Chicago gears up for Juneteenth festivities

Festivals, performances and other events will be held in neighborhoods across the city on Juneteenth and weekend leading up to Monday, June 19.

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A police officer watches the West Garfield Park Juneteenth Parade along West Monroe Street in the West Garfield Park neighborhood, Saturday morning, June 18, 2022.

The 2022 West Garfield Park Juneteenth Parade took place on West Monroe Street in the West Garfield Park neighborhood.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times file

A Juneteenth celebration in the Pullman neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side will be “painting the hood orange” on June 19.

The color orange represents the national anti-gun violence movement and the event’s mission of violence prevention.

The event, the National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum’s Juneteenth Community Recommitment Celebration, is one of many taking place in neighborhoods across Chicago to celebrate Juneteenth.

Chicagoans will celebrate the federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans June 19. Festivals, performances and other events will take place on the holiday and the weekend leading up to it.

The “Paint the Hood Orange” event is Pullman’s 11th annual Juneteenth celebration. The day’s events will include a youth basketball tournament, block party and parade.

All events are free, according to the museum. The day of festivities begins at 10 a.m. with a parade that leads into the block party and basketball tournament.

More than 500 participants have already signed up for a basketball tournament, sponsored by Wintrust, to be held at Corliss High School and Butler College Prep, according to the museum.

While he appreciates the growing awareness of the holiday, David Peterson Jr., president and executive director of the Pullman Porter Museum noted it’s important to use the holiday to educate as well as celebrate.

“This isn’t just a barbecue,” Peterson said.

In June 2021, then-Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared Juneteenth a paid city holiday, just days before it was federally recognized.

The holiday is observed on the date news of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation reached enslaved people in Texas in 1865.

On the West Side, Douglass Park will host the second annual Juneteenth Village Fest June 18. The free event runs from noon to 8 p.m.

The event will feature musical performances by Angie Stone, Marsha Ambrosius and more, food vendors, community-based organizations and carnival rides, according to its website.

Markets featuring Black-owned businesses are scheduled across Chicago over the weekend and on Juneteenth. Hyde Park will host the Thank You Chicago Juneteenth Market at the Promontory June 19 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., featuring vendors, food and music.

Nearby at the University of Chicago, the Logan Center for the Arts will stage “1619: The Journey of a People, The Musical.” The production covers Black history in America, starting with the arrival of the first enslaved Africans, and will be followed by a panel discussion. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com.

There’s also 1865 Fest, a three-day festival in Garfield Park starting June 16.

The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center will celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, as well as Juneteenth, at its third annual community barbecue. The free event is all day June 19, and will feature a discussion with hip-hop artist Kool Moe Dee.

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