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Eight Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth in Denver

Denver's ready to celebrate Juneteenth in person in 2021.EXPAND
Denver's ready to celebrate Juneteenth in person in 2021.
Kenneth Hamblin III
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Are you ready to celebrate liberation? Every year on June 19, communities around the United States mark Juneteenth, the date the last 250,000-some enslaved African-Americans were freed in the United States, in Galveston, Texas, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Here in Denver, the city’s Black community is throwing a plethora of fly events all weekend long. Whether you love art, music, food, history or just a good time, there’s something for you.

YouthSeen's Juneteenth Black Pride Events
Through June 20
Locations vary

Juneteenth falls in the middle of Pride month. There’s no better way to celebrate both holidays than by joining YouthSeen, an organization for LGBTQIA+ youth of color, for the group’s Juneteenth Black Pride events. At 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, tune into a discussion of Trans Black mental health with the Drop, 104.7. As the weekend proceeds, enjoy a Gospel Brunch Drag Show with Drag Race winner Bebe Zahara Benet at Saffron Grill at X Bar, the Strange Fruit of Black Excellence Gala at the Botanic Gardens, a silent disco dubbed Wakanda Forever at Civic Center Park, and more. For a full schedule of these free events, go to the Black Pride website.

Juneteenth Eve Broadcast
June 19, starting at 2 p.m.
Online

Pregame for the main festivities with a six-hour-long live broadcast on Denver Community Media and the Juneteenth website and Facebook page about the move to make Juneteenth a national holiday and other issues affecting Denver's Black community. Hear from Tara Jae of Black Pride and Youthseen, Malik Robinson of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, NAACP President Sondra Young, musician Mawule, DJ Nikki Swarn and many more.

Juneteenth R&B Summer Kick Off Featuring 112
Friday, June 18, 5:30 to 10 p.m.
1380 West Florida Avenue
Price: $29.50 (General Admission Lawn)
$49.50 (General Admission Stage)

This “cookout”-style family-friendly event at Levitt Pavilion will fill the evening with soulful sounds from Atlanta-based headliner 112. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and guests are encouraged to show up early, equipped with blankets and lawn chairs to comfortably enjoy the grounds, take in the sunset and dance well into the evening. For more information, go to Ticketmaster.

The Museum for Black Girls: Women of Welton
Saturday, June 19
1421 26th Street
Free

To mark Juneteenth, the Museum for Black Girls will be opening its doors for free, as it launches its exhibition Women of Welton, celebrating all the amazing women of Five Points. Don't forget to bring your pocketbook. The museum will also be hosting a shopping. Visit the museum online for more information.

The party's on at the Juneteenth Music Festival.EXPAND
The party's on at the Juneteenth Music Festival.
Ken Hamblin III

Juneteenth Street Festival at Welton Plaza
Saturday, June 19, noon to 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 20, 2 to 8 p.m.
2736 to 2804 Welton Street
Free

This year, Denver’s historic Juneteenth street festival boasts ten city blocks of artisan merchants, food vendors and interactive activities flanked by performance stages and the Juneteenth Kids' Zone. Head to Five Points for a guaranteed good time. For more information, go to Eventbrite.

Cleo Parker Robinson's dance studio will host the Juneteenth Museum.
Cleo Parker Robinson's dance studio will host the Juneteenth Museum.
Kenneth Hamblin III

Five Points of Culture at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Studio
Saturday, June 19, starting at 10 a.m.
119 Park West Avenue
Free

Denver’s historic Cleo Parker Robinson Dance has been a cultural epicenter for the arts for over fifty years, offering classes and performances for the community. Cleo Parker Robinson Dance will be the home for educational panels and roundtables as well as the Juneteenth Museum, highlighting seven decades of the iconic Five Points celebration. For more information, go to the Juneteenth Music Festival web page.

Black Owned Brunch
Sunday, June 20, 1 to 6 p.m.
Metlo Rooftop, 1111 Broadway
$75-$500

Looking for a day party that includes great music, black entrepreneurship, networking events and mimosas? Then this event, presented by the Estelle Lux Collection, is tailor-made for you. Brunch-goers will enjoy music by DJ Squizzy Taylor and KDJ Above, brand activations, a private lounge, unlimited cocktail and mimosa options, and a delicious Caribbean brunch. If this sounds like your type of gathering, it’s important to note that a strict dress code will in place, so put on your Sunday best. Buy tickets online in advance at Eventbrite.

Vibes in the Park
Sunday, June 20, 3 to 7 p.m.
Southwest of 2500 East 23rd Avenue
Free

Vibes in the Park (VITP for short) is a collective of black women that came together in the midst of the pandemic to bring friends and families together to enjoy music, food and each other in City Park. VITP acknowledges Black joy, elevates Black expression and inspires Black positivity. Outside of hosting events, the group is dedicated to uplifting the community through volunteer work and supporting Black businesses. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own blanket or chairs to relax on.Learn more at the VITP Instagram page.

For more information about celebrations, visit the Juneteenth Music Festival online.

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