5 Indianapolis-area Juneteenth Celebrations to Put on Your Calendar in 2022

Here are five local events to commemorate Juneteenth in Indy.
Featured Juneteenth Image

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:

advertisement with black background promoting juneteenth food festival

June 17
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.

June 18-19

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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.

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June 18
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.

six black people on a advertisement for the eastside juneteenth celebration in indianapolis

June 19
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.”


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June 19
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.

Diane Moore is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Indy Maven. You can follow her on Instagram @whatdianeloves.

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