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The final Juneteenth celebration will take place in Pittsburgh this Saturday. The celebration, dubbed FusionFest, is the city’s first official event. Pittsburgh is leaving no stone unturned, bringing out all the stops with a fashion show, multiple vendors, stilt walking, music, performances and an after-party at Emerald City.

Here’s what you need to know.

Background

Fusion Fest, a Juneteenth celebration, was curated and organized by marketing maven Fantasy Zellars, CEO of Bounce Marketing & Consulting.

The celebration will take place from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on June 29 around the Greenwood Plan building on Smithfield Street.

Juneteenth honors June 19, 1865, when enslaved people in Texas learned of their freedom, marking the end of slavery in America. Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, is a time of joy, celebration and rest.

Parking and getting there

The Boulevard of the Allies between Smithfield and Wood streets will be closed from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Downtown parking garages will be open for parking.

Weather

According to WTAE meteorologist Brian Hutton Jr., the forecast for Saturday is a little rough, especially during the afternoon hours. It’s recommended to bring an umbrella or rain gear like a poncho. The first part of the festival tomorrow should be fine, he said.

“There’ll be rain showers and perhaps a few storms tomorrow morning, mainly north of the city, close to I-80. After about 2 p.m. or 3 p.m., we’ll be watching for showers and thunderstorms to arrive across all of Western Pennsylvania,” Hutton said.

The storms will have the chance to produce severe weather.

“Our main concerns tomorrow are damaging winds, heavy rain and isolated tornadoes — very similar to what we just saw on Wednesday,” he said.

Once the cold fronts come through, which are expected after dinner time, the severe threat will diminish, and it should be clear.

Slate of events

There will be indoor and outdoor components to the celebration. Inside will be the Mocha Lounge curated by Jacquea Mae, featuring spoken word, musical performances, panel discussions with artists and a book reading by Carlos Carter, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh. There will also be a fine art exhibition featuring more than 20 artists.

“I joined the committee because being part of initiatives that support and uplift the Black community and culture is deeply rewarding for me,” said Josey, visual artist and member of the FusionFest host committee. “FusionFest will celebrate Black culture in Pittsburgh by honoring Juneteenth and bringing together Black creatives from across the city to help create an amazing experience. There will be something for everyone to enjoy.”

All the performances will take place outside. Performances will also include bands, soloists, dancers and music across all genres from hip-hop to Afro beats and gospel. There will be a selection by the Mt. Ararat Baptist Church Choir, Councilman Khari Mosley and Selecta.

There is a kid’s zone complete with free snow cones and popcorn courtesy of the Shyne Network. There will also be a foam party, bubble house, bouncy houses and custom Fusion Fest life-size puppets.

There will be a historical Juneteenth tent with a Juneteenth timeline by Tracey Jennings, as well as free Juneteenth flags and other traditions to explore.

The Fashion Africana fashion show will begin at 7 p.m., produced by Demeatria Boccella Productions.

“Juneteenth FusionFest is just what Pittsburgh needs right now. It’ll be like oxygen for the soul. It will bring diverse folks together to celebrate and ignite a sense of belonging and unity in the community,” said Kiva A. Fisher-Green, co-owner of KFS Experiences and member of the FusionFest host committee.

To learn more, visit juneteenthfusionfest.com.

Shaylah Brown is a TribLive reporter covering art, culture and communities of color. A New Jersey native, she joined the Trib in 2023. When she’s not working, Shaylah dives into the worlds of art, wellness and the latest romance novels. She can be reached at sbrown@triblive.com.