Release Date: June 13,2022
City of Akron Celebrates Juneteenth Independence Day
Municipal offices closed Monday June, 20
Akron, Ohio, June 13, 2022 — Last year, Akron City Council passed a resolution presented by Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Council President Margo Sommerville to designate June 19 as Juneteenth Independence Day in the City of Akron. Additionally, in 2021 President Joe Biden signed legislation into law establishing Juneteenth National Independence Day as a US federal holiday commemorating the proclamation of the end of slavery in the United States. All City of Akron municipal offices will be closed for business on Monday, June 20, 2022 in observance of the Juneteenth Independence Day.
On June 19, 1865, more than 2 years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation — enslaved Americans in Galveston, Texas, finally received word that they were free from bondage. As those who were formerly enslaved were recognized for the first time as citizens, Black Americans came to commemorate Juneteenth with celebrations across the country, building new lives and a new tradition that we now honor with this holiday.
"Juneteenth Independence Day is a day of celebration and unity but also one of remembrance," said Mayor Dan Horrigan. "I am honored to be able to share this day with our residents and to officially recognize it as the newest national holiday. Juneteenth offers us a prime opportunity to recommit ourselves to the work of equity, equality, and justice right here in our own community. And I encourage all Akronites to take part in one of the many celebrations and educational events happening for Juneteenth.”
There are several community events planned to recognize Juneteenth Independence Day:
Saturday, June 18
- Ward 5 Councilwoman Tara Mosley will host a Juneteenth Festival at Joy Park Community Center (825 Fuller St.) from 12-6 p.m. More information can be found on the Facebook page for the event here. There will also be a Ward 5 Meet and Greet on Friday June 17 from 6-8pm at the Joy Park Community Center.
- Students With a Goal (SWAG) is hosting a Juneteenth Celebration at Summit Lake from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. featuring guest speakers Dr. Philathia Bolton and Kwame Williams. The Celebration will also include community pop-up vendors and guided lake canoeing.
- New Generation will host a Youth Juneteenth Event at Perkins Park from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. The event includes family-friendly music and games for children of all ages, a “What is Juneteenth?” coloring contest for young children and an essay contest for older children.
- Downtown Akron Partnership will host a Juneteenth Celebration at Lock 3 from 5-10 p.m.
- The event starts with a ticketed dinner and community conversation from 5-6:30 p.m. Tickets are limited to 90 people and will be available to purchase for $10 each. Learn more and sign up here.
- Music and dancing with DJ Forest “Getemgump” Webb and the Unit Band will run from 7-10 p.m. and is free and open to all.
Sunday, June 19
- The Akron Black Coalition presents the 24th Annual Akron Juneteenth Festival. The festival kicks off at 12pm with the West Akron Parade hosted by the Buchtel Parent-Teacher Association. The parade starts at Buchtel CLC (1040 Copley Rd) and ends at Stoner/Hawkins Park (1201 S. Hawkins Ave.). The festival then continues at the park from 1-7pm and will have food, a Black business market, the Gerald R. Carter Teen Talent Show, flag football games, the West Side car show, and more!
Curb service will continue as normal on Monday, June 20. There will be no delays in service with trash/recycle collections Monday through Friday. To get reminders and alerts about your household’s curb service schedule, please download the Akron Recycles app for free on Android or Apple devices.