Saint Petersburg, FL

Juneteenth events in St. Pete aim to support local Black-owned businesses

Rose Burke

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Juneteenth is coming up, and St. Petersburg isn't holding back this year! There is a slew of events planned to support Black-owned businesses, artists, entrepreneurs, entertainers, and more. Get the family together this weekend and spend the day enjoying live music, games, and shopping!

But first...

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19 and represents the day in 1865 when the news that both the Civil War was over and all enslaved people were free finally reached Texas. The message was delivered by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger two months after the war ended and almost two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by Abraham Lincoln.

The order Granger delivered read:

The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.

Roughly 250,000 former enslaved people celebrated their freedom on this day, however, many were still forced to work for some time afterward. Slave owners either forced them to finish out that year's harvest or refused to release their slaves until a government representative visited them in person to enforce the new law. Unfortunately, many enslaved people in Texas who were freed or attempted to release themselves were seriously injured or killed in the process.

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Former slaves and their families fought opposition from white Texans for years afterward as they traveled to Galveston, Texas to commemorate the date. Today, Juneteenth is honored by parades, festivals, markets, musical performances and so much more around the United States. These events aim to uplift the Black community and support Black-owned businesses.

These are some of the Juneteenth events being held in St. Petersburg this year:

The 2nd Annual Juneteenth Business Expo

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Over 150 local Black-owned businesses will be attending The 2nd Annual Juneteenth Business Expo in the form of vendors, food trucks, entertainers, educators, and more. The street fair aims to uplift the community while also creating a positive environment for Black entrepreneurs.

In addition to shopping, visitors can also attend a panel of local business owners titled The Blackest Dollar Presented By Lynda Elle Public Relations, participate in the Black Excellence Quest for a chance to win swag, and sign up the kids for a variety of activities. It's an event you won't want to miss!

Location: The Historic  Deuces | 642 22nd Street South, St. Petersburg

Date: June 19, 2021

Time: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Price: Free

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Films On The Corridor

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Dashiki In The City is kicking off their Juneteenth celebration with a movie in the park. This year they will be showing the 2020 Sundance Film Festival drama “Miss Juneteenth.” According to the event details, the movie "follows the struggles and triumphs of former Miss Juneteenth and single Mother Turquoise Jones who fights to enter her daughter into the local Miss Juneteenth pageant and overcome any obstacles that come her way."

The event will also host a variety of Black-owned vendors and food trucks for attendees to enjoy. Admission is free and all are welcome to join!

Location: Deuces Field | 9th Avenue South & 22nd Street, St. Petersburg

Date: June 18, 2021

Time: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Price: Free

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Freedom Day Fête

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Dashiki In The City is hosting Freedom Day Fête, a Juneteenth festival described as "an infusion of Black American, Caribbean and African elements." In addition to an array of Black-owned vendors and food trucks, attendees can expect live entertainment including a drum circle, poetic readings, and art performances.

The event is free to all and even includes food for the kids! With 50 Black-owned businesses participating, this festival will be something the whole family can enjoy.

Location: Deuces Field | 9th Avenue South & 22nd Street, St. Petersburg

Date: June 19, 2021

Time: 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Price: Free

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Juneteenth Jubilee

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The Factory is hosting a Juneteenth Jubilee which will feature work by local Black artists, live performances, food, cocktails, and vendors. This celebration of Black liberation is described as:

All of these elements will manifest through the collaboration of Black Factory Artists and community creatives with a variety of different mediums and vibes. The collective hope is that this ethos will honor and give thanks to the ancestors that sacrificed and paved a way for current generations of Black people to be who they are, and to rejoice in the best that’s yet to come.

Proceeds from the bar are donated to Keep St. Pete LIT!

Location: The Factory | 2622 Fairfield Ave South, St. Petersburg

Date: June 19, 2021

Time: 10:00 pm - 2:00 am

Price: Pay what you can afford

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Juneteenth Jam

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Organized by Modern Mindset Life Coaching CEO Janaye Hardy and A Griot's Corner CEO Lola B. Morgan, Juneteenth Jam is a resource-based event. The fair aims to uplift the Black community by providing resources to help improve mental health, financial literacy, health & wellness, career preparedness, and more.

Attendees can expect over 25 vendors, live music and dancers, giveaways, book readings, affirmation stations, games, and a kid's corner. There will also be a ceremony and a scholarship announcement!

Location: Northstar Academy of Pinellas | 2220 62nd Avenue South St. Petersburg

Date: June 19, 2021

Time: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Price: Free

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