2023 Juneteenth Events in Central Virginia
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Juneteenth, derived from June nineteenth, is an annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.
Though the Emancipation Proclamation was signed more than two years earlier, it could not be implemented in areas under Confederate control. June 19, 1865, marks the day 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, to announce that all slaves in the states were free by executive order.
The holiday has been celebrated since the late 1880s, but it was not until President Joe Biden signed legislation in 2021 that Juneteenth was recognized as a federal holiday.
Residents in the Richmond area have multiple opportunities to celebrate this year:
Jubilation in June
This event, hosted by Richmond Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, will feature live music, food, and family-friendly fellowship at the Intermediate Terminal. Visit RVA Parks and Rec’s Facebook page for more details.
WHEN: June 18 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Unveiling the Untold: U.S. Colored Troops and their Legacies
The American Civil War Museum will host this program to educate visitors on personal stories from Black troops in the Civil War.
WHEN: June 20 at 6:30 p.m.
Henrico County will once again host a free Juneteenth Celebration at Dorey Park featuring a vendor fair of Black-owned businesses, a kids zone, food trucks and multiple performers. It will also include stories of historical freedom fighters and exhibitions by Joint Base Andrews and the United States Department of Agriculture.
Fireworks begin at 9:45 p.m., but you must watch them in the park before 9:30.
WHEN: June 17 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
WHERE: Dorey Park
Hanover’s NAACP branch is bringing multiple activities and performances to Pole Green Park for its Juneteenth Celebration. Attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy a car show, cornhole and basketball tournaments, food vendors and a day filled with musical guests. There will also be multiple “Hanover Unsung Heroes” honored throughout the celebration.
For a full list of events and activities, or for tournament registration information, visit Hanover NAACP’s website.
WHEN: June 17 from noon to 5 p.m. (Rain date: June 18)
WHERE: Pole Green Park
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery will host a Juneteenth event at their Richmond Pizza Kitchen and Taproom. The event will be organized by Unlocking RVA and feature live music from Corey El & The Fam, spoken word and poetry readings, and original artwork by Ron Stokes. Local artists and vendors will also be set up. The brewery’s event will be family-friendly.
Attendees can RSVP on Hardywood’s Facebook page.
WHEN: June 17 from noon to 8 p.m.
Black Village of RVA’s third annual block party attendees can enjoy dozens of Black-owned businesses, live music, dance, spoken word, food and games.
WHEN: June 18 from noon to 10 p.m.
WHERE: Diversity Thrift
Chesterfield will offer multiple Juneteenth events this year, from educational events to community get-togethers.
- June 13: Who Freed the Slaves? Presented by Dr. Adam Ewing, professor of African American studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, this explores Juneteenth’s history. It takes place at 6:30 p.m. at LaPrade Library.
- June 19: A Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. at Meadowbrook High School. This is a free event, but registration is required.
- June 24: Pop-Up Night Vendor Market at The Perkinson Center for the Arts and Education
For a complete list of events in Chesterfield, click here.
Prince George County will be hosting a special afternoon market this Juneteenth weekend, featuring a special ceremony, live music and the normal lineup of market vendors.
Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Reid will offer an invocation and a keynote address. There will also be a storytime and a performance of “Lift Every Voice.” After the opening ceremonies, there will also be live music from recording artists Taesean Blanding and Tiffany Sherrice and Terry “TSoul” Pinkard, who was featured on the voice.
For a full list of vendors, visit the market’s Facebook page.
WHEN: June 17 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
WHERE: Scott Memorial Park
Colonial Williamsburg will have a service at sunrise to celebrate Juneteenth, with a keynote address delivered by Tina Lifford, CEO of The Inner Fitness Project and an actress who most recently finished shooting the final season of Queen Sugar.
Williamsburg also offers free admission to its Historic Area and art museums on June 19 for several celebrations and events. To see a complete list, visit the Juneteenth webpage.
To pre-register and claim complimentary tickets, visit their website.
WHEN: June 18 at 6 a.m.
WHERE: Colonial Williamsburg’s Market Square North
Hopewell is hosting a free, family-friendly festival where visitors can enjoy cultural rituals, live music and Black-owned businesses and food trucks.
The event is hosted by KMOSS Presents, a youth development, education and cultural consultation organization.
WHEN: June 17 from noon to 6 p.m.
WHERE: Hopewell City Park
Juneteenth Community Celebration Cookout
Southside residents won’t have to go far to enjoy Juneteenth weekend with a celebration in Forest Hill Park.
WHEN: June 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
WHERE: Forest Hill Park
Juneteenth Freedom Celebration
The Love Movement Social Event Series presents a Juneteenth Celebration. The event features Sista Nicky, City Dance Theatre, J. Tucker & The Krewe and much more.
WHEN: June 19 from noon to 7 p.m.
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