A community affair: Details released for this weekend’s Juneteenth Freedom Fest

The first MetroHealth Cleveland Juneteenth Freedom Fest is coming this weekend and new performance and programming details around the free community event are now available.

This Saturday, June 19 from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Mall C downtown, all are invited to experience the family-friendly citywide festival, which is produced in partnership with Karamu House, Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA) and Ingenuity Cleveland.

Coinciding with the one-year anniversary of the civil unrest in Downtown Cleveland, Freedom Fest in intended to represent the city’s healing, and its collaborative work creating racial equity in Northeast Ohio.

Karamu performers rehearsing for the Juneteenth event performance.Cleveland’s Freedom Fest will celebrate and spotlight the rich historical presence of African American arts and culture in Cleveland—marking the ending of slavery on June 19, 1865.

Here’s a run down of the planned events this weekend:

Starting at 12 p.m., the gates will open on Mall C with host DJ HazzMatt. The JACK Casino vendor village will showcase more than 20 Black businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as community programming and education.

The family-friendly celebration continues into the evening with a headline performance by Grammy Award winning Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science with special guests Ms. Lisa Fischer and Maimouna “Mumu Fresh” Youssef; culminating in Karamu House’s mainstage performance of “Freedom on Juneteenth: Songs of Liberation.”

There will be a fireworks finale thanks to #CL3Alliance, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Browns, and Cleveland Indians.

The full line up:

Community Stage Showcases
Main Stage Performances
  • Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science with special guests Ms. Lisa Fischer and Maimouna “Mumu Fresh” Youssef
  • Karamu House’s “Freedom on Juneteenth: Songs of Liberation”
  • Dance & drumming performance by Djapo Cultural Arts
  • “What is Juneteenth?” a community conversation featuring news anchor Leon Bibb
  • Refresh Collective youth hip hop project

Hands-on Youth Art Activities by+ make and take Afrocentric crafts

Healthy Play provided by
Pop-up/Mobile ExperiencesArtists will work live on site and offer opportunities for audiences to participate and make a mark of their own. Featured artist talent includes Jerome White, Rashuan Dillard, Stina Aleah, September Shy and more.               
For the most up to date schedule of events, click here. For a list of Juneteenth community events and citywide happenings, click here.

All attendees are required to follow any local health department and CDC guidelines in place throughout the duration of the event.