Chicago Celebrates Juneteenth with Spectacular Events and Festivities

Chicago’s diverse Juneteenth celebrations honor the legacy of freedom with community events, festivals, and educational activities. From historical reflections to vibrant festivities, the city commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people and the ongoing pursuit of equity and justice.

On June 19, 1865, two years (and a half) after Abraham Lincoln declared enslaved people free, Texans still bound by the rules of slavery were finally set free. However, it wasn’t until Union troops reached Galveston Bay, Texas, that this information was made public to the enslaved people. 

The news came with great excitement from the enslaved but with disdain from many slave owners who viewed freedom as a blow to their businesses and what they had accomplished with free labor.

Juneteenth was first recognized as an official holiday in 1980 in Texas, given its roots there. Today, Juneteenth is a federal holiday recognized in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia. Formally known as Juneteenth National Independence Day, this celebration has united many Black people and changed how many have chosen to celebrate the special day. 

Illinois, becoming the 47th state to honor the holiday, has seen many Black people in Chicago embracing the meaning behind Juneteenth. 

They value the holiday and those who sacrificed to make this day possible. Freedom today is only freedom because of what others were willing to give up, knowing their sacrifice would change the trajectory of those coming behind them.

Juneteenth Illinois, “a collaboration of state, county, and local governments, community- and faith-based organizations, civic groups, the arts, and corporate sponsors, and your clearinghouse for all things Juneteenth in Illinois,” stands on the following four pillars of Juneteenth: “Equity in Education, Health, Wealth, and Justice.” The four pillars set a strong foundation of what people can stand on when celebrating June 19. 

Juneteenth Celebrated in Chicago 

Chicago celebrates Juneteenth in many different ways. While some people will kick back and spend time with their families, others will volunteer to clean their communities, attend festivals, go to galas, support Black businesses, and do Black History deep dives, among many other activities. 

No matter how one decides to enjoy the day, a day filled with love, support, respect for freedom, education, and acknowledgment that Black people continue to persevere, thrive, and make the best out of life is one well-regarded celebration. 

Juneteenth Events Happening In Chicago and Surrounding Areas

Juneteenth Chicago Defender


Juneteenth Lake County 2024 at Foss Park

Friday, June 14 – Sunday, June 16, 2024 | 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

1901 Foss Park Ave., North Chicago, IL 60085

Juneteenth Illinois Scholarship Reception 

Friday, June 14, 2024, 5 – 7 p.m. 

540 West Madison, Chicago, IL 60661

Juneteenth Village Fest

Saturday, June 15th, 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | FREE 

Anna & Frederick Douglass Park, 1401 South Sacramento Drive

Bronzeville 2024 Juneteenth Celebration — Unity Rising

Saturday, June 15, 2024 | 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

3521 South King Drive Chicago, IL 60653

Juneteenth Family Festival 

Saturday, June 15, 2024, 12–7 p.m. | FREE

110th & Longwood | Chicago IL

They Not Like Us | Art Exhibit and Gallery Fundraiser

Saturday, June 15 · 12 – 4 p.m.

Pose Cultural Art Gallery, 2136 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622

1865 Fest Juneteenth Weekend

Sunday, June 16 – Tuesday, June 18 | 12 p.m.-8 p.m. 

Garfield Park Music Court Circle, Chicago, IL 60624

Black Culture Week Juneteenth Flag Raising Celebration

Monday, June 17, 2024, 10– 11:30 a.m.

Daley Plaza, 50 W Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

The Emancipation Ball 2024: Chicago’s Premiere Juneteenth Event

Tuesday, June 18, 7 p.m. – Wednesday, June 19, 12 a.m. 

Rockwell on the River, 3057 North Rockwell Street, Chicago, IL 60618

Juneteenth Celebration at MLK Skating and Bowling

Wednesday, June 19, 5 – 8 p.m. 

The MLK Skating and Bowling Center, 1219 W 76th St Chicago, IL 60620

Juneteenth Extravaganza on Ellis 2024

Sunday, June 16, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

1000 East 76th Street Chicago, IL 60619

Juneteenth Day Party 

Wednesday, June 19, 3 – 9 p.m.

Virgin Hotels Chicago, North Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL, USA

203 North Wabash Avenue Chicago, IL 60601

Black Culture Week Juneteenth FireWorks Fest

Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Rainbow Beach Park, 3111 E 77th St, Chicago, IL 60649

Juneteenth Daytime Celebration (Chicago) 3-Level Yacht All-Black Attire

Saturday, June 15, 1:15 – 5:30 p.m.

Anita Dee Yacht Charters, 200 North Breakwater Access Chicago, IL 60601

Far South CDC presents the 2024 Juneteenth Festival!

Saturday, June 15, 12–5 p.m. | FREE

11420 South Halsted Street Chicago, IL 60628

Refine Collective Presents the 4th Annual Juneteenth Freedom Market @ The Salt Shed

Wednesday, June 19, 2 – 7 p.m. | FREE 

Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.

The Salt Shed Outdoors (Fairgrounds), 1357 N Elston Ave  Chicago, IL 60642

2024 Thank You Chicago Juneteenth Culture Market

Wednesday, June 19, 2 – 7 p.m. | FREE

The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. West Chicago, IL 60615 

The Woodlawn Juneteenth Block Party 

Wednesday, June 19, 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. | FREE

1200 Est 79 Street, Chicago, IL 

BYOB Game Night- Juneteenth Edition

Wednesday, June 19, 7 – 11 p.m. 

215 East 47th Street Chicago, IL 60653

The DuSable Black History Museum Juneteenth Performances

June 19, 2024, 10 a.m.–8:30 p.m. | FREE

740 E 56th Pl, Chicago, IL 60637

Celebrate Juneteenth with The Rewind: An Online Experience

Wednesday, June 19, 6 – 7:30 p.m.


New Life Outreach Presents Juneteenth Community Clean-up 

Wednesday, June 19, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. | FREE

New Life Covenant SE Church, 1021 E 78th St. Chicago, IL

Juneteenth Illinois Health Panel

Saturday, June 22, 8 – 10 a.m. | FREE

Malcolm X College, 1900 W Jackson, Chicago, Il 60612

I Got Away McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour

Wednesday, June 19, 7 – 10 p.m. | FREE

Greenwood Oasis, 7621 South Greenwood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60619



Robbins Friends of the Park  

Wednesday, June 15, 4 – 9:30 p.m. | FREE

Robbins Community Center, 13800 S. Trumbull Ave. Robbins, IL 60472

Homewood-Flossmoor Juneteenth Parade 

Saturday, June 19,  9 a.m. | FREE

Sterling Ave and Flossmoor Road, 999 Kedzie Ave, Flossmoor, IL

Homewood-Flossmoor Juneteenth Festival 

Wednesday, June 15, 11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. | FREE

999 Kedzie Ave, Flossmoor, IL

Juneteenth Lake County 2024 at Foss Park 

Friday, June 14– Sunday 16, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. | FREE

1901 Foss Park Ave., North Chicago, IL 60085

Evanston’s 5th Annual Juneteenth Parade

Saturday, June 15, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

1801 Main Street 


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