From Balls to Block Parties, 17 Things to Do for Juneteenth in Chicago

There are myriad ways to celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the day the last enslaved Blacks learned they were free.

Using this blessed holiday as a day to engage in activism, volunteering or education is perfectly fine. The same applies if you choose to attend a parade or barbecue.

For some, Juneteenth means watching their favorite Black film at home or turning up at a music festival. 

Whatever your flavor, there are a plethora of events in the city this weekend. With that said, here are 17 Juneteenth events you and the fam can hit up this weekend:

The Emancipation Ball – Chicago’s Premiere Juneteenth Event (June 16)

This Moor’s Brewing Company affair promises all in attendance to be “transported to a world of celebration, freedom, and unbridled joy.” There is nothing wrong with that.

Juneteenth Celebration (June 16)

Hosted by the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), this all-day event occurs at the Go Green Community Fresh Market. Visitors can expect a full day of family-friendly activities, live music and discounts on items. 

Back to Black Showcase (June 17)

Back to Black launches its first Juneteenth show at the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies. This showcase highlights modern dance and the performing arts to “celebrate, value and understand what it means to be Black. Truth!

Homewood-Flossmoor Juneteenth Festival (June 17)

This free festival will celebrate African-American culture — our culture — as expressed through food, music, dance and arts. Dig in. 

Juneteenth 2023: It’s A Family Affair! (June 17)

The Chicago Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. hosts this massive Juneteenth celebration at the Dr. Conrad Worrill Track & Field at Gately Stadium. Whether you’re eight or 80, expect fun for all ages. 

Juneteenth Celebration at the Village of Richton Park (June 17)

This celebration rings in the Juneteenth Holiday Weekend with live music, food trucks, vendors, kids activities and a beer garden. 

Juneteenth Celebration Party at the Marquette Park Pavilion in Gary (June 17)

This Juneteenth celebration definitely lives up to its name. Hosted by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., this function promises to be an all-out party with two DJs, two dancefloors and special performances. 

UNCF “A Mind Is…” Gala (June 17)

This signature event at the Hyatt Regency’s Grand Ballroom is the place this weekend. The UNCF gala will attract nearly 600 corporate partners, educators, religious leaders and community influencers. Every year, the UNCF gala delivers on this promise: A great time for an even greater cause!

Woodlawn Community Juneteenth Celebration & BioBlitz (June 17)

This free event at the Emmett & Mamie Till-Mobley House will allow participants to celebrate and learn how to save the planet. Food, live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, and educational sessions on recycling and sustainability will be provided. 

The Black Boaters Summit (June 18-19)

The Black Boaters Summit, which takes place at the 31st Street Harbor, will provide Chicago’s Black boaters a space to “come together, network and celebrate their shared love for boating and water-based activities.”

Juneteenth and Father’s Day Celebration (June 18)

MADD Rhythms return with their free annual celebration at the Harold Washington Cultural Center. The emphasis is CELEBRATION as participants can expect an afternoon of live dance, music, complimentary food, workshops, raffles, art and children’s activities.

Juneteenth Jamboree Celebration at Greater St. John Bible Church (June 18)

Greater St. John Bible Church in Austin is rolling out its Juneteenth celebration with a fun day of dance, food, games and a talent show — a true jamboree.

Juneteenth Village Fest (June 18)

Food, fun, family, tradition and dope music all day long. That’s what this sold-out Douglass Park event promises. Internationally-renowned Black music artists like Angie Stone, Talib Kweli, Marsha Ambrosius, BJ The Chicago Kid, Kindred the Family Soul and more will perform. A party with a purpose, for real. 

1619: The Journey of a People, a Musical (June 19)

This musical is a chronicle of the African-American journey — the triumphs and turbulence — as told through Hip-hop, Jazz and Blues. This critically-acclaimed show is at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts. 

4th Annual Juneteenth Blockparty 2023 (June 19)

In honor of the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans, get ready to groove. This FREE block party at The Woodlawn promises food, gaming trucks, vendors, rooftop yoga and good vibes.

Juneteenth Community BBQ (June 19)

The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center hosts this Juneteenth celebration featuring BBQ, family fun and togetherness. 

Juneteenth For The Culture Market (June 19)

What’s a Juneteenth celebration without a showcase for Black-owned businesses? This pop-up market celebrates and showcases Chicago Black businesses at the Promontory in Hyde Park.

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