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Release Date: June 1,2023

Downtown Akron Juneteenth Events Kick-Off Juneteenth Celebrations Across the City

June 1, 2023, Akron, OH — Downtown Akron will host Juneteenth celebrations alongside long-running neighborhood celebrations this year with a Juneteenth mix and mingle at the Knight Stage on Friday, June 9, and a family celebration on Saturday, June 10. This year’s downtown Akron event expands to two days and celebrates Black culture with an emphasis on celebrating freedom and Black joy. The mix and mingle event will be an opportunity for community members to enjoy time together, network and get to know some of downtown Akron’s Black-owned businesses. The family celebration on Saturday includes live music, dance performances, vendors from Black-owned businesses, a spoken word performance and more. More information about the Downtown Akron Juneteenth Celebration and Juneteenth celebrations throughout Akron can be found at

“Guests can expect two uplifting events celebrating Black history, joy, and resilience,” says Ebony Hill, owner of Hilltastic Coaching and Consulting, and downtown Akron Juneteenth planning committee member. “Both events will be filled with culture, community, music, and food. It’s a great kick-off to the Juneteenth neighborhood celebrations in the coming days.”

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the date on which Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas and announced that 250,000 enslaved people in Texas were free by executive decree. More than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, scores of enslaved people were finally freed when Confederate control of the state was dissolved. Newly freed people in Texas christened the day “Juneteenth,” and the day has been celebrated for over 150 years. In 2021, Juneteenth became a federal holiday

June 9 Mix & Mingle

The mix and mingle portion of the Downtown Akron Juneteenth Celebration will be held at The Knight Stage in the Akron Civic Theatre complex on Friday, June 9, from 5 to 9 pm. DJ Vinny will provide music for the evening, and free small bites will be available from Black-owned downtown eateries, including Ernie’s Catering and Event Planning, DeJuan’s, Urban Gourmet, Perfect Pour and Essential Dipped Delights. One restaurant will be showcased every hour with a presentation of their food and an interview of the food entrepreneur. A cash bar featuring signature drinks from Perfect Pour will also be available. Guests will receive a commemorative tile featuring artwork by Diane Johnson (as supplies last). Admission is free, but space is limited and registration is required. Tickets are available at:

June 10 Family Day

A family-oriented celebration will be held on Cascade Plaza in downtown Akron on Saturday, June 10, from 5 to 10 pm and will feature music from DJ J Boogie, a dance performance by Black Beanz, a spoken word performance with Xposyur, crafts and games, Black-owned business vendor fair, food trucks and a headlining performance from the nine-piece band, FunkyardX. The event is free and open to all. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

For more information about Juneteenth in Akron, visit

The 2023 Downtown Akron Juneteenth Celebration is presented by DAP in partnership with Akron Civic Theatre, the City of Akron, 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.