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Juneteenth 2023 celebrations in Connecticut

In 2021, President Biden signed into law a bill that federally recognized Juneteenth, and later, Gov. Lamont signed a bill that recognized the holiday as well.

CONNECTICUT, USA — Juneteenth is this coming Monday, and there are plenty of events around the state looking to honor and celebrate the day's significance.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, two months after the Confederacy had surrendered. It was about 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in Southern states.

In 2021, President Joe Biden signed into legislation a bill that federally recognized Juneteenth, and in late May of 2022, Gov. Ned Lamont signed a bill that recognized the holiday locally as well.

The events below are not part of a comprehensive list. If you would like an event to be added, email us at newstips@fox61.com.

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In honor of the significance of Juneteenth, the City of Middletown will raise the Juneteenth Flag at City Hall on June 16 at noon. The flag will fly over City Hall for one week. Mayor Florsheim would like to extend his thanks to the dedicated group of City of Middletown staff who spearheaded the effort to have a Juneteenth flag raising at City Hall.

Head into the city this weekend for Hartford's 3rd annual Juneteenth Celebration. The celebration will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 18, at the Black Lives Matter mural on Trinity Street. The event was organized in partnership with The Amistad Center and Hot 93.7. The event will feature artists, performers, interactive art installations, food, and local vendors. 

Join The Brooks Token Inc. and community partners as they celebrate Juneteenth, A Celebration of Freedom, on Friday, June 16 in Hartford. At the event will be free groceries, a free hot lunch, free summer clothing, and free on-site health screenings. The event will take place at 45 Acton Street from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call 1-860-263-7916.

The West Hartford community will head to Blue Back Square on June 17 to celebrate the 4th Annual CommUNITY Juneteenth Celebration! The day will be filled with great entertainment, family activities, immersive art experiences, powerful speakers, and local vendors. The celebration runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more here.

The Town of Manchester’s Department of Leisure, Family, and Recreation will host their 3rd annual Juneteenth Freedom Day Commemoration on June 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Leisure Labs at Mahoney Center. This year’s event will feature musical performances by Mixed Company & Hartford’s Proud, a Black-owned vendor & food market, family activities, performances from the Black Joy Poetry Contest and much more! Learn more here.

Join the Simsbury Diversity, Equity and Inclusion group on June 17 for their Juneteenth Celebration. Nekita Waller, known for her mix of pop, Motown, soul, jazz and classic rock stylings, will open the celebration with her band beginning at noon. In addition to Waller, FriendZWorldMusic, a group of performing artists specializing in the music and dance of West Africa and the Caribbean, will perform at 1:45 p.m., followed by Damian Curtis African Cuban Jazz Project at 2:30 p.m. Eventgoers will also be treated to several performances throughout the day by MagicSoul Drumline, a show-style marching and percussion dance troupe comprised of Hartford-area youth and young adults. There will also be activities for children and food trucks and so much more. The event will take place at Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center. Learn more here.

In honor of Juneteenth, Witness Stones Old Lyme will present a celebration of jazz and poetry on the lawn of The Side Door at the Old Lyme Inn on June 17 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.. The event features a quartet led by New Haven jazz legend Jesse Hameen II and new work by Connecticut poets Marilyn Nelson, Kate Rushin, Rhonda Ward, and Antoinette Brim-Bell, who in 2021 created a tribute in verse to those enslaved in historic Lyme. The jazz quartet features the inspirational percussionist Jesse Hameen II, drums; Rodney Jones, guitar; Zwelakhe Bell Le Pere, bass; and Joe McWilliams, piano. Parking is available across Lyme Street at the Lyme Art Association or the Florence Griswold Museum. Learn more here.

Join the city of West Haven for a Juneteenth celebration on June 17! Learn about the history behind Juneteenth and celebrate with residents and local officials. This free event will feature local vendors, music, food and a talent showcase! The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Brent Watt Park. Learn more here.

The Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington is joining together with the Amistad Center for Art & Culture and ShopBlackCT and hosting a Juneteenth 2023 picnic event. The event will be an evening of discovery and celebration featuring regional Black artists, organizations,and businesses. Bring your lawn chairs and picnic dinner on the grounds as you enjoy performances by Subira Vs Movement who will be performing “Renaissance Gyalz,” the Tom Cook Chorus, and Khaiim the RapOet, on Hill-Stead’s picturesque grounds. Admission is free but you must pre-register. The event is held from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Learn more here.

The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities will join the Official Juneteenth Coalition of Greater New Haven celebration on June 17. The Commission will lead a mile-long march/parade starting at the Stetson Library, 197 Dixwell Avenue, New Haven, CT. Activities will begin at 10 a.m. at the library, where children can make posters/signs of peace and equity before the march. The march will start at 11 a.m. leading to the New Haven Green, where it will join the Juneteenth Coalition of Greater New Haven for the celebration! Learn more here.

The Danbury Juneteenth Coalition will host its 2nd Annual Danbury Juneteenth "Day of Freedom" Celebration on June 17 from noon to 5 p.m. where their theme this year is "Educate. Empower. Engage." Enjoy music, entertainment, kids activities, art installations, and other vendors! Learn more about the event, held at Western Connecticut State University, here.

Jennifer Glatz is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at jglatz@fox61.com.  

Have a story idea or something on your mind you want to share? We want to hear from you! Email us at newstips@fox61.com 


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