PHOENIX — Juneteenth, a mix between the words June and nineteenth, marks the day that the last enslaved people in Galveston, Texas learned of their freedom.
Issued by President Lincoln on January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation stated that all enslaved people in Confederate states “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” However, the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t immediately take effect and it took over two years for the news to travel to Texas.
On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger delivered the news freeing over 250,000 enslaved people in Texas. In the following year on June 19, freedmen in the state held “Jubilee Day,” which later became known as the first official Juneteenth celebration.
Today, the holiday is a time for Black Americans to commemorate the history and celebrate.
There are many events planned around the Valley.
Juneteenth Paint and Sip
The Arizona Coalition for Change and Our Voice, Our Vote Arizona are hosting a Juneteenth celebration on June 17 with paint, canvass, snacks, and drinks. Tickets for non-members. are $25. Members get in free. More information.
Details: June 17, 6-9 p.m., Civic Market, 201 South Washington St., Chandler, AZ 85225
Tempe Juneteeth 2021 Festival
The City of Tempe will host a Juneteenth Festival at the Tempe History Museum. The celebration will feature the Black National Anthem, proclamations from the city, live performances, and the presentation of “Our Stories," which honors the women who led the African American Advisory Committee. There will also be some exhibitions, photographs, and children's activities.
Details: June 18, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m., Tempe History Museum, 809 E. Southern Ave. Tempe, Arizona 85282. More information.
Valley of the Sun Juneteenth Celebration
The family-friendly event will feature live music, educational workshops, and arts and crafts. The celebration will also provide free health screenings, a youth essay contest and soul food.
Details: June 19, 5-10 p.m., Eastlake Park, 1549 East Jefferson St., Phoenix, AZ 85034. More information.
City of Chandler Juneteenth Celebration
The City of Chandler and Chander 4 Change are celebrating Juneteenth with a car caravan and a festival at Folley Park. The caravan begins at 4 p.m. followed by the festival. There will be food trucks, music, vendors, and other live entertainment.
Details: June 19, Caravan starts at 4 p.m., Folley Park, 601 E. Frye Rd., Chandler, AZ, 85225. More information.
Chandler Culture Music in the Park
Pack a lunch or order takeout from one of the nearby restaurants and head to Dr. AJ Chandler Park in downtown Chandler to listen to live music from Kreative Culture and DJ Slim. Lawn chairs are OK to bring. Music starts at 8 p.m.
Details: June 19, Dr. AJ Chandler Park, 3 S. Arizona Avenue, Chandler, AZ 85225, 8 p.m. - 11:30 p.m. More information.
Mesa Historical Museum Juneteenth Program
Learn about the Matriarchs of Washington Park and their activism efforts in Mesa. Portraits and a documentary film will be used to tell their story.
Details: June 19, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Mesa Historical Museum, 2345 N. Horne, Mesa, AZ 85203. More information.
Park After Dark Juneteenth Celebration
Head over to Downtown Tempe to enjoy a night of spoken word and live jazz. Pedal Haus Brewery will be providing drinks for purchase.
Details: June 19, 7-10 p.m., 6th Street Park, 24 E. 6th St., Tempe, AZ 85281. More information.
Scottsdale's Juneteenth Freedom Celebration
This family-friendly celebration will feature a performance by violinist Jonathan Levingston, a TikTok dance-off, and multiple raffles. Make sure to bring chairs, blankets, and pillows.
Details: June 19, 2-7 p.m., McCormick Stillman Ranch Railroad Park, 7301 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85250. More information.
If you’re looking to support Black businesses, sample and enjoy a collection of wines from Black-owned and operated wineries. There will also be food trucks and games and a portion of the proceeds will go to The Buffalo Soldiers of the Arizona Territory. Tickets go on sale tomorrow (June 17) for $30.
Details: June 19, 3-8 p.m., Mark Coronado Park, 15850 North Bullard Ave., Surprise, AZ 85374. More information.
Afro-Brunch and Chill
N29 Entertainment is hosting an Afro-Brunch at Wasted Grain in Scottsdale. The event will include African-inspired cuisine, DJs, and a vendor marketplace. The event is for those 21 and up only. Tickets are $30.
Details: June 19, 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Wasted Grain, 7295 E. Stetson Dr., Scottsdale, AZ 85251. More information.
Juneteenth Comedy Show
Join comedians Esau McGraw, Seth Easyliving, and Mr. Showtyme Sincere for laughs and live music from the Rhythm Edition Band. Tickets are $20.
Details: June 19, 6:30-11:30 p.m., West Alley BBQ and Smokehouse, 111 West Boston St., Chandler, AZ 85225. More information.