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Things to do: Events to celebrate Juneteenth around Charlotte

A list of Juneteenth events happening in the Charlotte area in 2021.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — People across the Carolinas will celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday to remember and celebrate June 19, 1865, the date the last slaves were told about President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation order to free slaves nearly two and half years after it was issued.

It is a significant date in American history.  Major companies, including the NFL, Target and Charlotte-based Lending Tree, now recognize Juneteenth as a paid company holiday.

Several celebrations held across the Charlotte area.  

Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas

Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas is a free, multi-cultural celebration that is in its 24th year. It will take place June 17th to June 20th, 2021, at House of Africa, 1215 Thomas Avenue, in Plaza Midwood.

Thursday, June 17, 2021
3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Friday, June 18, 2021
5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday Drum Circle

Saturday, June 19, 2021
12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Start at Marshall Park with the Juneteenth Freedom March at 9 a.m., and proceed to House of Africa, where the festival will take place.

Sunday, June 20, 2021
12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Juneteenth Rock Hill presents a virtual celebration of freedom 

The annual Juneteenth Rock Hill Celebration of Freedom will once again virtual.  Scheduled for June 18 and 19 at 6:30 p.m., the 2021 Juneteenth Virtual Celebration of Freedom will include two presentations featuring local artists, poets and musicians. A youth program will be featured on June 18. The virtual commemoration will also present winners of the annual coloring contest and Dr. Ann G. Cain Scholarship award.  The event will be streamed on Facebook.

For The Struggle Juneteenth Drive-Thru and Celebration

For The Struggle, Inc is a nonprofit in Charlotte.  Their mission is to utilize various outlets, including community outreach, policy reform, and legal action to advocate with and on behalf of communities to zealously fight systemic issues of racial and social injustice.  In April, WCNC Charlotte highlighted For The Struggle and their work to keep seniors in their homes, particularly along the Beatties Ford Road corridor.  A fundraising effort raised $5,000, which included a $2,000 grant from WCNC Charlotte and the TEGNA Foundation.

RELATED: Charlotte charity feeds seniors to keep them aging in their own home

For The Struggle is organizing a drive-thru and celebration on June 19.  They plan to mobilize the community along the Beatties Ford corridor to stand in unity to salute, greet and wave at those that participate in the drive-thru from 3 to 7 p.m. Complete this form to register your organization to participate.

Belmont Juneteenth Celebration

Belmont’s annual Juneteenth Celebration is going virtual again this year. There will be a car parade on June 19, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Main Street in Downtown Belmont, which you can watch online, and a live stream concert that you can also watch online at 7 p.m. Watch them both on Belmont Juneteenth Celebration’s Facebook page.

2nd Annual Juneteenth Family Fun Festival in Monroe

The City of Monroe, and its Union County neighbors, are presenting the 2nd Annual Juneteenth Family Fun Festival on Saturday, June 19th, 2021, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s a drive-thru celebration, starting in the parking lot across from the Winchester Community Center, at 1001 Winchester Avenue, Monroe. Register in advance for one of the time slots. (Follow the above link.)

Queen City Juneteenth Festival

The 2021 Queen City Juneteenth Festival has the theme of “Educating, Empowering, Entertaining.” It takes place Saturday, June 19th, 2021, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., at Fran’s Boys & Girls Center, 2600 W. Trade Street, Charlotte.

The festival features kids’ activities, vendors, giveaways, and more. It’s free to attend.

Our partners Charlotte On The Cheap helped create this list of events.

Charlotte's annual Durag Fest

Charlotte's Annual Durag Fest is an event held during the weekend of Juneteenth to celebrate Black greatness and the freedom to express Black excellence, through art and cultural clothing such as durags. 

This year's 3rd annual Durag Fest will take place Saturday in Camp North End and will include a day party, live musical performances, an art gallery and of course all races openly celebrating black culture. 

The event is free but an RSVP is required. Find out more about the Durag Fest here.

RELATED: Petition to make Juneteenth an SC holiday hopes to spur movement on bill

Promise Resource Network celebrates Juneteenth

Promise Resource Network (PRN) will present their Juneteenth Celebration, taking place at 2224 The Plaza on June 19, and will feature Storytellers, Drumming, Vendors, Black Cowboys, Music, Food & Healthcare Screenings.

PRN is proud to bring this celebration of Juneteenth to Plaza Midwood for the first time. This celebration is in observance of June 19, 1865, the day slaves in Texas were informed of their freedom; two and a half years after the issuance of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln. Later that same year, the 13th amendment was ratified, legally abolishing the slavery of persons except as a punishment for crimes.

PRN fully believes that this is our lived history and that this is an opportunity to explore and share our similarities and heal our differences to create healthy and flourishing communities for ourselves, our loved ones, and others. Join PRN as they celebrate the spirit of Juneteenth: Liberation, Opportunity, and Equality.

PRN is a grassroots non-profit that is boldly committed to recovery, wellness and healing from trauma, mental health, substance use, homelessness, poverty and incarceration. As an agency that is operated and staffed by survivors of similar experiences, PRN offers opportunities for people that are uninsured to find their voice, grow resilience, and recover from significant emotional distress. 

Through the wisdom of lived recovery experience, PRN ignites social change, inspires hope, and serves as a catalyst for personal greatness.