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Weekend Events: Juneteenth celebrations and more

Posted at 7:24 PM, Jun 17, 2022

RICHMOND, Va. — Professor James Small calls the story of Juneteenth, extraordinary, because it’s the final stage of emancipation. Professor Small is an educator and an expert on African and African American world history and politics.

“Every people need sacred days to remember and to record history, and to talk about the greatness of themselves, and Juneteenth is one of those markers and a very significant one of those markers,” says Professor Small.

The date was 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, Texas would be the last confederate state to comply, and it would take two years after the initial proclamation for Enslaved Africans to be free.

In 1865 General Gordon Granger delivered the message that would eventually free about a quarter of a million blacks in Texas. June 19 is now a federal holiday.

Juneteenth - A Freedom Celebration

Janine Bell with the Elegba Folklore Society is credited with engaging the community with this history.

“It was in the mid-90s when the Elegba Folklore Society was asked to create some programming for the then, Virginia Historical Society. There was an exhibition about Reconstruction, and I thought that talking about Juneteenth because Reconstruction couldn't happen until there was something to reconstruct if you will. And of course, enslaved Africans were all a part of the conversation.”

The conversation turned into a state holiday and later a federal holiday. The Elegba Folklore Society’s Juneteenth -A Freedom Celebration is on Sunday, June 26 at the African Burial Ground, 1540 East Broad Street, in Richmond featuring Prof. James Small, Ban Caribe, and other performances. Tickets are $5, Children under 12 come free. Details at click on festivals

Festival of Arts at Dogwood Dell and Jubilation in June Festival

The City of Richmond will celebrate Juneteenth a week earlier on June 17 with the 65th annual Festival of Arts at Dogwood Dell and the inaugural Jubilation in June Festival. Shared History in Stories on June 18 at the 17th Street Market and a Juneteenth celebration on June 19 at 3101 Wharf Street starting at 4 pm with performances from Bee Bouiseou, The Hamiltones, and the Elegba Folklore Society, ending with fireworks at 9:15 pm. The full schedule of events can be found at

Juneteenth Events across Central Virginia

Henrico County Juneteenth Celebration June 18, at 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm At Henrico Recreation & Parks at Dorey 4:00 PM – Gates Open 4:00-8:00 PM – Vendor Fair & Kids’ Zone 4:00-9:00 PM – Entertainment & Food Trucks 9:15 PM – Fireworks Finale Details

Juneteenth Powhatan 2022 A day of celebration culture and history Saturday, June 18, 9 am – 2 pm At The Restore – 1922 Urbine Road, Powhatan Juneteenth – The Longest-running African American Holiday, 4 – 7 pm at Powhatan African American Cultural Arts Museum

Hopewell Juneteenth Freedom Festival June 18, 12 – 6 pm City Park, Hopewell, 205 Appomattox St, Hopewell, Celebrate Juneteenth down by the river at beautiful City Park in Hopewell, FREE event live music performances, cultural celebrations, youth activities, and interactive history lessons. US Olympian and professional rugby player Naya Tapper will lead youth recreational activities, share her experiences as an African-American woman and rugby player, and encourage African-American youth to explore opportunities in diverse sports. Live music, and other performances food trucks, local vendors, and free food while supplies last. Details

Juneteenth Sounds of Freedom with Hezekiah Walker sponsored by JenCare, Hez House Entertainment, and Virginia Union University Saturday, June 18, 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM, doors open 2 pm Virginia Union University, 1500 North Lombardy Street The Hezekiah Walker Center for Gospel Music at VUU Presents: Juneteenth Sounds of Freedom (Celebrating our Seniors) with Hezekiah Walker also featuring live performances from Dorinda Clark Cole, Donte McCutchen & Levitical Priest, Earl Bynum, The Legendary Ingramettes, Virginia Union Gospel Choir & more. Lawn chairs and blankets are recommended. Pets, backpacks, large bags, glass containers, coolers, umbrellas, and weapons are not allowed. Details at

Other Weekend Events:

The Virginia Spirits Sampler Saturday, June 18th, 10 am – 5 pm at The Diamond in Richmond. held in conjunction with PopUp RVA; a local vendors' market held every Saturday at The Diamond. The Virginia Spirits Sampler is a single-day event, featuring 12 Virginia Distilleries offering more than 80 different Spirits. Ticket $35 per person, or $45 day of, food trucks, desserts, local artisans and craft vendors, and music. Free parking is available on site. Details

Milk River Arts “The Niceist Group of People I ever Met” gallery show Opens June 18, 1 – 4 pm at the Highpoint Gallery, 3300 W Broad Street, Richmond Runs through July 25 Details at

Richmond Animal League Kitten Shower event Saturday, June 18, 12 – 4 pm 11401 International Dr, Richmond (804) 379-0046

Basket & Bike “Priority Bicycles East Coast Summer Tour: Cruise the Coast June 29, 10 am-6 pm at 1301 East Cary Street June 30, 2 – 8 pm at 17th Street Market, 100 North 17th Street.