15 Juneteenth Events To Attend in St. Louis This Weekend


Africans Rising Together 2063 will host its first Juneteenth walkathon. - SYNERGY MARKETING GROUP
  • Synergy Marketing Group
  • Africans Rising Together 2063 will host its first Juneteenth walkathon.

Juneteenth marks the day every citizen in the United States actually became free. After Union troops rode into Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865 — more than two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation — and freed the remaining slaves, celebrations broke out. The celebrations have continued yearly in Black communities since.

As of yesterday, Juneteenth is now a federally recognized holiday, showing how far the day has come far in its 156 years. That's cause for a celebration. Parades, parties, walks and bike rides are breaking out across St. Louis.

1. Jamo Presents Juneteenth Celebration
Taking place at the City Foundry, this celebration will host a plethora of options for everyone to celebrate Juneteenth. WePower, a community organization, will be hosting educational opportunities. There will also be interactive sports experiences, a vendor marketplace including food and drinks, dance performances and a yoga session from The Collective STL. DJ Lamar Harris will be performing a set and the night will end with a performance by Zida Lioness. The event begins at 12 p.m. and goes until 6 p.m. Entry is free and open to all ages. Find more information here: jamopresents.com/events

2. Juneteenth Cookout

Hosted at Fairground Park, the smells of barbecue will just be one perk of this celebration. There will be live music, COVID-19 vaccines available, a graffiti mural and a petting zoo. The cookout will also have a space for learning Black history and activities for kids. Free to attend, the cookout begins at 4 p.m. Masking and social distancing is encouraged.

3. First Annual Caribbean Heritage Walkathon
Africans Rising Together 2063 hosts its first walkathon at Cricket Field in Forest Park on Saturday. Mayor Tishaura Jones was named the honorary chair for this event.

"Juneteenth is a day when we not only celebrate our freedom, but also recognize that that freedom should not be taken for granted because we all know it is never guaranteed. I encourage everyone to show up, celebrate their heritage, and reflect on our shared history so we can build a brighter future for all in St. Louis and around the world," Mayor Jones said in a press release.

Jones will also be speaking at the event at 9 a.m. Attendees can sign up in sessions for one of four two-hour walks. The walkathon begins at 7 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. The sign-up fee is $18.65, a nod to the year 1865. Kids 12 and under are free. The proceeds go to ART 2063. For more information, visit their website: art2063.org/upcoming-events

4. Juneteenth Celebration in the University City Loop
The Delmar Loop (6655 Delmar Boulevard) will celebrate all Saturday long with musical guests galore. Presented by The Loop Special Business District and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Omicron Eta Omega. Most notably, Steve Ewing of The Urge will headline the event. Ewing has gathered other musicians to perform a "master blaster" tribute to Stevie Wonder. They'll hit the stage from 1 to 8 p.m.

Co-headliner Red and Black Brass Band will perform at 4 p.m.

Kicking the event off at 11 a.m., poets will perform their work and singer Ife Jacobs will take the stage. There will also be a dance troop, various art and music and educational presentations.

A new local band, the Slums, will perform at 2:45 p.m. The Slums perform every weekend in the Loop.

The Slums performing in the Delmar Loop. From left to right, Jared Spears (drums), Evan Wohlrabe (upright bass), Aidan Bartholet (guitar), Jack Morris (guitar). - KESHON DUKE
  • Keshon Duke
  • The Slums performing in the Delmar Loop. From left to right, Jared Spears (drums), Evan Wohlrabe (upright bass), Aidan Bartholet (guitar), Jack Morris (guitar).

"Playing for the Juneteenth celebration is something that came so rapidly fast at us but we are more than ready to put on the best performance so far. Juneteenth, as most know, is all about celebrating Black culture," The Slums band member Keshon Duke said. "For us, with such a diverse group of all cultures and especially for our Black brothers, this is more than a performance. Our entire careers are almost solely indebted to Black musicians and it is imperative that we execute it with creativity and precision. We can't wait to leave a mark on this historic occasion."

Visit their website for more information: exploreucity.com/events

5. Juneteenth Community Ride
A guided group on bikes will coast through the city streets in honor of the holiday. The Missouri History Museum hosts the event alongside organizations Trailnet and 4 the Ville, with the pace of the ride set to slow in order to allow everyone comfortable to participate. This year celebrates St. Louis' Black musicians, artists and history. The ride starts bright and early at 9 a.m. outside the Tandy Recreation Center at 4206 Kennerly Avenue. The riders will cover 11 miles and have six stops which comes out to roughly one hour of riding. Register on Trailnet's website: trailnet.org/rides

6.The Shelter Project Community Celebration

St. Louis Story Stitchers and the Wellston Loop Community Development Corporation are teaming up to host a celebration. Complete with a dance battle and COVID-19 vaccines, the event will honor Juneteenth and commemorate a new bus stop shelter and fence mural. The event's dance battle is open to ages 16 to 24, with people under 18 needing a guardian present. Registration for the dance battle begins at 12:30 p.m. Prizes will be given to the winners, with the top dog taking home $300. The event takes place from 12 to 3 p.m. at 1414 Hodiamont Avenue.

7. Juneteenth Festival
Artists First hosts a block party at 7190 Manchester Road with other small businesses Keep Pushing Inc., Sweet Tooth Bakery, Qsthetics and Hair and Beauty Restore. The party goes from 1 to 4 p.m.

8. Juneteenth Family Day
Hosted at Love Bank Park (2851 Cherokee Street, St. Louis, 63118), the family day will have cultural activities, food and music and a kid's corner. There will also be voter education. Stop by from 2 to 6 p.m.

9. Juneteenth Celebration at Earthdance Organic Farm School
From 2 to 6 p.m., Earthdance Organic Farm School (233 South Dade Avenue, Ferguson, 63135) will focus on Black entrepreneurship in order to celebrate Juneteenth. There will be live music, a speaker, African dancing by Diamond Dance Academy, food from 12oh7 Herban Eatery and drinks by Juice Masters. Entry is free but donations are encouraged. When RSVPing to the event, any donation made will go to 12oh7 Herban Eatery in order to allow the Black women-owned business to open a brick and mortar location. RSVP on the website: earthdancefarms.org/events

10. "Show Me" Juneteenth
Outside on Harris-Stowe University's soccer field (3026 Laclede Avenue), Midwest Show Me Funny Entertainment will host a fundraising event mixed with vendors and live entertainment. The website details the plan to fundraise to help combat homelessness. The event will take place on both June 19 and 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. View more on the site: showmejuneteenthstl.com

11. Field House Museum's Juneteenth Celebration
Wrapping up two exhibits, Field House Museum (634 South Broadway; 314-421-4689) will have food, music and speakers at its event. President of St. Louis Black Authors of Children's Literature Julius Anthony and founding president of the Annie Malone Historical Society Linda Nance will be speaking. The event begins at 1 p.m. and reservations are required. Register on Field House Museum's website: fieldhousemuseum.org

12. Juneteenth: A Sweet Celebration of Freedom
RFT file photo of La Patisserie Chouquette owner Simone Faure. - MABEL SUEN
  • RFT file photo of La Patisserie Chouquette owner Simone Faure.

La Patisserie Chouquette (1626 Tower Grove Avenue, St. Louis; 314-932-7935) will be celebrating the holiday with some recipes from the owner Simone Baure's hometown of New Orleans. Southern tea cakes, blackberry dumplings, banana pudding and sweet hibiscus tea will be just some of the offerings. Order online beginning at 8 a.m. on www.simonefaure.com. Pick-up begins at 10 a.m. The event is outdoors and will also have business Expedition Subsahara (830 Fee Fee Road; 314-985-8141) selling handmade woven baskets. Social distancing is encouraged.

13. Clayco Foundation's First Annual Juneteenth Fund Celebration
For those looking to stay inside on this hot weekend, Clayco Foundation will be livestreaming its first annual celebratory event. The celebration is catered by Black-owned businesses and features Black art and performers. This event honors donations made to Clayco Foundation's Juneteenth Fund. The donations made to the fund go to community-based organizations in both St. Louis and Chicago, such as Arch City Defenders. Watch the livestream on www.claycojuneteenthfund.com beginning at 5:30 p.m.

14. Juneteenth Freedom Celebration: Measuring Our Efficacy
Taking place outside the Marriott Hotel (800 Washington Avenue) on both June 18 and 19, this two-day event features music and keynote speakers like Rep. Cori Bush and St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell. Bush and Bell will be speaking on the 19, kicking the event off at 10 a.m. The party picks back up at 8 p.m. with a DJ and live band. Tickets are sold separately for each event, ranging from $35 to $50. There are also "staycation packages" offered by the hotel. Purchase tickets on Eventbrite.

15. Juneteenth Community Ride for Freedom
The route map for the Juneteenth Community Ride for Freedom. - MARY GOODMAN
  • Mary Goodman
  • The route map for the Juneteenth Community Ride for Freedom.

The second annual car parade will begin at 11 a.m. Remarks will be given by Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed at 11:30 a.m. He will then ride alongside the Aldermanic Black Caucus, Urban League of Metropolitan of St. Louis and members of the community at 12 p.m. The car parade will begin at the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis' headquarters at 1408 North Kingshighway Boulevard and take a route down Page. The route goes to Martin Luther King Dr., to Tucker, to Market, to Broadway and ends at 11 North 4th Street. A moment of silence will be observed at the Dred and Harriet Scott statue. Anyone is welcome to participate.

Email the author at jenna@riverfronttimes.com
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