – The first 25 people will receive a 2023 commemorative Juneteenth T-shirt
4:30 pm – 5:15 pm Session 3: Justice Jayland – Healing Circles and Updates – The first 25 people will receive a Jayland Walker T-shirt
Juneteenth Hike to John Brown Monument
Monday, June 19 | 4 - 5 pm | Akron Zoo
Dave Lieberth, Society chair emeritus, will talk about the life of John Brown. Society and Akron Zoo staff will lead guests to the monument.
As part of Juneteenth celebrations in the City of Akron and County of Summit, the Summit County Historical Society will partner with the Akron Zoo for a hike to the John Brown Monument. This special opportunity is coordinated through the Society's John Brown Institute and will occur prior to the Community Talk Back scheduled at 5 p.m. at the John Brown House.
Hike attendees must arrive to the Akron Zoo and go to the left back lot to meet by 4 p.m. for access to the monument. Late attendees may not have access if the gate is closed.
Please wear appropriate foot wear and recognize that the walking surface is unlevel and uphill. The hike will occur rain or shine. Click Here to learn more.
Community Talk Back
Monday, June 19 | 5 pm | John Brown House
Maple Valley's 2023 Community Festival
Saturday, June 10 | 1 - 6 pm and Sunday, June 11 | 3 - 5 pm
Saturday: Information Alley, Children's Corner and more
Sunday: Unity in the Community, area pastors and community members
25th Annual Juneteenth Festival
Saturday, June 17 | 1 - 7 pm | Stoner/Hawkins Park
Schedule of Events:
1 pm - West Akron Parade (starts from Buchtel CLC. To join call 330-459-8711)
1 - 7 pm - Buy Black Business Market open
2 pm - Opening ceremony: Rites of Passage Institute
3 pm - Sponsor and community messages
4 pm - Gerald R. Carter Teen Talent Show
6 pm - Ancestral Balloon Release and Celebration, celebrating the life of Jayland Walker
Joy Park Juneteenth Festival
Monday, June 19 | 12 - 5 pm | Joy Park Community Center