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Greater Lansing celebrates Juneteenth with a weekend full of events

Wynn Pointaux

Juneteenth weekend celebrations in Lansing are set to begin Thursday evening. Events include the city’s African American Parade, festivals, music, food and more.

The holiday commemorates when news reached Galveston, Texas, in 1865 of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing Black enslaved people, more than two years after its signing. Juneteenth became a federal holiday last year.

Here’s a look at some of the events happening this weekend:



  • The Lansing Juneteenth Freedom Festival starts at 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. with Family Night at St. Joseph Park. Activities include food, vendors, public service exhibitors, and music by DJ Rob Newsome, Hustle Zone with Sheila Carter.


  • The African American Parade begins at 11 a.m. The starting point will be at J.W. Sexton High School, on 102 S. McPherson Avenue. This year's Grand Marshals are Willard Walker and U.S. Congresswoman Elisa Slotkin.
  • The Freedom Festival at St. Joseph Parkwill resume from noon to 8 p.m. following the parade. An opening celebration will feature guests including Rev. Dr. A . Richard Doss, Rev. DeBorah Hold-Foster, Pastor PJ Anderson and Dr. Willie Davei, and Mayor Andy Schor. Other activities include a job fair, a health fair, informational booths and various vendors.
  • The 517 Juneteenth Festival will open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. in REO Town on South Washington Avenue. The free event features a lineup of live musical performances including Black Milk and the Nat Turner Band, a battle of the BBQ, Black-owned vendors, a kid zone, and more.


Melorie Begay is the local producer and host of Morning Edition.
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