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News

Here's a look at Juneteenth celebrations across Connecticut

People performing live music and dancing during a Juneteenth celebration in West Hartford.
Joe Amon
/
Connecticut Public
Lael Marie Saez performs with FriendZWorldMusic during the Juneteenth celebration at West Hartford Town Hall in June 2021.

Juneteenth is an official federal holiday and Connecticut recently established it as a state holiday, which will be legally recognized in 2023.

This year, the holiday will be observed on Monday, June 20, since Juneteenth — June 19 — falls on a weekend.

But events honoring the holiday, marking the end of enslavement in the United States, extend throughout the month of June.

Here's a list of events honoring Juneteenth in Connecticut:

Berlin

June 18
Berlin-Peck Memorial Library, 234 Kensington Rd.
berlinpeck.org/events/juneteenth-2022

Vietnam veteran and retired Hartford Fire Department captain Steven Harris will give a keynote address. A representative from Discovering Amistad, an organization that teaches the lessons of the 1839 Amistad Uprising to advance racial and social justice, will also present to the crowd. Visitors will also learn about Berlin's abolitionists, possible Underground Railroad sites and the Berlin Historical Society's Wide Awake lantern project.

Bloomfield

June 18


First Cathedral, 1151 Blue Hills Ave.
Blue Hills Fire Dept., 1021 Blue Hills Ave.
bluehillsfire.org

A parade will step off from First Cathedral at 11 a.m. to the Blue Hills Fire Dept. Free hot dogs and hamburgers will be served at the conclusion of the parade.

Bloomfield Public Library’s McMahon-Wintonbury branch, 1015 Blue Hills Ave.

Alika Hope and The Ray of Hope Project will perform at the library at 1 p.m. with free ice cream for anyone with a library card.

June 19
Blue Hills Fire Dept., 1021 Blue Hills Ave.
bluehillsfire.org

Join the Blue Hills Fire Department and Town Councilor Suzette DeBeatham-Brown for a community cookout from 2 to 6 p.m.


Video: Juneteenth around Connecticut in 2020


East Hartford

June 18
East Hartford Town Green, 1074 Main St.
https://fb.me/e/1xEPYBte6

Vendors, food trucks, entertainment, a bounce house, face painting and storytelling presentations are scheduled for the town’s first Juneteenth Celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is presented by the Town of East Hartford, East Hartford Parks and Recreation, the Committee on Culture and Fine Arts and the East Hartford Black Caucus.

MLK39 project
Joe Amon
/
Connecticut Public

Enfield

June 19
Enfield Town Green, North Main Street
facebook.com/events/665063297914093

A Juneteenth Festival featuring Hartford Poet Laureate Frederick Douglass Knowles II and music, vendors and food trucks is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Farmington

June 25
Hill-Stead Museum, 35 Mountain Rd.
hillstead.org/event/juneteenth/

The art of regional Black artists will be on display at a Juneteenth celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at an outdoor event with food, music and family activities.

Granby

June 18
Salmon Brook Park, 215 Salmon Brook Street
https://www.granbyracialreconciliation.com/

Motown group Soul Sound Revue headlines the Granby Celebrates Juneteenth event scheduled form 3 to 8:30 p.m. The First Cathedral Praises of Zion and Jazzy Brass are also scheduled to perform. Visual arts and public humanities cultural organizer Dr. Frank Mitchell -- who is also on the CT Humanities Board of Directors -- will address the crowd.

Groton

June 18
Groton Public Library, 52 Newtown Road
https://www.groton-ct.gov/dept_news_detail_T23_R391.php

Nekita Waller, the 17th State Troubadour, will sing songs of freedom and hope from 3 to 4 p.m. at the library.

Hartford

June 19
Bushnell Park, Trinity Street
https://www.amistadcenter.org/event-details/juneteenth-in-the-park

The city of Hartford’s second annual Juneteenth Celebration will take place at the Black Lives Matter street mural in Bushnell Park from 1 to 6 p.m. Attractions include live music, art, food trucks and children's activities.

Hebron

June 18
Peters House at Burnt Hill Park, 150 East St.
https://fb.me/e/1H82hE0Ck

A Juneteenth Celebration will feature presentations, games, crafts, story walk, interactive drumming and an archaeological dig for children ages 6 and older. Evae Peart, Nia Arts, Hartford's Proud Drill, Drum & Dance Corp will perform. The event is free and takes place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The celebration is billed as Hebron's first Juneteenth event by The Hebron Coalition on Diversity and Equity.

Manchester

June 18

Leisure Labs at Mahoney Center, 110 Cedar St.
bettermanchester.com/juneteenth

Manchester's Juneteenth Freedom Day Commemoration from 4 to 7 p.m. will feature art, live music, poetry and food vendors and children's activities.

Middletown

June 17
Middletown Farmers Market, Union Green

The Russell Library and CT Humanities Book Voyagers program will present

an outdoor story time with the authors of the UmoJamz book series and a special Juneteenth story time presented by Mx Chalk at 10:30 a.m. Participants are welcome to bring chairs and blankets.

Milford

June 18
Milford Green Gazebo, 84 South Broad St.
https://fb.me/e/1L36pjOhj

The Milford Juneteenth Celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. will have music, poetry, local vendors, authors and dancers along with children's activities.

Mystic

June 19
Mystic Seaport Museum, 75 Greenmanville Ave.
mysticseaport.org/events/juneteenth/

Mystic Seaport and Discovering Amistad present Juneteenth Freedom Day from 3 to 5 p.m. A Djembe drum call will start things off at 3 p.m. At 3:30 p.m., there will be a panel discussion titled “Juneteenth: Exploring the Legacy of Slavery.” A brief Harambee ceremony will take place at 4:45 p.m. followed by tours of the replica of the schooner Amistad, with lessons about the shipboard rebellion and the captives’ Supreme Court victory. The event ends with a concert by Cape Verdean musicians.

New Britain

June 18
New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington St.
nbmaa.org/events/juneteenth-2022.

A Juneteenth Community Day is planned from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring performances by the New Britain High School drumline and jazz band, Jenee Shree, Belle & the Sons, Grace Poetic Souldier, Aaron St. Louis, Michael “The Chief” Peterson, Goddess and FriendZWorldMusic. Children's activities include a scavenger hunt.

New Haven

The Official Juneteenth Coalition of Greater New Haven, the International Festival of Arts & Ideas will host the city's ninth annual Juneteenth Celebration.

The New Haven Museum also celebrates Juneteenth 2022 with an event June 19.

June 17
New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm St.
https://www.artidea.org/juneteenth

Events kick off on Friday, June 17 with a meet and greet at the Stetson Library with local and national leaders and artists.

June 18
New Haven Green

The Juneteenth flag will be raised on the New Haven Green Saturday, June 18 at 10:30 a.m. Jesse "Cheese" Hameen II and the Bronx-based Bambara Drum & Dance Ensemble will perform followed by Gospel singers Pam Brooks-Campbell and Gabriel Abdul-Karim on the New Haven Green at 7 p.m.

June 19
New Haven Green

African wares and items will be on sale on the New Haven Green on Sunday, June 19, at 1 p.m. A 7-mile ride taking bikers through key historical landmarks will start from the green at 2 p.m. led by Michael Twitty of New Haven’s Black & Brown Soul Cyclists. The festival and coalition recognize members of the New Haven community who have served New Haven’s Black community during an annual Elder Honoring ceremony at 7:30 p.m. on the green.

Yale Repertory Theatre, 1120 Chapel St.

Author, chef, and food justice activist Bryant Terry will discuss his 2022 James Beard-nominated books "Black Food: Stories, Art and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora" and "Vegetable Kingdom" at 3 p.m.

The New Haven Museum, Pardee-Morris House, 325 Lighthouse Road
https://www.newhavenmuseum.org/39914-2/

Dennis Culliton, the founder and executive director of the Witness Stones Project, will speak at the Pardee-Morris House on June 19 at noon. He will share the story of two enslaved people — Pink and Stepna — who are now memorialized with Witness Stones on the grounds of the home. The historic site will remain open for free tours until 4 p.m.

Ninth Square, 50 Orange St.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/punq-noire-festival-of-underground-arts-tickets-349697272957

Punq Noire Festival of Underground Arts celebrates the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC pioneers of punk, alternative fashion and music. The event, scheduled for noon to 8 p.m., will feature music and performances, film screenings, food trucks, flash tattoos, vendors and a pop-up fashion show.

June 20
Stetson Library, 197 Dixwell Ave.

The Artsucation Academy Network will present "Africa Is Me!" featuring dance classes, drumming workshops and activities for children about the history of Juneteenth. The event ends with a mini parade.

New London

June 18
City Pier, 1 Waterfront Park

On June 18, the staff of the Hempsted House will give a guided tour on the Thames River Heritage Water Taxi leaving from City Pier. The tour includes history of fugitive slaves, a Revolutionary patriot, Black governors, whalers and the Amistad and will visit an early Mamacoke settlement, native fishing grounds and Fort Trumbull.

Old Lyme

June 18
Florence Griswold Museum, 96 Lyme St.
florencegriswoldmuseum.org/calendar/

A jazz and poetry Juneteenth event from 2 to 4 p.m. will feature music by the Nat Reeves Jazz Quartet and readings by the Witness Stones poets Marilyn Nelson, Kate Rushin, Rhonda Ward and Antoinette Brim-Bell. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

Visitors are also encouraged to walk along Lyme Street outside of the museum to view Witness Stones marking former sites of enslavement and indentured servitude.


Witness Stones: Commemorating The Lives of Enslaved People In Connecticut


Waterbury

June 18
Hamilton Park, 110 Hamilton Park Rd.
facebook.com/greaterwaterbury.naacp.50

Thirty local Black-owned businesses will set up shop as Waterbury digital radio station POWER 203FM provides the music at the third annual Juneteenth Celebration from noon to 7 p.m.

June 19
Silas Bronson Library, 267 Grand St.
bronsonlibrary.org/programs

The Waterbury NAACP is holding a remembrance service at 1 p.m. on the lawn of the Silas Bronson Library in downtown Waterbury. The site was the city’s first burial ground, which included a plot for enslaved people going back as far as the 1700s.

West Hartford

Tammy Exum
Joe Amon
/
Connecticut Public

June 19
Blue Back Square, Memorial Road

The West Hartford Community Juneteenth Celebration will be from noon to 4 p.m. Mayor Shari Cantor will address the crowd, introducing preacher the Rev. Fredd L. Ward III and keynote speeches by state Reps. Stephanie Thomas (D-Norwalk) and Tammy Exum (D-West Hartford). A Witness Stones Project installation is scheduled.

Windsor

June 17
Windsor Town Hall, 275 Broad St.
constantcontactpages.com/su/3KGyX5v

Black History Jeopardy has become an annual event in Windsor. Kevin Washington and Kevin Booker Jr. host the team competition.

June 19
Hopewell Baptist Church, 280 Windsor Ave.
fb.me/e/1BMobUhZw

The Rev. David W. Massey hosts a community church service at 10 a.m. celebrating Juneteenth and Father's Day.

Windsor Town Green
constantcontactpages.com/cu/U2idx1D?fbclid=IwAR0R9zrmI_LgOAkeUXnSqKIs_vbAQmj98J-dLLTXF8p3LNio34fVBsvJLag

Entertainment, music and dancing highlight a community picnic on the green from 1 to 4 p.m.

Earlier in June

Here's a look at Juneteenth celebrations from earlier in June:

Bridgeport

June 9 - June 12
Bijou Theatre, 275 Fairfield Ave.
bijoutheatrect.spacecrafted.com

The theater will host "Puppet Village: Puppets And Poetry For Youth" on Thursday, June 9, at 6 p.m. The event is free.

On Friday, June 10, the theater will show the 2021 documentary "Summer Of Soul" chronicling the music and civil rights movement at the Harlem Cultural Festival in Mount Morris Park in 1969 — the same summer as Woodstock — at 8 p.m. The screening is free.

The film "Homecoming," directed by Charlene Gilbert, will be shown Sunday, June 12, at 1 p.m. The film documents the lives of rural Black farmers in the South post-slavery and the struggle for land. Gilbert weaves her own childhood growing up in Georgia with historical context. The showing is free, but registration is required. There will be a soul food brunch from Queen's Delight Cafe for $5 before the film at noon.

June 11
Seaside Park, 1 Barnum Dyke
https://fb.me/e/1q6BuXDbP

The Juneteenth Parade of Fairfield County and Harambee Festival will start at 11 a.m., featuring music, crafts and author presentations. Last year, the event featured more than 100 representatives of minority-owned businesses.

Hartford

June 11
Connecticut Historical Society, 1 Elizabeth St.
chs.org/

The Connecticut Historical Society Museum and Library offers a behind-the-scenes tour displaying its collection of exhibits representing the Black experience in Connecticut on June 11 from 11 a.m. to noon and again from 2 to 3 p.m.

Burr Mall, between Wadsworth and City Hall, Main Street
https://www.amistadcenter.org/event-details/juneteenth-family-day

Music from Hartford-based Afro-funk fusion ensemble band Lost Tribe and African drummer Alvin Carter Jr., storytelling by Andre Keitt and Anne Cubberly’s famous giant puppets highlight Juneteenth Family Day on June 11 from noon to 4 p.m. presented by The Amistad Center for Art & Culture and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

The Russell, 187 Allyn St.

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. presents a “Jubilee: The Official Juneteenth Block Party Celebration" on June 11 starting at 5 p.m. with live music until 10 p.m. The cost is $45 and $50 with after-party. African or Ankara summer attire is required.

June 15
Artists Collective, 1200 Albany Ave.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/juneteenth-week-the-ties-that-bind-tickets-354616586757?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

A community conversation about the history and future of Greater Hartford's Black community, titled "The Ties That Bind," will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Bloomfield Town Councilor Suzette DeBeatham-Brown will give opening remarks.

June 16
Connecticut Historical Society, 1 Elizabeth St.
https://chs.org/event/dexterslab/

Dexter’s Lab, led by drummer Dexter Pettaway, will perform a free, outdoor concert at 7:30 p.m. Hartford singer, songwriter and actress Jedda Williams will be making a special presentation in honor of Juneteenth. Visitors are encourage to come inside to view artifacts from the CHS collection that help tell the story of African American history in Connecticut.

New London

June 10 and June 11
Hempsted Houses, 11 Hempsted St.
ctlandmarks.org/properties/hempsted-houses/

The Hempsted Houses will host a Juneteenth Film Screening & Campfire Discussion on Friday, June 10, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. A screening of “The Slave Narrative of Willie Moe,” a work of historical fiction, will be followed by a community conversation.

A Juneteenth Festival will take place at The Hempsted House and the surrounding neighborhood in New London on Saturday, June 11, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival will feature music, dance, crafts and children's activities.

Waterbury

June 16
Silas Bronson Library, 267 Grand St.
bronsonlibrary.org/programs

Musician Conroy Warren will perform jazz, reggae and calypso with his band at 6 p.m.

Windsor

June 16
Windsor Art Center, 40 Mechanic St.
windsorartcenter.org

An open-mic event of story telling, poetry and music at the Windsor Art Center from 6 to 8 p.m.

Contact us
Let us know if we missed an event in your community: jwelch@ctpublic.org

Sources: Connecticut Public research; assorted websites.

Note: This listing has been updated.

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