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Observe Juneteenth in Kansas City

Wednesday, June 19 marks the 158-year anniversary of the end of institutional slavery in the US. Commemorate the day with these events across the metro.

juneteenth kansas city dancers

We got rhythm, we got pride. We birth kings, we birth tribes.

Photo by @KansasCity

Juneteenth is Wednesday, June 19. Our newest federal holiday originated in Texas, dating back to 1865. It was on that day the enslaved people of Galveston learned they had been freed — nearly two and a half years after the implementation of the Emancipation Proclamation. Annual celebrations started in 1866 and have continued on to this day.

Want to observe the US’ second “Freedom Day?” Here’s how you can commemorate Juneteenth across Kansas City.

Juneteenth Film Festival | Now-Wednesday, June 26 | Times vary | Screenland Armour, 408 Armour Rd., North Kansas City, MO | $13 | Watch the creations of local Black filmmakers such as “Kansas City Dreamin’” alongside other works highlighting the Black community.

Juneteenth Week | Friday, June 14-Saturday, June 22 | Multiple locations, St. Joseph, MO | Prices vary | One day couldn’t cut it for St. Jo e— the city’s week-long celebration includes a golf tournament, gala, and a picnic.

KC Black Owned’s Juneteenth Jumpoff | Friday, June 14 | 6-8 p.m. | Roxford at the Crosswalks Apartments, 1020 E. Armour Blvd., KCMO | Free entry | Shop local Black-owned businesses, enjoy sips from Vine Street Brewing, and fill up on bites from Taste of Kansas City BBQ truck.

Juneteenth Summer Celebration + Street Fair | Saturday, June 15 | 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. | Prairiefire, 5661 W. 135th St., Overland Park, KS | Free entry | This family-friendly event will feature a parade, bounce houses, vendors, and even a special appearance from KC Wolf.

Juneteenth Heritage Festival | Saturday, June 15 | 12-10 p.m. | 18th & Vine District, KCMO | $30 | Headlined by Kelly Price herself, this district-wide party has everything from local Black art vendors to morning hip-hop yoga.

juneteenth parade 2023

Can’t rain on this parade.

Photo by @KansasCity

Juneteenth Twilight Parade + Festival | Saturday, June 15 | 6:45 p.m. | Haymarket Square, 649 Cherokee St., Leavenworth, KS | Free entry | Cheer on the parade, then listen to live music while shopping.

Juneteenth Celebration | Wednesday, June 19 | 9 a.m.-4 p.m. | Olathe Public Library, multiple locations | Shop the Black business pop-up market and enjoy a wide array of family-centered activities.

BlaKC | Wednesday, June 19 | 8-9:30 p.m. | The Bird Comedy Theater, 103 W. 19th St., KCMO | Donations encouraged | Break out your belly laughs — this troupe of local Black comedians are headlining and have plans to make you cackle all night long.

8th Annual Juneteenth Festival | Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, KCMO | Thursday, June 20 | 10 a.m.-9 p.m. | Free | Stop by for live music, dancing, film screenings, and more.

Electric Makossa: An EDM celebration of Juneteenth | Saturday, June 22 | 7-11:59 p. m. | Equal Minded Night-Lounge & Event Venue, 4327 Troost Ave., KCMO | $10 | Translated as “(I) dance” in the Douala language, Makossa represents Cameroon’s post-independence musical pride.

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