juinteenth, celebrated on June 19, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States
Congress voted on the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, in January 1865. Juneteenth recognizes the day later in the year when the Union Army reached Galveston, Texas – one of the last strongholds of slavery – and spread the word that the last remaining slaves in the United States were free.
In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy signed a law in 2020 that made Juneteenth a public holiday. This year, plans for celebrations are taking place throughout the Garden State.
Here is a list of Juneteenth events in New Jersey.
The Festival of Black Excellence – This two-day event starts at Sample hotel in Atlantic City on June 18. It features food trucks, a celebrity basketball game, comedy and more. Ticket prices vary according to individual events.
June 10 Celebration in Moorestown – Moorestown will commemorate Juneteenth on June 19 at the Perkins Center for the Arts from 10 o’clock. The free outdoor event will feature vendors, speakers, historians and artists.
Newark Art Museum Community Day: June – Newark Art Museum will offer a virtual program list on June 19, starting at 10 a.m. Events include a virtual dance masterclass, a discussion of George Floyd’s legacy and more.
Bloomfield’s First Juneteenth Celebration – The commune of Bloomfield will host its first Juneteenth celebration starting June 18, with a discussion of the history of the holiday and its significance for the black community. This event will take place at Bloomfield High School at 6 p.m. On June 19, an outdoor festival hosted by GiveBack Hair Show in and around the Bloomfield Center begins at noon.
Orange New Jersey Juneteenth Festival – This free festival presented by Orange advisor Adrienne Wooten takes place at Colgate Park from 10 a.m. on June 19. It offers food, vendors and drinks, according to a flyer.
Family Freedom Festival on June 17 – Organized by Source of Knowledge bookstore, All Politics Are Local and The Black Home, this event will begin at noon. It offers book signings, performances, guest speakers and more.
Gathering of June 17 to speak out: REPAIRS – A rally and a march for repairs, organized by The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, and other community groups, is scheduled for noon at the Lincoln Memorial on Market Street in Newark. The protest is in support of New Jersey Bills to create a Reparations Task Force (S322 / A711).
Skatefest at Colgate Skate Park – The city of Orange is expected to host a day of skating at Colgate Park, starting at 11 a.m. “All wheels are welcome,” according to the event flyer. Free skating clinics are provided for people of all ages, and the event will include a skating competition for participants 16 and under.
Juneteenth to Mercer Stables – The Mercer County African-American Cultural Collaboration will host a free event at Mercer Stables where attendees can learn about black cowboys and cowgirls, according to a Facebook event page. It starts at 10 a.m. on June 19.
June 17th weekend celebration in Trenton – A three-day celebration at Mill Hill Park in Trenton will begin on June 18. Activities include a bike ride for freedom, a celebration of the gospel, and discussions about children’s literacy.
Neptune / Asbury Park June 10 Celebration – This Juneteenth celebration begins at Midtown Commons Park at 11 a.m. on June 19 with speakers, sign making and more. A parade starts at 1:15 am. And a festival featuring shows, vendors, and vaccinations begins at 2 p.m. at Springwood Avenue Park in Asbury Park.
June 15 Celebration on the Jersey Shore – Head to the Jersey Shore for a day filled with an African-centric fashion show, natural hair demonstrations, live cooking presentations and more. The event will start at 10PRL in Long Branch at 11 a.m. on June 19. Tickets cost $ 10.
Pop Up Celebration Juneteenth – Pop Up Juneteenth celebration in Elizabeth starts at noon on June 19 and masks are required to attend, according to an event prospectus. A DJ will spin the hits and several local vendors will be present.
June 17 Art Festival – This event at Rabkin Park at Union is filled with art, food and music. Food and cash donations will be accepted by the local pantry. It starts at 11 a.m. on June 19.
Caravan and market place Juneteenth – This celebration in Elizabeth begins at 5 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Park. Hosted by First Republic Lounge, the festivities include a parade of caravans, a food festival and an outdoor market.
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Tennyson Donyèa can be contacted at [email protected]. Please feel free to send a message with any events we may have missed.