Juneteenth 2022 in Cincy

The annual observance of Juneteenth commemorates the 1865 ending of slavery in the United States.
 

A Historic Celebration

Juneteenth Festival (Photo: Juneteenth Festival)
Juneteenth Festival (Photo: Juneteenth Festival)

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that the more than three million slaves living in the Confederacy were to be freed. It was not until June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers arrived to Galveston, that the residents of Texas would learn that slavery had been abolished. Formerly enslaved African Americans immediately celebrated with prayer, feasts, song, and dance. The tradition of commemorating June 19 as a day of freedom has been recognized annually throughout history, known as "Juneteenth". 
 
On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law, making Juneteenth a federally recognized holiday.
 
The Cincinnati region has a long history of observing this day of celebration, and there are many ways for you to experience Juneteenth in our community.
 

Flag Raising

Juneteenth Flag (Photo: Cincinnati Juneteenth Festival)
Juneteenth Flag (Photo: Cincinnati Juneteenth Festival)

Leading up to Juneteenth, from June 13 – 17, flags will be raised during special ceremonies at The Cincinnati Art Museum, the Hamilton County Courthouse and Cincinnati City Hall.  
 

Juneteenth Festival in Eden Park 

Cincinnati Juneteenth at Eden Park (Photo: Cincinnati Juneteenth)

The first Cincinnati Juneteenth Festival took place in 1988 and has been held annually ever since. This special day is centered around uplifting local culture, building community, and celebrating freedom. 
 
This year’s festival will take place on Saturday, June 18th at Eden Park. Listen to live acts on two stages, shop and eat from a variety of black-owned vendors, and watch historical reenactments – all for free! Bring the whole family for a full day of activities. Festivities kick off at noon and end at 9 P.M. 
 

Wade in the Water

Black Brigade Monument at Smale Riverfront Park (Photo: CincinnatiUSA.com)

Water is an important theme in African American spirituals and is frequently used as a symbol for freedom. Similarly, the Ohio River holds a significant place in history, as it divided the Union from the Confederacy, and was seen as the final landmark for those fleeing slavery.
 
“Wade in the Water” is an annual homage to water and its historical and spiritual ties to freedom. Everybody is invited to dance along the Ohio riverfront and across the Purple People Bridge on June 12 at 3:00 PM. Click here for more information.
 

2nd Annual Juneteenth Craft Festival

Esoteric Brewing (Photo: Visit Cincy)

Esoteric Brewing, the Cincinnati Music Accelerator, Queen Mother's Market and the Craft Beer Association are proud to present the 2nd annual Juneteenth Craft Festival: A Celebration of Black Culture. Join the festivities and fun at this outdoor festival, with black-owned food trucks, vendors, craft beer and live music. 
 

Black Family Picnic and Movie in the Park

Family Picnic and Movie Night (Photo: Visit Cincy)

Join Queens Village and Culture + Collabs for a special Juneteenth family picnic and movie in the park on Wednesday, June 15th! The family-style picnic will begin at Washington Park at 6 PM, followed by an outdoor showing of the movie “Crooklyn”. Food trucks will be available onsite with dinner for purchase; the first 40 families registered will receive a complimentary picnic blanket and free food truck vouchers!
 

Young Black Genius Block Party

Young Black Genius Block Party (Photo: Visit Cincy)

Hosted by Sweet Sistah Splash (a multi-cultural bookstore and community program space), this Ziegler Park block party will be a celebration of black youth, businesses, history, community and culture. There will be food trucks, vendors, live performances, community speakers, music, games, and access to Youth Resources (jobs, sports, leadership opportunities), and much more! Festivities begin at 2 PM and end at 6 PM. Free admission for all.  
 

Juneteenth at Findlay Market

Findlay Market (Photo: Visit Cincy)
This year, Findlay Market has a three-day lineup of special events to celebrate Juneteenth. 
 
Kick off the weekend on Friday, June 17th at Jane’s, with live music and drinks from 6 PM – 9 PM. 
 
On Saturday, learn more about the history of Juneteenth during a panel discussion, featuring local business leaders and owners. Moderated by Kai Stoudemire-Williams, founder of Black is Excellence, this event will take place at The Columns, from 11 AM to noon. Tickets are required and free
 
Last but not least, on Sunday, June 19, Findlay Market will be showcasing the delicious offerings of its black-owned businesses during a special Juneteenth Tasting Event. Live music, craft beer and specialty cocktails will also be available. Participating venues include Bouchard’s, Chico’s Cheesecakes, Esoteric, Miley Pooh Sweets, and many more. Tickets are required and limited.
 

Family Fun Day at the Civic Garden Center

Family Fun Day (Photo: Visit Cincy)

Bring the whole family to the Civic Garden Center on Saturday, June 18th for a special Juneteenth Family Fun Day. 
 
There will be a variety of activities; from garden tours and scavenger hunts to yoga and historical re-enactments. The day will kick off at 11 AM and wrap up by 3 PM. Click here for more information.