The second annual Juneteenth HBG celebration is back, featuring a week-long series of events and entertainment ranging from concerts, reenactments, art experiences, conferences and vendor markets. This month’s celebration is set to be the biggest event yet according to the host organization Young Professionals of Color-Greater Harrisburg (YPOC).
“Juneteenth is American history. We need to learn and grow from the lessons that history holds. Juneteenth is everyone’s history,” said Kimeka Campbell, co-founder of YPOC. “We came up with this programming based on events from 2020 and 2021 and wanting to serve the community.”
Juneteenth, short for June 19, commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States. It is recognized as the day in June 1865 when 250,000 people in Galveston, Texas, received word that they had been freed from slavery. While celebrations of the holiday date back to as early as the year after those last slaves were freed, Juneteenth was only officially recognized as a national holiday in 2021.
- READ MORE: What is Juneteenth? Holiday commemorates end of slavery in the U.S.
Visitors can join the celebration starting June 11 through June 19 in Harrisburg.
Throughout the week, visitors will be able to shop at local Black-owned businesses at the Juneteenth Jubilee, which will take place on June 19 at Reservoir Park. The event will showcase live music, local vendors, speakers, talent acts and community resources. Along with Jubilee, there will be other events during the week of Juneteenth that will allow people to shop at minority owned shops.
Earlier in the week, organizers will hold a concert, featuring rapper Bow Wow, at XL Live, a Harriet Tubman reenactment, and a “Paint Noir” interactive art event with artist Bryan “King Prolifik” Hickman on City Island.
Some family events to attend are the discovery walk & restaurant crawl and The Paint Noir Art Event. The events for Community involvement start with the Capital Kick-Off, HARP Love in Action Protest, and Meeting of the Minds.
Additionally, there will be a downtown restaurant crawl, a joint event with UPMC’s “Healthy Harrisburg” program and a kickoff event at the state Capitol. A Juneteenth conference will be held on June 14 at HACC, featuring local speakers from the region and nationally renowned keynote speaker Michael Eric Dyson. The event will include interactive sessions, panel discussions and a Q&A. Many of the events are free, but some require tickets.
Juneteenth HBG Events
Meeting of the Minds Community Summit: June 11, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Keystone Building
Capital Kick-Off: June 12, 12 to 2 p.m. at the state Capitol steps
Harp Love in Action Protest: June 13, 3 to 5 p.m., at the Harrisburg Mall parking lot, opposite the Dauphin County Prison
Juneteenth Conference: June 14, 12 to 6 p.m. at HACC
It’s Lit Black Theater Cafe + Harriet Tubman Reenactment: Wednesday, June 15, 6 to 8 p.m. at Open Stage Theatre
Paint Noir: Thursday, June 16, 6 to 10 p.m. at the City Island carousel pavilion
Discovery Walk and Restaurant Crawl: Friday, June 17, 5 to 10 p.m., starting at Ad Lib Kitchen and Craft Bar inside the Hilton Harrisburg
UPMC Healthy Harrisburg Kick-Off: June 18, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on N. 2nd Street in downtown Harrisburg
Juneteenth Concert: June 18, 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) at XL Live
Juneteenth Jubilee: June 19, 1 to 8 p.m. at Reservoir Park
Visit the festival website for more information.
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