Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, is a celebratory tradition dating back more than 150 years commemorating General Gordon Granger’s reading of federal orders in the city of Galveston, Texas, proclaiming all slaves were to be free in the state of Texas. After almost two and half years since the Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed slaves, June 19, 1865 is often recognized as the end of slavery in the United States.
Organizations in the Oklahoma City metro are welcoming families to engage in important conversations about race, racial injustice and equality while having fun together. Here are a few Juneteenth events happening in OKC and beyond.
(Editor’s note: Attendees are encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing if not vaccinated.)
June 17 – 19
Tulsa Juneteenth Festival in the Historic Greenwood District (Greenwood Ave, Tulsa) features a festival that commemorates African American freedom, emphasizes education, celebrates the rich heritage of Greenwood, encourages healthy and active lifestyles, and advocates community impact. See website for schedule of events.
Blooming into Juneteenth Gapelii Brand Fashion Show at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features displays by multiple Black-owned fashion brands, including Gapelii Brand, House of Artistree and Puissance Clothing among others, plus live performances by bands, musicians, comedians and poets. Food, vendors and kids’ activities will also be available. Free to attend. 2 p.m.
Juneteenth Outdoor Concert at the NE OKC Community Center (3815 N Kelley Ave) features food trucks, vendors, and live music by Shortt Dogg. Lawn chairs are recommended. For ages 18 and older. $10 in advance; $15 day of. 5 p.m.
Norman Juneteenth Festival at Reaves Park (2501 Jenkins Ave, Norman) features a live DJ, music, guest speakers, food trucks, outdoor games, performances, fireworks and more. 6-10 p.m.
June 19 & 20
FREE Juneteenth on the East in Oklahoma City (N 23rd St Between N Kelham & N Hood) features live music, interactive murals, dance performances, spoken word, food trucks, vendors and local small businesses. Sunday’s activities will be at Scissortail Park where families can enjoy a cookout and a family-friendly outdoor screening of Black Panther. Saturday, 3-9 p.m.; Sunday, 6-10:30 p.m.
If you are looking for even more family-friendly events, check out our searchable calendar.