June 2021

Here’s how Columbus is celebrating Juneteenth this weekend

Courtesy of The Columbus Dispatch
By Tatyana Tandanpolie
June 15, 2021

On Saturday, June 19, Americans around the country will celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the Emancipation Proclamation in the U.S.

In 2021, the holiday carries extra weight, given the yearlong conversations about race and the nation’s troubled history. There’s a move to officially acknowledge the holiday at local, state and federal government levels.

In Columbus, that push has been adopted by Franklin County commissioners, but not yet the city of Columbus or the Ohio General Assembly. So only the public employees overseen by the county commission will get a paid holiday in conjunction with the date.

Some private employers give their workers the day off as well.

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What is Juneteenth?
On June 19, 1865, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger informed a reluctant community in Galveston, Texas, that President Abraham Lincoln had freed enslaved people in rebel states two and a half years earlier. He pressed locals to comply with the directive.

Although Lincoln proclaimed the emancipation of enslaved people, effective Jan. 1, 1863, enslavers were responsible for telling them that they were free, and some ignored the order until Union troops arrived to enforce it, according to Cliff Robinson, founder of Texas was the last Confederate state to have the proclamation announced.

Though the story of Texas’ emancipation is the most widely known, other significant events in the history of emancipation took place on and around that date. The first known Juneteenth celebrations began in 1866 and spread across the country as African Americans migrated to new cities.

The Dispatch has compiled a list of Juneteenth celebrations happening throughout central Ohio during the holiday weekend.

Juneteenth Celebration — Growing & Growth Collective
1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, June 17, The King Arts Complex, 835 Mount Vernon Ave.; organized by The King Arts Complex, free:

1st Annual Juneteenth Celebration and 2nd Annual Black Yoga Showcase
June 18-20, noon to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Culture Lounge, Events and Suites, 6170 Busch Blvd.: organized by Black Yoga Collective, free (vendors on site):

Donation Kundalini Yoga Class — Celebrate Solstice and Juneteenth!
4 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 19, 4-5 p.m. at Yoga Well-Being, 296 W. 4th Ave.; organized by Yoga Well-Being, free, but will be collecting donations for Impact Community Action: Yoga Well-Being Facebook page

Juneteenth Block Party
June 19, noon to 1:15 p.m. Saturday, Training Camp Ohio, 5095 Westerville Road; organized by Empire City Fitness, $12: Juneteenth Block Party Facebook page

Employ the Neighborhood Juneteenth Job Fair Block Party
3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, North Side: Faith Ministries Church, 2747 Agler Road and East Side: New Birth Christian Ministries, 3475 Refugee Road; organized by Canvaas, Adidas, Look Ma’ No Hands Non-Profit Organization and Sole Classics, free:

Juneteenth Jubilee
June 19, 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Goodale Park, 120 W. Goodale St.; hosted by Black Liberation Movement Central Ohio (BLMCO), free (vendors on site); RSVP:

Juneteenth Community Festival
June 19, 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Phenix Banquet Center, 2101 Noe Bixby Road; hosted by Phenix Event Venue Columbus, $5; tickets available through Eventbrite:

A Juneteenth Symphony
June 19, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Flavor 91 Bistro, 5186 E. Main St., Whitehall; hosted by Columbus Cultural Orchestra, $10 admission for in-person attendees, free for Facebook live viewers (donations appreciated); Juneteenth Symphony Facebook page

Black Music — The Soundtrack of Humanity
Saturday, June 19, 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, online event; organized by Ohio History Connection and the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center; $20, or $5 for Ohio History Connection members, free for premium members:

Reynoldsburg’s 2nd Annual Juneteenth — A Celebration of Resilience
June 19, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Huber Park, 1640 Davidson Drive, Reynoldsburg; organized by the City of Reynoldsburg, free (vendors on site):

Fishing with Dad and A Taste of Juneteenth
June 19, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, the Columbus Urban League, 788 Mount Vernon Ave.; organized by Columbus Urban League and Central Ohio African American Chamber of Commerce, free (vendors on site): Columbus Urban League Facebook page

Celebration of Juneteenth
June 19, 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Kelton House Museum & Garden, 586 E. Town St.; organized by Kelton House Museum and Garden, free:

Jokes on Juneteenth
June 19, 8 to 11 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.) Saturday, Bottoms Up Coffee, 1069 W. Broad St.; organized by Cap City Comics, $10 in advance, $15 at the door:

Juneteenth Block Party
June 19, 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Alum Creek Park Ampitheater, 221 W. Main St., Westerville; organized by WeRISE for Greater Westerville, free (vendors on site):

Love and Light BBQ
June 20, 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Goodale Park, 120 W. Goodale St.; hosted by Hydrohelpers, free (food vendors on-site);

Information from USA TODAY’s N’dea Yancey-Bragg is included in this story.

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