Family affair: Juneteenth Freedom Fest becomes tradition in the #CLE

After last year’s successful premier of the Downtown Juneteenth Freedom Fest celebration, plans for Cleveland’s second annual MetroHealth Cleveland Juneteenth Freedom Fest are now underway, organizers announced yesterday, Tuesday, June 7.

The free, daylong, family-friendly festival is planned for Saturday, June 18 from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Mall C. Karamu House, Downtown Cleveland Alliance, Ingenuity Cleveland and Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland are partnering to pack the day with activities, concerts, and other cultural events to mark June 19, 1865—the day when all African Americans became free and slavery was abolished.

While programming details are still being finalized, officials yesterday did announce that Grammy Award winners trumpeter and songwriter Keyon Harrold and guest vocalist Bilal will be the headliners on the main stage.

Other festivities include mainstage performances by Karamu House, the country’s oldest Black producing theatre, Djapo Cultural Arts Institute, and musical group Hubbs Groove.

Community stage performances include local art collective Temple of Passions, the Shaw High School Drumline, Karamu Arts Academy, and dance collectives 10k Movement and Elevate & Levitate Crew.

 There will be a vendor marketplace sponsored by Jack Entertainment, and Soul Food Row sponsored by Huntington, which will spotlight Black businesses and entrepreneurs.

There will also be interactive art demonstrations sponsored by American Greetings; hands-on art activities and Make n' Take Crafts by Cleveland Public Library, Fab House Cleveland, and Kings and Queens of Art; kid-friendly outdoor games and activities with Recess Creative; collaborative art installations by Sankofa Fine Arts Plus and The Visit; and the Rollin' Buckeyez will host a free pop-up roller rink skating rink.

The #VoicesofCLE Community Art Project will have artists painting a mural live, While Splice-Cream Truck and Cleveland Association of Black Storytellers will host community storytelling and archiving.

The Cavs #AllForFunTour trailer will be at the festival with 2k gaming, a polaroid photo booth, and a basketball hoop.

MetroHealth will provide health screenings, games and prizes, beverage concessions, community programs and education, spoken-word performances, and a live fireworks show.

Click here for more information and details on the events on Saturday, June 18 at the second annual Downtown Juneteenth Freedom Fest.