AKRON, Ohio — Akron’s Independence Day celebration will take place June 17-19 and includes educational events, festivals, a parade, a roundtable and more at venues across the city.
President Joe Biden signed legislation in 2021 establishing National Independence Day on June 19 as a federal holiday commemorating the proclamation of the end of slavery in the United States. The Akron City Council has also adopted a resolution last year by designating June 19 as Akron’s June 19 Independence Day.
“Juneteenth Independence Day is a day of celebration and unity but also of remembrance,” Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said in a press release. “I am honored to be able to share this day with our residents and officially recognize it as the new national holiday. Juneteenth provides us with a great opportunity to re-engage in the work of equity, equality and justice right here in our own community. And I encourage all Akronites to participate in one of the many celebrations and educational events taking place for Juneteenth.
friday june 17
Perkins Stone Mansion, 550 Copley Road, is hosting an African Migration/Juneteenth Farm event for children at 10:30 a.m. The event highlights African American migration to Akron and Summit County. Students will be divided into two groups: kindergarten to first grade and second to sixth grade.
Saturday June 18
Community Talk Back: Empowering a Community will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the Perkins Stone Mansion. GinaKaye Maddox, Chair of the John Brown Institute Task Force, will moderate the roundtable. Panelists include: Taba Aleem, Ujima Project; Bishop Samuel Hamption II, pastor of the First Apostolic Faith Church; Carla Davis, member of the Akron Racial Equity Task Force; Albert A. Bragg, Jr., director of Alpha Phi Alpha Homes; and Steve Arrington, Executive Director of the Bayard Rustin LGBTQ+ Resource Center.
A June 16 party is scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. at the Joy Park Community Center, 825 Fuller St. The festival is hosted by Ward 5 Councilwoman Tara Mosley.
Students With a Goal is hosting a June 16 celebration from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Summit Lake Nature Center, 411 Ira Ave. The event features guest speakers Philathia Bolton and Kwame Williams, pop-up vendors and a guided canoe on Summit Lake.
New Generation will host a Youth Juneteenth event from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Perkins Park, 899 Diagonal Road. The family event features music and games for children of all ages, a “What is Juneteenth?” coloring contest for young children and an essay contest for older children.
The Summit County Historical Society will host an open house for the John Brown House, 500-526 Diagonal Road, featuring “Conversations of Grace,” an exhibit curated by artist Dara Harper from noon to 3 p.m.
Chef Dannika Stevenson of Sip Savor Soul will give a soul food cooking demonstration at 12:15 p.m. at the Perkins Stone Mansion.
The Downtown Akron Partnership will host a June 19 celebration from 5-10 p.m. at Lock 3 p.m. The event begins with a paid dinner and community conversation from 5-6:30 p.m. Facilitators at each table will initiate and lead discussions on topics such as ways to build community, achieve equity, and how to encourage the sharing of experiences among people of all incomes and backgrounds. Tickets are $10 and can be online purchase. DJ Forest “Getemgump” Webb and the Unit Band will give a free performance from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday June 19
The Akron Zoo, 500 Edgewood Ave., will host a Historic June 19 Akron Hike at the John Brown Monument for Juneteenth and Father’s Day guided by Dave Lieberth. The hike starts at the zoo at 9am
The 24th Annual Akron Juneteenth Festival will kick off with the West Akron Parade hosted by the Buchtel Parent-Teacher Association at noon. The parade descends at the Buchtel Community Learning Center, 1040 Copley Road, and ends at Stoner/Hawkins Park, 1201 S. Hawkins Ave. The festival is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Stoner/Hawkins Park. The festival includes a black business market, the Gerald R. Carter Teen Talent Show, flag football games, and the West Side Car Show. The festival is presented by the Akron Black Coalition.
The Summit Lake Nature Center will host a June 16 celebration from 1 to 4 p.m. The celebration features crafts, food, fishing and more.
All municipal offices in the City of Akron will be closed on Monday, June 20 for Independence Day on June 19.
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