Mark your calendars as the City of Newport News and the Downtown Newport News Merchants and Neighbors Association, Inc. commemorate history with a weeklong celebration of Juneteenth. Spend the week coming together as a community to learn history while celebrating culture and traditions.
The celebration kicks off on Saturday, June 12 with Expressions. From 12 p.m. until 2 p.m., visit Denbigh Community Center, Brittingham-Midtown Community Center or Doris Miller Community Center to receive free giveaway items without getting out of your car, purchase food from food trucks and take photos with a curated background.
On Sunday, June 13 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m., bring a chair or blanket to King-Lincoln Park and enjoy a free concert featuring Calvary Chapel Newport News Worship Team, Brothers and the Unifics.
Join dignitaries on Monday, June 14 at 1 p.m. at City Hall as they raise the Juneteenth flag and read the Emancipation Proclamation and the Mayoral Proclamation.
Make Tuesday a family game night! Register the family for Juneteenth Bingo happening from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. outside in the pavilion at Brittingham-Midtown Community Center. Win prizes and enjoy food while learning the history of Juneteenth. Space is limited and registration is required.
Visit Denbigh Community Center from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 16 for the Juneteenth Conversation. Join contemporary historian Dr. Eric Claville with Frederick Douglass for a live interview about the significance and impact of the Emancipation Proclamation and the meaning of Juneteenth. Seating is limited for this event and registration is required.
Thursday, June 17, stay home and log on to Facebook or tune in to NNTV (Cox channel 48 or Verizon Channel 19) to watch the Juneteenth Rally and listen as storyteller Crystal Sessoms as she shares the story of how the message of freedom was delivered to slaves in Texas.
Grab free tickets for A Journey to Freedom, happening at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 18 at Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center. This stage play goes through the various periods of black history that leads up to Juneteenth Celebration. Seating is limited for this event and tickets are required.
Finally, on Saturday, June 19 spend the day celebrating with Newport News Public Library and the Freedom Festival. Visit Main Street Library at 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. for the unveiling of the new exhibit: Until Freedom Comes: The African American Experience in Newport News. Then head over to King-Lincoln Park from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. for live entertainment, food and craft vendors, exhibitors, children’s pony rides, bounce houses, glitter tattoos, sno cones, and cotton candy. This event is still accepting craft vendors and exhibitors. Those interested in participating as a vendor or exhibitor should complete the registration form. There is no fee to participate as a vendor or exhibitor. Visit www.nnva.gov/juneteenth to learn more about these and other Juneteenth events.