Juneteenth, an annual commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States, is now marking its second year as a federal holiday. The celebration dates back to June 19, 1865, when a Union general arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African Americans that they were free and that the Civil War had ended. The news came about two months after the South had surrendered and more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Also known as Jubilee Day and Emancipation Day, Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19. Since that falls on a Sunday this year, the federal holiday is being observed on June 20. The following celebrations are taking part in Saint Paul to honor and celebrate Juneteenth 2022:

Laura Coates, a Rondo native and CNN senior legal analyst and SiriusXM radio host, will keynote the second annual Juneteenth Celebration at the Rondo Commemorative Plaza at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 19.

Juneteenth Community Celebration from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, June 11, outside the Latimer Library, 90 W. Fourth St. There will be African American music, art and literature exhibits, a story stroll, food trucks and more. Thomasina Petrus, Junauda Petrus-Nasah and Lance Brunius will be among the performers. Call 651-266-7000 or visit sppl.org/juneteenth.

Juneteenth Breakfast from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Friday, June 17, at the Minnesota Humanities Center, 987 E. Ivy Ave. Musical guest Jevetta Steele will perform. Angela Tate, curator of women’s history at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, will speak about the role of women in upholding Juneteenth traditions nationwide. Professor Duchess Harris will moderate a discussion. The cost is $10. Register at tinyurl.com/4jx8kvyz or contact Karen Sieber at 651-772-4265 or karen@mnhum.org.

   

Second annual Juneteenth Sweet Potato Pie Bakeoff from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at Arts-Us, 1221 Marshall Ave. Participants may drop off their pies any time during those hours. Celebrity judges will choose the top three bakers, who will advance to a second round on June 22. Visit tinyurl.com/4mpjsbsh or email sweetpotatocomfortpie@gmail.com for information.

Juneteenth: A Celebration with Music & Community hosted by the YWCA Saint Paul from 3-7 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at Boyd Park, 335 Selby Ave. Entertainment will include Jearlyn Steel, Thomasina Petrus, Johnnie Brown, Beverly Cottman, Brittany Delaney and others. There also will be a Kids Zone with the 3M Wizards, Dodge Nature Center, a dance party, bookmobile and food trucks. Visit ywcastpaul.org/juneteenth-2022.

NAACP Saint Paul Roy Wilkins Freedom Fund Gala from 5:30-11:30 Saturday, June 18, at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel, 11 E. Kellogg Blvd. The theme is “Our Voice is Our Vote!” The evening will include a dinner, keynote address by state Attorney General Keith Ellison, live entertainment and presentation of the Saint Paul NAACP Lifetime Achievement and Community Service Awards. Tickets start at $75. Visit tinyurl.com/545a865v.

 

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Second annual Juneteenth Celebration presented by the Rondo Center of Expression from noon-6 p.m. Sunday, June 19, at the Rondo Commemorative Plaza on Concordia Avenue and Fisk Street. A formal program from 3-4:15 p.m. will feature Rondo native and CNN senior legal analyst Laura Coates delivering the keynote address on the “Hope of Juneteenth in the 22nd Century.” There also will be local dignitaries and award presentations. Master of ceremonies will be WCCO Radio host Henry Lake. A block party from noon-6 p.m. will include exhibitors, music, dance performances, demonstrations, games, giveaways, conversations with authors and food trucks. Lee Jordan, Midwest director of the National Juneteenth Council and Foundation, will present a history of Juneteenth accompanied by U.S. Colored Troops re-enactors. The celebration ends with red velvet cupcakes courtesy of Saint Paul College. The event is free and open to the public. Visit rcodemn.org.

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