How to Celebrate Juneteenth 2023 in Metro Detroit

Festivals, live music, film screenings, and more
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Photograph by Cheryl and RJ Photography, courtesy of Juneteenth Jubilee Detroit Freedom Weekend

This year is the 158th anniversary of Juneteenth. Celebrated on June 19, the day commemorates the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans. Observe the holiday in metro Detroit at these local events.

Make And Take a Flag for Juneteenth

Create your own freedom flag inspired by the picture book A Flag for Juneteenth by Kim Taylor. Fabric scraps, and both sewing and non-sewing options will be available. All ages are welcome. 4-5 p.m. June 13. Free. Chaney Detroit Public Library, 16101 Grand River, Detroit; 313-481-1570; detroitpubliclibrary.org.

Community Juneteenth Celebration

Bring along family and friends to an amazing community celebration in the city, hosted by the Detroit Association of Black Organizations. Enjoy face painting, vendors, food trucks, bingo, a bounce house, music, and more. Additionally, there is an excellent lineup of live music — with The Omawale Dancers performing from 3-4 p.m., soulful singer Amor Shaneé, and the band 313, performing “The Live Experience” from 4:30-6 p.m. If you need a break from the action to cool down, there will be an indoor screening of One Night in Miami. June 17. Noon-6 p.m. Free. Dr. LaVonne M. Sheffield Bridge Center Library, 9928 Grand River Ave., Detroit; eventbrite.com.

BasBlue Celebrates Juneteenth

BasBlue is offering a free events full of food, music, art, and culture for Juneteenth this year. The celebration kicks off on June 16 with the Your Heritage House Reunion, which will feature special guest Malika Pryor and offers tours of the historic building that’s home to BasBlue. It continues with storytelling and music at the outdoor Heritage and Harmony: Celebrating Arts and Culture on June 21, and ends with the art exhibit Freedom Taste Like?, June 20-30. June 16, and 20-30. Free. BasBlue, 110 E. Ferry St., Detroit; basblueus.com

Juneteenth Community Pancake Breakfast

Kick off Juneteenth celebrations with a pancake breakfast. Join for art, live entertainment, activities, and, of course, a delicious breakfast! Local vendors will have the opportunity to sell. June 17. 9 a.m. to noon. Adults $10, children 12 and under $5. Oak Grove AME Church, 19801 Cherrylawn Ave., Detroit; eventbrite.com.

Emagine Entertainment Juneteenth Film Festival

Since June 2, Emagine has been hosting its Juneteenth Film Festival. The theme for this year’s festival centers around music. Featured films include Respect, Ray, Hustle & Flow, Get On Up, Cadillac Records, Amazing Grace, and others. $5. Through June 29. Emagine Royal Oak, 200 N. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-414-1000; emagine-entertainment.com.

5th Annual Juneteenth Jubilee Detroit Freedom Weekend

This weekend-long celebration kicks off on June 16 with the Beats & BBQ Juneteenth Kickoff at Batch Brewing Company. Festivities continue June 17 with the Freedom Day 5K at Marygrove Conservancy from 8 a.m. to noon. Following the 5K, the Juneteenth Jubilee Stroll will take place on the Livernois Avenue of Fashion. Wrapping up the weekend, the Juneteenth Freedom Fest will be held in Shed 5 at Eastern Market on June 18 from noon to 6 p.m. No cost. June 16-18. Various locations; jubileeblockparty.wixsite.com.

Juneteenth 2023 in the Heights

This 3rd annual local celebration will feature a petting zoo with pony rides, bounce houses, Black-owned food trucks, educational exhibits, a climbing tower, speakers, children’s crafts, and more than 40 vendors.Guests can also enjoy live music from the Smoke Jones Detroit, Brazeal Dennard Chorale, Quinton Robinson, X. Alexander Durden, and Kayfabe: The Ppls Band. No cost. June 17. Noon to 6 p.m. Civic Center Park Madison Heights, 360 W. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights; 248-589-2294; madisonheightsjuneteenth.com.

Pontiac Juneteenth Freedom Day Event

Spend the day in Pontiac and enjoy live music, food, a parade, fireworks, and entertainment at this street celebration. The event will begin at noon and features activities and storytelling at Bagley Street. Festivities will move into downtown Pontiac with a parade at 4 p.m. Finish the day with downtown activities and fireworks from 5-10 p.m. No cost. June 17. Events begin on Bagley St., Pontiac; pontiac.mi.us.

2023 WSU Juneteenth Closing Celebration

Wayne State University has been hosting Juneteenth events throughout the month. The program ends on June 20 with the 2023 WSU Juneteenth Closing Celebration from 2-4 p.m. As a community, the closing celebration will lower the Juneteenth flag and conclude the weeklong celebration. The event will feature music, dancing, and a picnic sponsored by the Organization of Black Alumni. The day will conclude with an evening screening of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in Keast Commons at 8 p.m. Free. June 20. David Adamany Undergraduate Library Bernath Auditorium, 5155 Gullen Mall, Detroit; events.wayne.edu.

H2BE Dearborn Juneteenth Weekend Celebration

The community organization Homage to Black Excellence (H2BE) is hosting several events to celebrate Juneteenth this year. Two events are at the City Hall Artspace Lofts. They include a Homage to Black Excellence Partnership with Mariner’s Inn to present Black Boy Art exhibit on June 16, and the Dearborn Library Foundation Juneteenth Essay Contest Ceremony June 17.  City Hall Park will also host two events: the H2BE Juneteenth Black Girl Art exhibit on June 17, and the H2BE tribute to Hip Hop: 50 Years of Rap, Rhythm and Rhymes. Finally, the Dearborn Historical Museum is hosting a Countdown to Juneteenth Celebration with art, food, and a cultural experience. Tickets start at $15. Various locations, Dearborn; eventbrite.com.

Southfield Celebrates Juneteenth

The City of Southfield is presenting its Juneteenth celebration in partnership with several organizations from June 12 to 21. Events include a ceremonial reading of the Juneteenth Joint Resolution and raising of the Juneteenth flag on June 12 in front of City Hall; The Micro Makers Evolution Lab Pitch, where young entrepreneurs will pitch Michigan-made products on June 14 at Lawrence Technical University atrium; two library events featuring Dr. Kordilla L. Noble and Born Free & Equal – Michigan’s Colored Regiment on June 14 and 15 at Southfield Public Library; the 2.5-mile Mayor’s Juneteenth Walk on June 17 at Southfield Municipal Campus; and the Juneteenth Jubilee hosted by the Southfield Parks and Recreation. The Friends of the Southfield Public Library are also sponsoring a free outdoor Juneteenth Jazz and Blues Concert on June 21 at the Southfield Public Library. Various locations, Southfield; 248-796-5000cityofsouthfield.com.

This post has been updated for 2023.