Chicago Juneteenth events: Museums, festivals, food trucks and more | See list

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team and Karen Jordan WLS logo
Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Juneteenth celebrated in Chicago at DuSable Black History Museum
Juneteenth was celebrated Wednesday in Chicago at the DuSable Black History Museum, marking the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas learned they were free.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when enslaved people of African descent in Galveston, Texas learned that they were free. That was more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

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Here are some Juneteenth events happening around Chicago on Wednesday, June 19:

Juneteenth Celebration at DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center

The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center is holding its annual free Juneteenth festival. The event offers music performances, food trucks and vendors from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. More information to this event can be found here.

The celebration at the museum is in its third year, and it is the largest observation of the holiday in the city.

Crowds showed up Wednesday despite the heat, enjoying the music, the vendors and the food trucks, but most of all it is a recognition of what the day represents.

"I'm 62 years old, and I did not know anything about Juneteenth when I was younger," Kristine Hansberry said.

Kristine is the niece of playwright Lorraine Hansberry, the author of the play "A Raisin in the Sun." Hansberry says her Aunt would have been inspired by the holiday.

"I think that may have been another play... may have been 'Raisin in the Juneteenth," Hansberry said.

With each observation of Juneteenth, the holiday becomes a history lesson for a wider audience.

"They toiled under enslavement for an extra two and a half years not knowing, deliberately not being told that they were free people," said Perri Irmer, President and CEO of the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center.

A performance from singer Glenn Jones caps off the day.

'Life Within The Lens: Juneteenth Edition'

At Chicago's Music Box Theater, "Life Within The Lens: Juneteenth Edition" will feature five short films. All of them, the works of Black filmmakers here in Chicago. Click here for more information.

Boxing Out Negativity Juneteenth Celebration

Join Boxing Out Negativity at 1616 S. Avers Ave. for its fourth annual Juneteenth celebration. The event will run from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on June 19. More information about this event can be found here.

Juneteenth Youth Olympics

Pullman Museum President David Peterson Jr. talks about this year's celebration.

The 12th Annual Juneteenth Community Recommitment Celebration at The National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum is from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. It will feature a parade, block party, festival and more. RSVPs are required and can be done here.

Juneteenth Market

The Juneteenth Market at the Promontory in Chicago will host 30 Black-owned businesses, DJ sets and local food vendors. This event is free and open to the public from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

360 CHICAGO Honors Juneteenth

360 CHICAGO at the John Hancock Building will honor Juneteenth by featuring Black-owned businesses from noon to 2 p.m. Tickets are required for entry and will include free admission to shop with the featured vendors. Tickets can be purchased here.

Juneteenth Day Party

Celebrate Juneteenth with music, food and more from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Virgin Hotels Chicago. Tickets for this event can be purchased here.

Chicago Walk For Freedom

Dr. Opal Lee, called by some the "grandmother of Juneteenth," is hosting a nationwide 2.5 mile walk.

The distance represents the amount of time it took to enforce President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.

Chicago's 'Walk for Freedom' is taking place at 9 a.m., starting at 31st Street Beach.

Aurora Juneteenth

The City of Aurora is concluding its weeklong celebration of Juneteenth with a Youth Summit Wednesday morning...and a Juneteenth flag raising ceremony Wednesday afternoon.

More than 100 predominantly Black young people will gather to hear and be part of different discussions on a variety of topics, including college preparation and how to interact with law enforcement.

That's from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the North Island Center.

Aurora's flag raising ceremony starts just 30 minutes later at 1 p.m. at the same location.

SEE ALSO | ABC7 celebrates Juneteenth with 'Our Chicago: Food for the Soul' special hosted by Cheryl Burton

READ MORE | What's open, what's closed on Juneteenth 2024