Juneteenth marks the day, June 19, 1865, that Union Soldiers arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation and free the enslaved peoples of the state. Though not declared a national holiday until last year, Juneteenth has been celebrated by the African American and Black community as the end of slavery for over a century.
Ohio has some special history involving Emancipation celebrations. In fact, Gallipolis is home to the longest running emancipation celebration as their annual festivities started in September 1863 when President Lincoln announced he would free slaves in the Confederacy—nearly two years before the news reached Galveston. Ohio also is well known for its role in the Underground Railroad.
Today, communities across Ohio host many Juneteenth events to celebrate African American history, art, culture and further educate Americans on African American history.
Browse our list below to find events in your area, and feel free to research more events on your own.
June 17— Embrace diversity and celebrate local and national history at Marietta College's Juneteenth Celebration in the green space next to the Hermann Fine Arts Center on Butler Street.
June 18—Ohio University is holding a Juneteenth Health Walk (4th Floor, Baker Center) to kick off the Juneteenth Festival on the College Green.
June 16—Trotwood Branch of Dayton Metro Library is hosting a Juneteenth Celebration full of song, dance, and poetry.
June 17—Enjoy Paul Laurence Dunbar: A Juneteenth Celebration with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. The concert celebrates Dunbar's 150th birthday with a blend of classical and gospel music.
June 17—Springboro is hosting their second annual Juneteenth Jubilee complete with food trucks and live music.
June 18—Celebrate Eden Park's 35th annual Juneteenth Festival.
June 18—Key Better Days Society is organizing a Parade Through Middletown.
June 19—In honor of Juneteenth, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will offer free admission for the evening to explore its galleries and enjoy performances by local spoken word artist and poets.
June 20—The first Juneteenth Cincinnati Parade will be hosted by Hands that Heal Homeless Organization and YourGo2Girl Youth Arts and Entertainment.
June 20—Kettering’s Community Relations and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department is hosting Juneteenth in Kettering: A Celebration of Shared Freedom will take place at Polen Farm.
See more events in Cincinnati.
See more events in Dayton.
June 18—Juneteenth on the Ave, a collaboration between many community-based organizations focused on Black resilience and creativity, will be at Mayme Moore Park.
June 18/19—Juneteenth Ohio presents the 25th annual Juneteenth Ohio Festival at Genoa Park.
June 19—Ohio Village Jubilee Day Festival will feature storytelling, dance, and theatrical reenactments of Juneteenth from the National Association of Black Storytellers, Ohio Black Dance, and Watoto Storytellers.
See more events.
June 18—Get inspired by incredible performances at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Juneteenth special event.
June 19—Inaugural University Heights Juneteenth Celebration will be hosted at Walter Stinson Community Park.
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June 18—Toledo Lucas County Public Library has partnered with the NAACP to bring a weekend full of Juneteenth Events.
June 19—To honor the past and welcome the future, the Toledo Museum of Art is presenting a Concert: Out of the Dark – Into the Light.
See more events.
Celebrate Juneteenth, Black Music Month, and LGBTQ+ Pride with AARP this June!
Events are subject to change without notice. Please check with the event organizer for the latest updates before you go.
This story is provided by AARP Ohio. Visit the AARP Ohio page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
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