Juneteenth 2021: Here’s what is going on around Ann Arbor

The Juneteenth flag, commemorating the day that slavery ended in the U.S., flies in Omaha, Nebraska, on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. (Nati Harnik, Associated Press)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Celebrated on June 19, Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas who were finally notified of their freedom in 1865.

The day was officially recognized as a holiday through a unanimous vote by the Ann Arbor City Council on May 18, 2021, and by a Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners resolution on June 2, 2021.

As of Wednesday, Juneteenth is also on its way to being recognized as a federal holiday in the United States after a Wednesday vote from Congress. The bill is headed to President Joe Biden’s desk.

Learn more about the history of Juneteenth here.

Read: Ann Arbor city hall offices to close Friday in observation of Juneteenth

Here’s what is happening around Ann Arbor:


At 9 a.m. on Friday, Washtenaw County officials, county commissioners and guests will raise a flag to commemorate Juneteenth, officials said.

The program will include a socially distanced outdoor ceremony, local youth, community members and faith leaders. Masks are required.

The public event will be followed by a reception in the lobby of the Washtenaw County Administration building. Learn more here.

Attend the flag raising at 220 N. Main St.


From 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, community members will march the one-mile distance between Fuller Park and Wheeler Park. Participants will move along Riverside Park, across the Broadway Bridge, over Summit Street and into Wheeler Park.

At the end of the march there will be refreshments, conversation and information, officials said.

At 1 p.m., the Ann Arbor branch of the NAACP will broadcast a virtual Juneteenth celebration on CTN and YouTube. Learn more here.

Volunteers are needed to help GIVE365 with the event. Those interested can email volunteer@a2gov.org.

Fuller Park is at 1519 Fuller Rd.


Join the Ypsilanti community in unveiling two new Black Lives Matter murals painted by 80 volunteers in early June. After the unveiling, the celebration will have dance lessons, live music, a headlining performance by John E. Lawerance and local vendors.

The celebration will start at 11 a.m. on Saturday in the parking lot of Puffer Reds, adjacent to one of the new murals on South Washington Street. Learn more here.

Puffer Reds is at 113 W. Michigan Avenue, Ypsilanti.


Starting at 5 p.m. on Saturday, the Ypsilanti taphouse and eatery will host KG’s African American Grill. The Garden City-based grill will offer jerk chicken with sides or Veggie Thiou for $12.

DJ Emeks will provide Afro-Caribbean, Reggae, AfroBeats, Hip-hop, Old School and Gospel music during the event. Learn more here.

Cultivate is at 307 N. River St., Ypsilanti.

Related: Answering questions on the history behind Juneteenth

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.