How Michigan Communities Are Celebrating Juneteenth 2023

Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA - June 19th, 2021: African American community members of Milwaukee held a parade to celebrate Juneteenth holiday. (Photo via Aaron of L.A. Photography, Shutterstock)

By Isaac Constans

June 16, 2023

Check out Juneteenth events happening near you.

MICHIGAN—Presenting many Michiganders with a long weekend, Juneteenth boasts a history worth celebrating.

On June 19, 1865, federal troops arrived in Galveston to oversee the final fall of slavery, two weeks after the conclusion of the Civil War. Though President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation declared that all enslaved people in rebelling states were free, his orders had minimal immediate effect on Confederate states still stubbornly fighting to protect the institution of slavery. As the Civil War continued for another two years, enslaved people still played a prominent part of life in the South and in fighting for both sides.

In April 1865, Confederate Gen. Robert Lee surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse, handing the Union army victory. But word didn’t reach many plantations until months later, and freedom trickled through the South slowly. Finally, two months after the Civil War concluded, federal soldiers arrived in Galveston. US Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger read General Orders No. 3, stating that: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”

Following the declaration, 250,000 people in Texas were no longer slaves..

Of course, the path to freedom following June 19, 1865, has not been linear. Some slave-owners refused to inform people of their freedom until after the harvest. Later, the end of federal occupation and Reconstruction in the South set loose a new era of racist policies and cultural practices, forcing many Black Americans to flee north in what became known as the Great Migration.

In 2021, Congress passed and President Joe Biden signed an act enshrining Juneteenth as a national holiday. Throughout Michigan, many events commemorate the belated freedom secured on June 19, 1865, in Galveston. Though Black families have marked the day for decades, official events took root in Detroit in the 1990s.

Now, more public events than ever are open to all members of Michigan communities.

Below is a list of what events are taking place this weekend in Michigan. The events are sorted by region. Please click the links attached for detailed information such as parade routes, event times, and entertainment offerings.

Metro Detroit

June 17: Juneteenth Community Celebration and Liberty Fest: Canton Township

June 2-19: Juneteenth Film Festival: Emagine Royal Oak, 200 N. Main St., Royal Oak/The Rivera Powered by Emagine, 30170 Grand River Ave., Farmington Hills

June 16-18: Juneteenth Freedom Weekend: Various events in Detroit

June 12-21: Southfield Juneteenth Celebration: Southfield Municipal campus, 26000 Evergreen Road

June 15-19: Farmington Area Juneteenth Celebration: Nardin Park United Methodist Church, 29887 W. Eleven Mile Road, Farmington Hills

June 16-17,22-24, 30-July 2: Blackbird and Juneteenth: A month of artistry, stories and experiences: Fisher Building, 3011 West Grand Blvd., Suite 104, Detroit

June 19: Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration: 315 E Warren Ave., Detroit

June 17-18: Ypsilanti 3rd Annual Juneteenth Celebration: 107 Ferris St., Ypsilanti

June 17: Back to the 90s: A Juneteenth/Father’s day bbq fundraiser: Laborers Local 1191 , 2161 W Grand Blvd

June 16-18: Dearborn Homage to Black excellence Juneteenth Weekend: Various events in Dearborn 

June 17: Juneteenth in the WB: West Bloomfield High School, 4925 Orchard Lake, Bloomfield Township

June 17: Juneteenth Family Health & Fun Day: 16455 Woodward Ave., Highland Park

June 17: Juneteenth 5th Family Reunion: Catalpa Oaks County Park, 27705 Greenfield Road, Southfield

June 17: Madison Heights 3rd annual Juneteenth Celebration: Madison Heights Civic Center Park, 360 W. 13 Mile Road

June 17: Wesly Bennett Foundation Juneteenth Celebration: Leanna Hicks Public Library, 2500 Hamlin Drive, Inkster

June 19: Ferndale/Hazel Park Juneteenth Celebration: 300 East Nine Mile Road, Ferndale and 111 E Nine Mile Road in Hazel Park.

June 19: Juneteenth Community Celebration: 35351 Beverly Road, Romulus

June 17: Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom: 9928 Grand River Ave., Detroit 

June 19: Juneteenth Celebration: Centennial Commons, Royal Oak

June 19: Juneteenth Freedom: Russell Woods Park, Detroit

Lansing Area 

June 16-18: Meridian Freedom Fest Honoring Juneteenth: Various locations, Meridian Township

June 16: MSU Juneteenth Celebration: The Breslin Center, 534 Birch Rd, East Lansing

June 16-17: Lansing Juneteenth Celebration: Various locations, Downtown Lansing

June 15-18: 517 Juneteenth Weekend: 1115 S Washington Ave., Lansing

June 17-19: Jackson Juneteenth Celebrations: Various locations, Jackson 

Grand Rapids 

June 10-19: Juneteenth Freedom Festival: 240 Kollen Park Drive, Holland 

June 17: Baxter Juneteenth Celebration: Joe Taylor Park, 1001 Baxter St. SE, Grand Rapids

June 17: Juneteenth Festival 2023: Kollen Park, 240 Kollen Park Drive, Holland

June 17: Justice 4 All Juneteenth Jam: Rosa Parks Circle, 135 Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids

June 17: Juneteenth Pop Up at MLK Park: Martin Luther King Park, 1200 Franklin St. SE, Grand Rapids

June 19: GR Juneteenth 2023 Dickinson Buffer Park Dundunba: 1435 Eastern St. SE, Grand Rapids

June 19: Juneteenth Freedom Parade: Grand Rapids, on the corner of Hall/Eastern Ave.

Kalamazoo

June 16-19: Kalamazoo Juneteenth: Various locations 

June 17: Juneteenth Celebration in Bronson Park: 200 S. Rose St., Kalamazoo 

June 18: Juneteenth Black Film Fest: Kalamazoo Valley Museum, 230 N. Rose St.

June 17: Juneteenth Community Day: Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 

June 17-18: Black Joy and Freedom Week: 555 W E Ave, Kalamazoo 

June 17: Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom: 1319 Portage St., Kalamazoo

June 18: Juneteenth Father’s day BBQ: 2606 Mt. Olivet road., Kalamazoo 

Flint/Saginaw

June 9-19: 51st  Annual Flint Juneteenth Celebration: Various locations and events 

June 16: Miss Juneteenth Pageant: Horizons Conference Center, 6200 State St., Saginaw Township

June 17Ujamaa Black Business Expo: Higher Quality of Life Ministries 

June 17: Saginaw Juneteenth Festival: Saginaw Morley Plaza  

Northern Michigan

June 17: Northern Michigan E3 walk/run/roll on the Boardman Trail: 225 E Sixteenth St, Traverse City

June 19: Juneteenth Celebration: Timothy J. Nelson Innovation Center, Northern Michigan College, Traverse City

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