Juneteenth celebrations planned around Metro Richmond

Free Press staff report | 6/17/2021, 6 p.m.
The first official Juneteenth celebration in Virginia will be recognized with a variety of events throughout the area sponsored by ...

The first official Juneteenth celebration in Virginia will be recognized with a variety of events throughout the area sponsored by a range of organizations, groups and churches.

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, marks the day in 1865 that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, were informed that President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which was enacted on Jan. 1, 1863, freeing from bondage all enslaved people living in areas not under Union control, and that the Civil War had ended with a Union victory more than two months earlier.

In June 2020, Gov. Ralph S. Northam issued an executive order establishing Juneteenth as a permanent state holiday for executive branch employees and urged that it become an official state holiday “of education, reflection and celebration.”

In October, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation making Juneteenth an official state holiday.

Following is a list of several Juneteenth events taking place in and around Richmond:

The Elegba Folklore Society performs 8 p.m. Friday, June 18, at Dogwood Dell in Byrd Park as part of the 64th Annual Festival of Arts sponsored by the city Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities. Free. Details: parksandrecreation.richmondgov.com.

Love and Legacy Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration, featuring speakers, music, dance, entertainment, food trucks, children’s activities and information about community resources, will be held 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at The Landing at Fountain Lake in Byrd Park, 600 S. Arthur Ashe Blvd. The event is organized by Sherri Robinson, owner of ShowLove LLC. U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, Delegate Delores McQuinn and City Councilwoman Stephanie Lynch are among the expected speakers.

Freedom Day: Juneteenth in the Commonwealth, a virtual benefit sponsored by the Virginia State Conference NAACP, featuring entertainment, speakers and award presentations, 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 19. A Zoom link will be provided 48 hours prior to the event, which benefits the Virginia NAACP Freedom Fund. Details and tickets: vajuneteenth.org or (804) 321-5678.

Juneteenth Family History Fair Weekend, a series of virtual and in-person talks, will be hosted Friday, June 18, through Sunday, June 20, at Richmond Hill, 2209 E. Grace St. in Church Hill. The weekend begins 7 p.m. Friday with an opening virtual talk, “Finding Your Ancestors,” by Tony Burroughs, author of “Black Roots: A Beginner’s Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree.” Highlights from Saturday’s programs, which run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., include a virtual talk on the significance of Juneteenth with historian Dr. Lauranett Lee and counselor Corey Hancock; workshops with young adults and truth telling and on Church Hill and African-American history; archaeology tours led by Richmond Hill archaeologists Tim Roberts and Ellen Chapman; a dramatic interpretation of “Judy’s Story” by Margarette Joyner, founder and director of the Heritage Ensemble Theater; and “Night of a Thousand Conversations: A teach-in on Reparative Acts.” Sunday’s events kick off at 10 a.m. via Zoom with community workshops with local African-American churches, and continue until 7 p.m. with an African-centered ritual paying homage to enslaved ancestors; archaeology tours; a second performance of “Judy’s Story;” and evening prayers in the Richmond Hill Chapel . Suggested donation: $25 for an open entry pass. Details: www.richmondhillva.org/fair.

March for Unity, 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Saturday, June 19, from St. John’s Episcopal Church, 2401 E. Broad St., to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 1719 N. 22nd St. Program starts at 9 a.m. at St. John’s Church with poster making and face painting, followed by a joint worship service with homilist Bishop Susan Ellyn Goff, bishop suffragan and ecclesiastical authority of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. After the 1.5-mile walk to St. Peter’s Church, closing songs, prayers and blessings will be held inside Peter Paul Development Center, 1708 N. 22nd St. Bagged lunches will be served, followed by games. Free, but registration to help with preparation. Details and registration: www.eventbrite.com/e/juneteenth-freedom-day-tickets-156264373949.

Juneteenth Freedom Day at the 17th Street Market, featuring drumming, dancing and meditation, 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at the 17th Street Market, 100 N. 17th St. Hosted by BareSOUL Yoga & Wellness, Drums No Guns, The Well Collective, and the Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities. Bring a yoga mat and a lawn chair. Tickets are $10 and up. Details and tickets: www.eventbrite.com/e/juneteenth-2021-at-the-17th-street-market-tickets-157411922297

Juneteenth Commemoration: Acknowledging and Honoring Our Freedom, sponsored by Project Yoga Richmond in partnership with Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, offers a special Saturday Salutations through the yoga experience; 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, June 19, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Ave. Advance registration is required. Details and registration: lewisginter.org or (804) 262-9887.

Keep Our Kids Free Youth Talent Showcase & Block Party, noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at Six Points Innovation Center, 3001 Meadowbridge Road in Highland Park, sponsored by RISE for Youth and Community 50/50. Free event will feature youth performances, live music, food trucks, vendors and raffles. Details: riseforyouth.org

Legacy Band performs, 8 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at Dogwood Dell in Byrd Park as part of Festival of Arts sponsored by city Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities. Details: parksandrecreation.richmondgov.com

Juneteenth at Dorey Park in Henrico County, 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 19, featuring live music, food trucks, games and activities for kids, historical interpreters, a vendor fair and car club expo by the Urban Wranglers RVA and Urban Jeepz New England. Performers include the Henrico County Public Schools Black Student Union, Elegba Folklore Society, Bak N Da Day, Happiness Dance Studios, Ezibu Muntu and Plunky & Oneness. A fireworks finale will begin at 9 p.m. Free. Sponsored by Henrico Recreation and Parks in conjunction with Evolution 400, HCPS Black Student Union and Henrico Branch NAACP. Dorey Park, 2999 Darbytown Road in Eastern Henrico. Details: henrico.us/calendar/juneteenth2021/

Juneteenth in the Park, a day of learning, reflection and fun, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at Pocahontas State Park, 10301 State Park Road in Chesterfield County. The event will include entertainment, storytelling with Sheila Arnold, food trucks, vendors and self-guided activities. Details: www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/park-event-info?id=PO210175-00 or (804) 796-4255.

Juneteenth Zumba dance event, a free 90-minute class, 9:45 a.m. Saturday, June 19, at the Chester Family YMCA, 3011 W. Hundred Road in Chester. Details: www.facebook.com/events/314364556948379?ref=newsfeed or (804) 748-9622.

StoryWalks, hosted by the Chesterfield County Public Library, at various parks, libraries and venues around the county from Friday, June 18, to Friday, July 2. Take a walk and view a picture book at the locations during park and library hours. StoryWalks: “All Different Now” by Angela Johnson, Bensley Recreation Center, 2900 Drewrys Bluff Road and Ettrick-Matoaca Library, 4501 River Road, Petersburg; “Juneteenth Jamboree” by Carole Boston Weatherford, River City Sportsplex, 13030 Genito Road, Midlothian; and “Juneteenth for Mazie” by Floyd Cooper, Central Library, 7051 Lucy Corr Blvd. and Midlothian Mines Park, 13301 N. Woolridge Road, Midlothian. Details: www.chesterfield.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2073

Juneteenth Powhatan 2021, a celebration of culture, commerce and history, will be held 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 19, on the lawn by the Habitat for Humanity Powhatan ReStore, 1922 Urbine Road in Powhatan County. Participants include local author and historian Sandra Morris Kemp, food vendors, Black entrepreneurs and artisans and vintage cars from the Powhatan Cruizers. Details: habitatpowhatan.org or (804) 594-7009.

Juneteenth and Our Youths, an in-person, outdoor Eucharist service, 9 a.m. Sunday, June 20, at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 2900 Hanes Ave. in North Side. Registration required by 5 p.m. Friday, June 18. Details and registration: www.aplos.com/aws/events/st_philips_juneteenth_and_youth_celebration or (804) 321-1266.

Juneteenth 2021, A Freedom Celebration, a 25th anniversary Juneteenth observance sponsored by the Elegba Folklore Society, 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 27, at the African Burial Ground, 1540 E. Broad St. Theme: Dancing With the Ancestors. The Get Woke Youth Summit starts at 1 p.m., with the stage and grounds fully open at 2 p.m. Dr. Gerald Horne, the Moores professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston, will give a virtual talk on the structures and effects of socio-political and economic white supremacy with strategies for liberation. Butcher Brown will provide music, with performances by Elegba Folklore Society’s African dancers, drummers, singers and masquerades. Atlanta-based rapper Sa-Roc will emcee. Tickets are $5; children under 12, free. Details and tickets: www.efsinc.org or (804) 644-3800.