Juneteenth is celebrated Wednesday, June 19, however some events honoring the recently declared holiday will take place earlier than that, including this weekend. 

Rome will note the holiday this Saturday and Sunday, while Utica has planned its first Juneteenth talent-thon on Wednesday. 

Monique Livingston paints the continent of Africa on a canvas at a booth for her home business, Mama Root. Utica held its Juneteenth Celebration a day early at Chancellor Park on Saturday, June 18th, 2022. Juneteenth is the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when the news slavery was outlawed finally reached Galveston, Texas.

Juneteenth marks the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when news arrived in Texas that slavery had been outlawed. While long observed among Black Americans, the holiday has gained more prominence over the past few years. 

It was declared a federal holiday in 2021. 

Rome events 

Rome’s events are hosted by a partnership of the Rome branch of the NAACP and the city. 

The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Bellamy Harbor Park. It will include food, crafters and vendors, activities for kids, along with local dignitaries and guest speakers. 

Live music from the Brownskin Band will take place from 6-8 p.m. 

A free Father’s Day BBQ is scheduled following a 3:30 p.m. worship service on Sunday, June 16. 

Talent-thon 

Utica will host its first annual Juneteenth Talent-thon at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19 at Hanna Park at city hall. 

The event is designed to benefit Utica’s underfunded, Black-led community organizations and youth programs. It will showcase local performers for the public to enjoy and allow corporations to donate directly to the community. 

Performers such as Tori Sway, Tiara Williams, Caleb Crowder, Rev. George Clark, Chris Woods and others will be featured artists during the televised event. 

The event is a collaboration between the city of Utica, For the Good, Inc. and Phoenix Radio.