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Bronzeville, Near South Side

Juneteenth May Not Be A National Holiday Yet, But Chicago Will Be Celebrating

Looking to celebrate 154 years since slavery was abolished in the United States? Here's your guide.

K Love The Poet performed at The Black Mall's Juneteenth celebration outside of Culture Connection in 2017.
Lee Edwards/Block Club Chicago

CHICAGO — One would think that Juneteenth, the longstanding holiday celebrating the emancipation of enslaved people living in the United States, would be a nationally recognized holiday by now.

It isn’t, but not for lack of trying.

This Juneteenth marks 154 years since the abolition of slavery in the United States.

While 45 states (including Illinois) observe Juneteenth (June 19) as an official or ceremonial holiday, progress on the federal level is at a standstill; the last chance may have died with the Obama administration.

In the meantime, we party on. Here’s your guide to Juneteenth, Chicago Style.

Seventh Annual Juneteenth Celebration at the National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum — The Black Mall hosts this annual event, which includes live performances, a children’s village and a parade. The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 15, at 817 E. 104th St. The event runs until 6 p.m. For more information, call 773-357-6154.

Muntu and BUFI Juneteenth Celebration — Hosted by the Muntu Dance Theater of Chicago, the day’s festivities will include face painting, skits, drumming, speakers, dancing, stilt walkers, music and refreshments from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, June 15, at 1809 E. 71st St. For more information, contact Iris Dunmore, 773-324-0494, ( or Delia Tyler, 773-241-6080, (

Juneteenth Celebration/1619 Production Preview — This celebration includes a preview of “1619,” a new production from Ted Williams and 3D Performance Group that will premiere at Kennedy-King College later in the summer. Attendees can expect to enjoy food, live performances and a robust conversation. The event runs from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, at Bronzeville Community Clubhouse, 3847 S. Giles Ave. For more information, click here.

Chicago Juneteenth Turn Up — Hosted by The Black Remembrance Project, an initiative led by black artists and activists in the city, this celebration will be from noon-3 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, at Pritzker Park, 344 S. State St.

Juneteenth at Chicago Urban Art Retreat Center — Attendees will have the chance to register to win a veggie garden for the summer and  to create a Peace Park to honor black heroes while enjoying food, face painting and drumming. There’s also a sculpture contest with a cash prize. The event runs from 2-6 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, at 1952 S. Trumbull. For more information, email

Juneteenth at Luther Memorial Church of Chicago — This celebration, which includes food, music and fun, runs from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, at 2500 W. Wilson Ave.

Celebrating Juneteenth at First Church of the Brethren Chicago — Runs from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, at 425 S. Central Park Blvd.

The Juneteenth This Time — If you’re in the mood for live music, check out this inspired lineup of performers June 20 at Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S. Morgan. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Westside Juneteenth Celebration — This family-friendly event will showcase artists and vendors from the West Side. Festivities kick off at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at  3450 W. Lake and run until 5 p.m. To register, click here.

Juneteenth Family Celebration at Dan Ryan Woods — This family-friendly event rounds out the celebration. Hosted by the Southwest Chicago Diversity Collaborative,  Burst Into Books and Moms of Beverly, attendees will enjoy live performances, arts and crafts, food vendors, games and more. The party runs from noon-5 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at 8700 S. Western Ave. For more information, click here.

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