Ypsilanti to host two-day Juneteenth celebration mid-June

Community event to have comedy, concerts, worship service

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)

YPSILANTI, Mich. – Laugh, pray and catch up during a two-day Juneteenth event behind Puffer Red’s shoe store in downtown Ypsilanti on June 18 and 19.

Commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in Texas in 1865, Juneteenth was officially recognized as a holiday in Washtenaw County by a Board of Commissioners resolution on June 2, 2021.

The second annual event will kick off with a Love/Joy Parade at noon on Saturday, June 18, and continue with speakers, dance lessons, songs, speakers and a Soul and Jazz concert.

Face painting, bike decorating and storytelling will take place at the kid’s corner at the Black Lives Matter mural site on South Washington Street.

Planned activities for Sunday, June 19, include a worship service, comedy show, a Gospel Extravaganza and the debut of the Juneteenth Community Choir, according to a release.

Here’s the schedule and anticipated performers:


  • 11 - 4 p.m. - Black Joy Kids Corner (South Washtenaw Street)
  • Noon - Love/Joy Parade
  • 4 p.m. - Kenyatta Rashon
  • 5 p.m. - Dames Brown
  • 6 p.m. - John E. Lawrence


  • 1:30 p.m. Juneteenth Worship Experience
  • 2:45 p.m - Comedians Cat Medlock and Bigg Dooley
  • 4 p.m. - Juneteenth Community Choir with guests Shelby 5, Semaje, Hazelte Crosby and Dez Willis

Those interested in volunteering can sign up here.

The celebration is sponsored by the City of Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority, Puffer Red’s and Corner Health Center.

Find schedule updates on the event’s Facebook page.

Puffer Red’s shoe store is at 113 W. Michigan Ave.

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.