It has finally happened— more than a century and a half after African American communities in the South began celebrating Juneteenth, Freedom Day is officially becoming a federal holiday. But even before President Biden signs the bill into effect, community organizations around the northwest Ohio area were prepared to celebrate the date this coming Saturday with a variety of events. Here are a few for you to enjoy (all events are free to attend unless otherwise noted):
The Fredrick Douglass Center is hosting a full Juneteenth Parade and Festival beginning at 11am on Saturday. The march will begin at the Toledo Town Center at 535 Dorr St. and end in the Douglass Center’s parking lot, with a full complement of vendors, food and even vaccinations available. 11am-5pm. 1001 Indiana Ave., 419-244-6722. TheDoug419.org
The fourth annual Juneteenth Dashiki Day Party returns to the Spotlight Lounge, featuring a pair of DJs, a variety of vendors, a tempting kitchen and an inviting patio. $5 for attendees wearing traditional Dashiki or other apparel representing black culture, $10 for others. 4pm. 710 S. Reynolds Rd., 419-720-3328. facebook.com/thespotlightlounge
Bowling Green Black Initiative non-profit BRAVE will hold its Second Annual Juneteenth Celebration at BG’s Wooster Green. Featuring food and art on display (including live painting), the event will also showcase area black-owned businesses and musical artists. 1-9pm. 215 W. Wooster St., Bowling Green. bravebg.org
The Toledo Black Artist Coalition (TBAC) has partnered with the Toledo Museum of Art for an online exhibit entitled “Out of the Dark: A Historic Journey.” Curated by eight members of TBAC, the exhibit acts as a spotlight of works in the museum’s collection by influential creators. “Out of the Dark” launches on June 19 on toledomuseum.org.
Secor Metropark will be the site of a combination Summer Solstice and Juneteenth Celebration. The event will feature food trucks, stargazing, and a screening of the Disney/Pixar film “Soul.” 8pm. 10001 Central Ave., Berkey. 419-360-9179. metroparkstoledo.com
The City of Toledo Human Relations Commission is hosting a Juneteenth Community Cleanup event on Saturday from 9-11:30am in the neighborhoods around Scott High School. Bags and gloves provided. tps.org