The annual Juneteenth on the Cut event in Detroit was canceled shortly before it was set to begin Wednesday with organizers citing inclement weather as blazing heat threatened to bring powerful storms.

The event, hosted by the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, was scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m. at the Campbell Terrace on the Dequindre Cut Greenway and include live performances to mark the day enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, learned they’d been freed two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.  

The event was expected to go on despite a heat advisory in effect until Thursday night. However, news of storms with possible hail on top of the heat brought plans Wednesday to a halt, said Marc Pasco, director of communications for the conservancy.

The popular Dequindre Cut greenway from Gratiot to Mack is seen in this 2016 file photo in Detroit, MI.

The heat — with an index of 96 degrees in Detroit — and humidity were driving the chance of storms, which could become dangerous in the afternoon and evening, said National Weather Service meteorologist Megan Varcie out of the White Lake Township office.

In particular, storms could hit between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m., she said. High winds may be a greater threat, but there’s also an isolated chance for hail along with heavy rain.

Storms are also possible the rest of the week as the heat continues, before a cold front brings temperatures back down into the 80s, Varcie said.

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Varcie warned people to take precautions during the heat and with the storms: “Thunder roars, go indoors.”

Whether the Juneteenth on the Cut event would be rescheduled was yet to be seen. Organizers first wanted to alert vendors and attendees to not head to the Dequindre Cut, Pasco said.

Still available, however, will be an experience called Core 375. The project imagines if a “core sample” was taken of the soil and stories and songs were told for the generations in that sample — the Ice Age, the native Anishinaabeg people and the historic, predominantly Black neighborhood Black Bottom. The Dequindre Cut sits on the eastern border of Black Bottom, which was demolished for redevelopment and replaced with Lafayette Park and the I-375 freeway.

The project was slated to open with a live performance on Juneteenth, but QR codes will still be place along the Cut to be listened to through the end of the year, Pasco said.