KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Juneteenth is recognized annually on June 19, but there are events going on all weekend in Kansas City.
Officially known as Juneteenth National Independence Day, it’s the nation’s newest holiday. President Joe Biden signed a law last year designating Juneteenth as the 12th federal holiday in the United States.
The day commemorates the date Union soldiers brought news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, in 1865, two months after the Confederacy had surrendered in the Civil War and about 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in Southern states.
This year the holiday will officially be recognized on Monday since June 19 is a Sunday. Here are several ways to celebrate Juneteenth in Kansas City this year:
Juneteenth in the Dotte
Celebrate the holiday with Wyandotte County for its inaugural event where there’s a parade, live music, food trucks, vendors and more at this free family event.
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday
Where: The Village Initiative, 3004 N. 27th St., Kansas City, Kansas
JuneteenthKC Heritage Festival
Celebrate African American pride and culture at the 10th annual JuneteenthKC Heritage Festival in the 18th and Vine District.
There will be a variety of performers on two stages, as well as a Margarita War and a Blues, Bike and Car Show in one of Kansas City’s most historical neighborhoods.
When: Noon to 9 p.m., Saturday
Where: 18th and Vine District, Kansas City
Juneteenth in JoCo
Juneteenth is now an official holiday in Johnson County, Kansas, and the county has been celebrating all week under the theme is “Learn the Past…Change the Future.” While the official holiday will be Monday, there are events this weekend throughout JoCo with speakers, live music, rallies and more.
3rd Annual Advocacy and Awareness Peace March and Rally
When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday
Where: Thomspon Park, Overland Park
Prairie Village’s Juneteenth Freedom Celebration
When: 4-8 p.m., Saturday
Where: Harmon Park, Prairie Village
When: Noon to 1:30 p.m., Sunday
Where: Johnson County Square, Olathe
Juneteenth Parade and Festival
The Leavenworth branch of the NAACP is hosting a parade and festival this Saturday, featuring live music, food and vendors.
The Leavenworth event will also include a remembrance to honor three people that were lynched in the town in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
When: 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday
Where: Bob Dougherty Park, Leavenworth
Juneteenth Heritage Jubilee
Weston is steeped in history, but residents are remembering the people who slipped through the cracks this weekend. The event will also feature live music, poetry, folk art and more.
When: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Ben Holladay Park, Weston