10 Juneteenth Events for Chicago Families

Juneteenth is a holiday that celebrates the abolition of slavery in the United States. While it hasn’t been recognized as a national holiday, families have been celebrating on June 19 for 155 years, including Chicagoans. See our list to find Juneteenth events in Chicagoland for kids ranging from virtual events to car parades. 

Juneteenth Celebration

When: June 19, 10 a.m.-Noon

Hosted by: Sand Ridge Nature Center

Celebrate freedom, family and country with various guest presenters via Zoom discussing what lead up to this historic time in our nation’s history.

Juneteenth Capoeira

When: June 19, 11 a.m. & noon

Hosted by: Rise Training Academy

Kids can learn capoeira, the martial art that has given a force to the oppressed, as part of a Juneteenth celebration. Capoeira is an African diasporic martial art that integrates kicks, acrobatics and music. Historically, capoeira has helped arm people with a tool to defend their family and community. It has served as a method to provide camaraderie and support within the community. In-person class is limited to eight to maintain social distancing; entries for the virtual class will receive a link.

Juneteenth Car Parade

When: June 19, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Where: Four locations in Chicago

Bring flags, good energy and families for a car parade that rides through the city celebrating ancestors and a day of emancipation. Meet in one of four locations: South Side (87th and Dan Ryan), East Side (75th and Stony Island), West Side (Hamlin & Madison), North Side (North Ave. & Halsted). 

Black Culture Week Juneteenth Caravan

When: June 19, Noon-7:30 p.m.

Hosted by: Black Culture Week

Beginning on Chicago’s west Side, the City Wide Juneteenth Caravan will pass through historic neighborhoods and sites on its way to the South Side’s A. Phillip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum. View the caravan’s activities on a live stream from the organization’s website. The caravan ends with a recognition ceremony and spoken word concert.

Juneteenth Celebration

When: June 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Where: Centennial Park, Tinley Park

Families can break bread together as community while adhering to social distancing guidelines (water and prepackaged snacks) and close out the discussion with a reading of the poem “We Rose,” the “official” poem of the Juneteenth holiday.

Juneteenth Quarantine Concert

When: June 19, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Hosted by: Rebuild Foundation and Experimental Sound Studio

Proceeds from this concert, hosted just days before what would have been Tamir Rice’s 18th birthday, will support the Tamir Rice Foundation’s endeavors to create the Tamir Rice Afrocentric Cultural Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The concert, curated by Rebuild Artist in Residence Yaw Agyeman, will feature words and performances by artists Megan McNeal, Krista Franklin, Rebuild Poet Laureate avery r young and Rebuild DJ in Residence Duane Powell. This virtual concert will be filmed in the presence of the gazebo and broadcast online.

Juneteenth African Festival Of Flags

When: June 19, 6-8:30 p.m.

Where: O.N.E. Fitness, 24 Tyler Creek Plaza, Elgin

Of the 54 African flags, each car will represent one of Africa’s countries with pride and respect. If you would like to participate, contact the organizers, pick up your flag, and follow the appointed route to show solidarity and honor the great ancestors and many communities. 

A New Freedom: Black Voices Honoring Juneteenth in a Time of Struggle

When: June 19, 6 p.m.

Hosted by: Chicago Children’s Choir

Chicago Children’s Choir will stream a virtual concert of music and spoken word in honor of Juneteenth. Featured artists include Phillip Armstrong, Jonathan Green, Nicole Heaston, Chloé Johnson, Keanon Kyles, Brandon Lampkin, Jonita Lattimore, Avilla Martin, W. Mitchell Owens, III, Tramaine Parker, Michael Preacely, Isaiah Robinson, Rachel Robinson, Allison Semmes and Jonathan Swain. The concert will be live streamed on CCC’s Facebook and YouTube.

Virtual Juneteenth Celebration

When: June 19, 8 p.m.

Hosted by: The Old Town School of Folk Music & The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians

The performances by The Young Masters and the Great Black Music Ensemble will commemorate Juneteenth, the celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation and the abolishment of slavery in the United States.

The Free Black Children’s Library: Summer Pop-Up Series

When: Starting June 19

Where: Locations TBA

Browse free quality children’s books featuring black authors and illustrators that display an appreciation of black culture as it relates to race, civic engagement, social justices and human values. Masks are required when attending. Outdoor locations announced on June 19.

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