Celebrate Juneteenth in Akron

By Aja Hannah

Juneteenth is the day enslaved people were freed following the Civil War. It was first celebrated on June 19, 1865. The holiday has gained traction in recent years with the second civil rights movement and has been officially recognized as a holiday by most states. 

Akron is also celebrating in big ways. You can participate by attending the following events: 

At Elite Banquets and Events Venue, their next vendor series event will be “Celebrating Juneteenth Community Shopping Event.” It will take place from 1 pm to 5 pm. Attractions will include networking, giveaways, music, and local vendors. 3450 Manchester Road, Akron

The Summit County Historical Society is hosting Freedom Day on June 18. Two educators will be dressed as Harriet Tubman and a Union soldier to teach children about Juneteenth. The program starts at 10:30 and includes songs, stories, and activities. Be sure to register in advance. 550 Copley Road, Akron

Juneteenth Festival takes place in Stoner/Hawkins Park from 12 pm to 7 pm on June 19 and includes a market of Black-owned businesses, a car show, a teen talent show and free food for kids. There is also an open mic/community conversation for uplifting and short pieces. South Hawkins Ave, Akron

In Garfield Heights, the Black Business Expo will run from 3 pm to 9 pm at the Grand Ballroom of Sausalito Catering. This family-friendly pop-up shop will have several vendors and a cash bar. 10808 Granger Road, Garfield Heights, OH 44125

For Juneteenth, the summer concert series Akron All-Star Drive-In features Free Black! and Pablo Speaks. From 6 pm to 10 pm, listen to local live music by these diverse Black artists in the parking lot of the Akron Recording Company. Tickets cost $50. 243 Furnace Street, Suite B, Akron, OH 44304

Aja Hannah is a writer, traveler, and mama. She believes in the Oxford comma, cheap flights, and a daily dose of chocolate. 

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