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Mayor Fischer and members of the Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration Commission announce this year's plans at Metro Hall.

Louisville’s Juneteenth festivities are expanding this year.

The Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration Commission has a nine-day series of events planned for the community between June 11-19 to celebrate the holiday, which was first recognized as a federal holiday by President Joe Biden in 2021. 

There are over 10 events this year, including an art camp for children put on by Louisville Visual Art and Waterfront Park, a pageant hosted by radio stations WLLV and WLOU and a “Race for Justice” to honor Breonna Taylor by Future Ancestors and Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Center.

Juneteenth, or June 19, is the celebration of the effective end of slavery in the United States. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on Jan. 1, 1863, it was not until over two years later on June 19, 1865 that federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to enforce the end of slavery. 

The Simmons College marching band drummers lead the "A Journey in Our Footprints" march to the (Un)Known Project site on Juneteenth. June 19, 2021

Since then, Juneteenth has become a day to celebrate freedom for Black Americans.

Mayor Fischer, who declared racism a public health crisis in 2020, said the theme of this year’s celebration is “Our Story, America’s Glory.” Chosen by the commission, the theme is meant to “remind us all of the importance of learning about that story and about our nation’s history, the good and the bad.” 

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There will be opportunities to highlight Black businesses and entrepreneurship, teach young people about the works and history of artist Ed Hamilton, Muhammad Ali and the Underground Railroad and attend educational events. Lean Into Louisville will also have a panel about redistricting and an event about reconstructing family trees, said Joi McAtee, the project manager of the organization.

To close out Thursday’s announcement Mayor Fischer gave a message to those who may not think that the holiday pertains to them.

“It applies to everybody. Right. So whether you’re white, Black, brown, from the south, east, north, west, it doesn’t matter. This will be a tremendous celebration of who we are as Louisvillians,” he said.

Here’s a look at events planned by the Juneteenth Commission:

First Tee Louisville’s 22nd annual George ‘GG’ Johnson Golf Scramble

WHAT: Shawnee Golf Course Lunch will begin at 11 a.m. with raffle prizes to win. The four-person scramble (three adults and one first tee participant) will tee off at 1 p.m. Register at firstteelouisville.org or contact Bhardesty@firstteelouisville.org. 

WHERE: Shawnee Golf Course, 460 Northwestern Pkwy.

WHEN: June 11, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

MORE INFORMATION: Register at firstteelouisville.org or contact Bhardesty@firstteelouisville.org.

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Juneteenth Camp

Ed Hamilton speaks at the close of the "A Journey in Our Footprints" march to the (Un)Known Project site on Juneteenth. June 19, 2021

WHAT: Louisville Visual Art and Waterfront Park are hosting a day camp for youth ages 7-12. Campers will be introduced to the works and history of Ed Hamilton, Muhammad Ali, the Underground Railroad and more, then create their own artworks to express themselves and their newfound knowledge; in the afternoons, campers will explore Waterfront Park for fun camp activities. Limited to 10 students.

WHERE: Louisville Visual Art and Waterfront Park

WHEN: June 13-17, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

WAVE Country with Dawne Gee

WHAT: WAVE-TV anchor and reporter Dawne Gee will discuss Juneteenth highlights and moderate panel discussions.

WHEN: June 13-14, 2 p.m.

Lean Into Louisville, Redistricting Panel Discussion

Residents participate in the "A Journey in Our Footprints" march to the (Un)Known Project site on Juneteenth. June 19, 2021

WHAT: Mayor Fischer will greet and introduce a diverse panel that will address and examine why redistricting happens, who it helps, harms, and short-term/long-term implications. MetroTV and Lean Into Louisville will livestream the event on social media.

WHEN: June 14, 6:30 p.m.

Lean Into Louisville, Presentation: The Kentucky African American Civil War Soldiers Project

WHAT: The Kentucky African American Civil War Soldiers Project seeks to uncover archival documents about the lives of these soldiers and their family members, and use them as the basis for constructing family trees going as far backward and forward as possible. Dan Gediman and Denyce Peyton will share stories and photographs about selected soldiers from Louisville, as well as discuss their newly created searchable online database.

WHERE: First Gethsemane Baptist Church, 1159 Algonquin Parkway

WHEN: June 15, 12 p.m.

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The Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission Celebrates 60th Anniversary/Juneteenth Luncheon

10-year-old D'Arius Taylor smiled while showing off the self-portrait he created during the Waterfront Park LVA Juneteenth camp on Friday, June 18, 2020

WHAT: The luncheon will celebrate HRC’s achievements in safeguarding all individuals within Jefferson County from all forms of discrimination. The Mayor will speak, along with keynote speaker, Rev. Dr. Daniel Corrie Shull, senior pastor of Burnett Avenue Baptist Church.

WHERE: Kentucky Center for African American Heritage Center, 1701 W Muhammad Ali Blvd.

WHEN: June 16, 11 a.m. 

COST: $25 per person

Miss Juneteenth Pageant

WHAT: WLLV and WLOU will host the inaugural Miss Juneteenth Pageant at Fourth Street Live. The inaugural pageant will feature 30 contestants. The Mayor is expected to crown the winners.

WHERE: Fourth Street Live

WHEN: June 16, 1-5 p.m.

Agape Day, Dare to Care & National Panhellenic Council

WHAT: Local Divine 9 Black Greek fraternities and sororities will partner with Dare to Care to deliver food to communities.

WHEN: June 17, 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration: Our Story, America’s Glory Inaugural Gala

A list of names of former Kentucky slaves is engraved into a bench at the (Un)Known Project site on Juneteenth. June 19, 2021

WHAT: Mayor Fischer will speak at the red carpet gala that will feature dinner, spoken word by Hannah Drake and special performances by the Dr. Jerry Tolson Orchestra, Syreeta Thompson “Trumpet Lady” and Donna & The Atone Band. WAVE3’s Dawne Gee, a Juneteenth Jubilee commissioner, will emcee the event. 

WHERE: The Muhammad Ali Center, 144 N. 6th St.

WHEN: June 17, 6 p.m.

MORE INFORMATION: Tickets can be purchased for $150 at juneteenthlou.com or for more information, email June.Embers@louisvilleky.gov.

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‘Race for Justice’ by Future Ancestors, Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Center

WHAT: Participants will honor Breonna Taylor by running or walking 26 laps as team, one for every year she was alive, or by walking/running a 1.3-mile individual race; she was killed on March 13, 2020.

WHERENorton Healthcare Sports and Learning Center, 3029 W Muhammad Ali Blvd.

WHEN: June 18, 8 a.m.

Juneteenth Youth Jamboree

WHAT: Reviving Urban Neighborhoods, Inc. will host a fun-filled family event where youths can win prizes by demonstrating their knowledge of Juneteenth facts.

WHERE: Berrytown Park, 1300 Heafer Road

WHEN: June 18, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Presbyterian Church USA, hybrid service

Rev.  J. Herbert Nelson is the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

WHAT: The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will be preaching at the service. The service can be viewed by visiting: ga-pcusa.org or on Facebook at facebook.com/spiritofga.

WHEN: June 19, 11 a.m.

For more information about how to celebrate, visit juneteenthlou.com.

Reach Eleanor McCrary at emccrary@gannett.com and follow her on Twitter @ellie_mccrary.