Holidays

Where to Celebrate the Juneteenth Holiday in Metro Phoenix

The free Valley of the Sun Juneteenth Celebration happens at Eastlake Park.
The free Valley of the Sun Juneteenth Celebration happens at Eastlake Park. Ray Stern
click to enlarge There's a Phoenix Hip Hop Festival Juneteenth Edition this year. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
There's a Phoenix Hip Hop Festival Juneteenth Edition this year.
Benjamin Leatherman
Although the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect in 1863, enslaved people in places under Confederate control weren’t immediately granted their freedom. Hence, the celebration of Juneteenth, a holiday that recalls Union troops arriving in Galveston Bay, Texas on June 19, 1865, to announce that the state’s enslaved Black people were being freed by executive decree.

Here's a sampling of Juneteenth celebrations happening around the Valley, including a few taking place on Friday, June 18. Most are free, and you should check mask requirements before you go.


Vegan Block Party

A free Juneteenth edition of the Zen Nights Vegan Block Party is happening from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, June 18, in downtown Mesa. Head to 1 MacDonald Drive for activities that will include cooking demonstrations, vendors, and a DJ.



click to enlarge The free Valley of the Sun Juneteenth Celebration happens at Eastlake Park. - RAY STERN
The free Valley of the Sun Juneteenth Celebration happens at Eastlake Park.
Ray Stern

Valley of the Sun Celebration

The free Valley of the Sun Juneteenth celebration hosted by Arizona Informant will include both online sessions and in-person activities at Eastlake Park Community Center, 1549 East Jefferson Street. It’s happening from 5 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 19. Expect live performance by school and community groups, health screenings, educational workshops, vendors, games, soul food, and more.


Hip Hop Festival

The Juneteenth Edition of the Phoenix Hip Hop Festival is happening at Monarch Theatre, 122 Washington Street, from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 19. It’s an age-21-and-up event that includes live performances on three stages, live painting, and vendors. General admission tickets are $20. VIP packages are also available.


Scottsdale

GenerationBlack is presenting a Juneteenth celebration sponsored by the city of Scottsdale, which happens from 2 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 19. Head to McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 7301 East Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale, for festivities that include entertainment, food, live music, a raffle, and more. Performers will include Jonathan Lavingston, Toure Masters, and more. The event is free.


Winefest

A Juneteenth wine festival featuring African American-owned and -operated wineries is happening from 3 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 19, at Mark Coronado Park, which is located in Surprise at 15850 North Bullard Avenue. The celebration includes entertainment, vendors, food trucks, and more. Tickets start at $20, and a portion of the proceeds will go to The Buffalo Soldiers of the Arizona Territory.


Maricopa

A free event called Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom is happening from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 19, at Pacana Park, 19000 North Porter Road, Maricopa. The lineup includes live music, spoken word, entertainment, food, and vendors.


The Matriarchs of Washington Park

The Mesa Historical Museum will welcome Bruce Nelson for a free presentation on African-American women who fought racism and segregation from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 19. The museum is located at 2345 North Horne in Mesa.


click to enlarge Throwback to a drumming performance during a previous Juneteenth celebration in Tempe. - DAN MILLER
Throwback to a drumming performance during a previous Juneteenth celebration in Tempe.
Dan Miller

Tempe Festival

The city of Tempe will holds its Juneteenth celebration from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 18, at the Tempe History Museum, 809 East Southern Avenue. The free event, which will also be live-streamed on Facebook, will include community singers and performers, children’s activities, history displays, awards, proclamations, walk-up COVID-19 vaccinations, and more.


Buzzies on Central

Head to Buzzies on Central, 3602 South Central Avenue, to be part of the Juneteenth Celebration that includes a fashion show, talent competition, paint and sip activity, vendors, a DJ, and more. The free, all-ages event happens from 2 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 19.


West Valley NAACP

The West Valley NAACP is presenting a Juneteenth Celebration from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 19. The free event will take place at West Point High School, which is located in Avondale at 11620 West Encanto Boulevard.


Celebration of Freedom

The free Celebration of Freedom at Folley Park, 601 East Frye Road, Chandler, happens from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 19. It’ll kick off with a 4 p.m. car caravan through downtown, but also includes food trucks, vendors, live music, and other entertainment. It’s being presented by Chandler4Change and the city of Chandler.


Networking

Bring plenty of business cards if you’re attending the Juneteenth networking event happening from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 19, at Way L.A. Studio, 4130 North Seventh Avenue. The free event includes a pop up shop, food trucks, and more.


Golf Classic

The Black Golfer Association is presenting a Juneteenth 4 person scramble at Arizona Grand Golf Course, 8000 South Arizona Grand Parkway. Festivities kick off at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 19. The event is $150/person with proceeds going towards golf equipment and scholarships for underserved communities.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble