Celebrating freedom is a key tenet of Juneteenth. It became a federal holiday in 2021 and gets its name from a combination of June and nineteenth. On that date in 1865, thousands of black people who were still enslaved in Galveston, Texas were notified of their freedom. Black Americans in Texas, and other states that the U.S. Census Bureau classifies as the South, have celebrated Juneteenth for more than 150 years.
During this decade similar celebrations have expanded nationwide, and Central Indiana is no exception. What follows is five of those events with free admission where you can experience everything from cultural activities to music and food:
4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site
Foodways is defined in the dictionary as “the culinary practices of a people, region or historical period” and that is what visitors will be a part of at this interactive food festival. There will be an emphasis on the story of Dolly Johnson, a successful black cook and caterer, who was hired by President Harrison in 1889 to prepare and serve meals at the White House. There also will be diverse vendors onsite with food and other items available for purchase.
2. BLOCK PARTY
12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Art & Soul Stage
Madam Walker Legacy Center
This event is outdoors and will feature DJs, and musical performances by more than 15 artists. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from food vendors including The Block Bistro & Grill, Grub House, Gip Got Tips, and Aw’Sum Snoballs and Shaved Ice. Alcoholic beverages also will be available in an area for adults 21 and over.
10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
The Eiteljorg Museum/White River State Park
Live jazz, arts and crafts, and other family-friendly activities are scheduled throughout the day.
12 p.m.- 5 p.m.
Warren Performing Arts Center
Drum circles, dance, poetry and storytelling are scheduled at what is described as a “multigenerational event.”
2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Nickel Plate District Amphitheater
The jubilee will feature bounce houses, face painting, and food trucks, as well as other entertainment.