Memphis, TN

Memphis celebrates Juneteenth with festivals this weekend

Uncharted Traveling

Looking for ways to celebrate Juneteenth in Memphis? With a music line-up, kidz zone, outdoor museum, car show, 1k run/walk, youth talent showcase, and a celebration of local black business owners, there's something for everyone!

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Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Now more than ever is the time to come together as a community to celebrate important events in our history such as this, no matter what our race, color, or background is. Whether you participate in these events as a volunteer, join the celebration, or partner with sponsorships, we as a community should show our support in order to continue moving forward towards healing the deep wounds of our history.

Juneteenth Urban Music Festival

Friday June 18 & Saturday June 19, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm at Health Sciences Park

This year's Memphis Juneteenth Urban Music Festival will be held at Health Sciences Park on Madison Avenue and South Dunlap Street. This is a historic move for the festival and speaks to the importance of changes happening across our city and country, especially being that the park used to bear the name of Ku Klax Klan founder and confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest.

The move to Health Sciences Park is magnified by the fact that this will be the first year that the day is recognized by the state, county and the city of Memphis. Although the day is recognized, black people in America are still fighting for our lives and economic freedom! ~http://www.memphisjuneteenth.com

According to the official Juneteenth website, Telisa Franklin, Juneteenth’s President/CEO, has partnered with Memphis Greenspace, Inc., the non-profit organization that maintains the park. The new location is a fitting move for the Juneteenth festival, which is a celebration observing the end of slavery. It is known also as Juneteenth Independence Day, Freedom Day, or Emancipation Day, and although it has been observed annually in Memphis for 28 years, this is the first year that Juneteenth will be recognized as an official holiday. A true cause for celebration!

This year's Juneteenth festivities will be happening on Friday and Saturday from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm. Admission is free, but you'll need to bring your own lawn chairs or blankets. Here's a run down of all the weekend's events!

1k Freedom Run/Walk

The Juneteenth run/walk will start and finish at Health Sciences Park on Madison and Dunlap. The cost is $10 per person and includes a t-shirt. You can sign up at the link here.

Mid-South Youth Showcase

Check out the young talent that the Mid-south has to show off with live entertainment, majorettes, drummers, and more. The show is happening on Saturday from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, so be sure to support these talented young people!

Car Show

The car show will be on the South Dunlap Street from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm on Saturday, with the winner being announced on state at 4:00 pm.

Music Performances

Festival gates open at 10:00 am, with music performances starting at 12:00 pm on Friday and lasting throughout the day. Saturday performances start at 11:00 am with the Youth Talent Showcase. After the announcement of the Car Show winner at 4:00, more performances will continue. For a full list of performance schedules and line-ups, see the official Memphis Juneteenth website.

Parking & Shuttle

If you can't find a place to park near the festival, there's a free shuttle service that will run from Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church at 70 North Bellevue Blvd.

Volunteers

Interested in volunteering for the festival? Check the volunteer sign up here.

Respect and appreciation for all of our differences grow out of exposure and working together. Getting involved and supporting Juneteenth celebrations creates new bonds of friendship and understanding among us. This indeed brightens our future - and that is the Spirit of Juneteenth. ~http://www.memphisjuneteenth.com

Juneteenth Shop Black Festival

Saturday June 19, 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM at The Fourth Bluff Park

The 2nd Annual Juneteenth Shop Black Festival will be held at The Fourth Bluff Park, located on Front St. between Court and Jefferson. The event will feature food trucks, food vendors, shopping vendors, and a rockin' live music line up! Come join the party and support black business owners in Memphis.

Celebrating Black Culture and creating BLOCK PARTY vibes as we get back to our normal routines! ~ Juneteenth Shop Black Festival

Here's a summary of event details from their official website. This is considered a child friendly event. No pets, no outside food and no outside drinks allowed. The park is small, so no blankets or lawn chairs are allowed this year.

Music Line-up

12:30 pm Devin Crutcher

2:30 pm Keia Johnson

4:30 pm Courtney Little

Parking

Street parking is available on Court Street, as well as in three nearby parking garages.

Payment

Most vendors will only accept electronic payments. Be sure to download CashApp on your phone for safety measures. If you bring cash, bring smaller bills when making purchases.

Covid-19 Safety Guidelines

Tennessee has lifted the mask mandate, so you do not have to wear a mask to this event, but we do ask that you socially distance yourselves in the park while shopping. Per the Shelby County Health Department, food lines will be socially distanced.

You will be asked to fill out a Covid-19 Assessment Screening electronically before entering the park. If you register for the event online in advance, the screening will be emailed out the morning of the event and you will show your confirmation to enter the event.

For more information and to register for the party online, click here for their event page.

Keep up to date with all the best events happenings in Memphis by following me. I write about community events, live music and festivals, and all the best food and drink!

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Local city guide for Memphis Tennessee, reporting on current events, entertainment, and all the best places to eat and drink. And a few cocktail recipes here and there!

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