How to celebrate Juneteenth 2022 in the Madison area

Discover what events Madison has to offer during this year's holiday.
Wisconsin Capitol Juneteenth Flag

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. This day came more than two years after Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and marks the day that the last slaves in Texas and all those formerly enslaved were officially granted freedom.

Juneteenth became a federal holiday in 2021, though Black Americans have been celebrating for generations, marking it as first day of true freedom and America’s second Independence Day. (Read more about Juneteenth prior to it becoming a federal holiday in this piece by Fabu Phillis Carter.) Celebrate this weekend through a host of virtual and in-person Juneteenth celebrations. 

Kujichagulia Madison Center for Self-Determination
For its 33rd Annual Juneteenth Celebration, the Kujichagulia Madison Center for Self-Determination will hold events all week from June 13-19. The nonprofit has worked to unite and advocate for Madison-area Black communities for decades. This year’s theme is “Black Resilience: Embracing the Past to Define the Future” with a combination of in-person and online events. 

  • Flag Raising and Opening Ceremony (Online). June 13, 12 p.m. and 6 p.m., City Council Building
  • Log on to the various online workshops, presentations, and seminars offered throughout the week. Plus — there’s even a virtual open mic night. June 14-17
  • Juneteenth Parade and Celebration in the Park. June 18, 11 a.m., Fountain of Life Covenant Church
  • Saturday Science: Participate in hands-on stations, chat with scientists from UW–Madison, meet the Kitchen Chemist and more. June 18, 12-4 p.m., Penn Park
  • National Father’s Day Grill-Off. June 19, 1 p.m.

DreamBank Madison
Join Xernona Clayton, founder, president and CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation Inc, for a free and virtual event: Juneteenth and the Transformative Power of Time. A civil rights leader and activist, Clayton has been dedicated to promoting human relations through biracial groups devoted to improving racial understanding. Through the lens of civil rights and culture, listen to what Clayton has to say about Juneteenth and its significance. June 16, 3-4 p.m.

Terrace Art Zone
Bring your artistic skills and kick off the weekend with free art projects. While these gatherings continue through August, this weekend’s event will feature Juneteenth history coloring pages. June 17, 3-5 p.m. Memorial Union Terrace 

Monona Juneteenth Ceremony
Monona Police Chief Brian Chaney will welcome the community and introduce the afternoon’s speaker Mayor O’Connor followed by a Juneteenth reading by a community member and flag raising ceremony. June 17, 12:30 p.m., Monona City Hall 

Sun Prairie Juneteenth Celebration
Kick off the weekend in Sun Prairie for a two-day special celebration. Friday’s program will begin with a reading of the picture book, “Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free: The True Story of the Grandmother of Juneteenth” followed by a community art activity led by Auzzie Dodson, an interdisciplinary cultural creator studying in the First Wave Program at UW–Madison. Saturday’s celebration, sponsored by Sun Prairie Community Schools, will feature a community resource fair, family-friendly and youth athletic activities, and youth musical performances. June 17, 1:30-3 p.m., Sun Prairie Public Library; June 18, 2-5:30 p.m., Carriage Hills Estate Park 

Madison Jazz Festival
On Saturday and Sunday, tune in to the Madison Jazz Festival headlined by Grammy-winning drummer and composer Brian Blade (followed by a live Q&A session) and eight-time Grammy-winner Christian McBride. June 18-19, Memorial Union and Wisconsin Union Theater

Bierock
Let loose with your choice of beer from 18th Street Brewery, a Black-owned brewery in Hammond, Indiana. Bierock will be featuring two IPA’s and one lager with $1 from each pour going toward Urban Triage. (And if you’re hungry, the full food and drink menu will still be available.) June 18-19, Bierock

Working Draft Beer Co.
For its annual Juneteenth celebration, Working Draft Beer Co. will be celebrating with art, food and beer. Artists Lilada Gee, Mike Lroy and Brooklyn Doby will be showcasing their work and Ruthie’s will be on-site with gluten-free wings, vegetarian tacos and more. June 19, 12-7 p.m., Working Draft Beer Co.

Another way to celebrate is to give money directly to local organizations that are working to fight racial injustice and lift up Black people and families in our community. Click here for a list of 21 organizations you could support on Juneteenth and beyond.

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