Indianapolis News and HeadlinesIndianapolis Local News


2021 Juneteenth celebrations across central Indiana

Friday is Juneteenth – learn the history behind the holiday
Posted at 3:31 PM, Jun 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-18 13:14:34-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Several central Indiana organizations are hosting events to celebrate Juneteenth.

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19 every year, commemorates the day in 1865 when enslaved African Americans in Texas received the news that the Emancipation Proclamation had gone into effect two and a half years earlier.

Juneteenth is the combination of the date, June and 19, and is also known as 'Freedom Day.'

Here's a list of celebratory events by county:

Marion County

Arts for Lawrence: In Lawrence, the organization "Arts for Lawrence" is hosting its first Juneteenth Jubilee from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Fort Ben Cultural Campus. The free event will be a celebration of Black culture and artistry, Black musicians, poets, dancers, singers, and artists from across Indianapolis and the surrounding areas.

Indiana Historical Society: The Indiana Historical Society is hosting a "History Happy Hour" on June 17 at 5:30 p.m. over Zoom to talk about the history of Juneteenth.

Indianapolis Public Library: The Indianapolis Public Library is hosting a virtual event highlighting authors Brandon Warren, Januarie York and Andrew Bowman. It will take place June 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. online.

Indy Night Market: The first Indy Night Market will kick off Saturday, June 19th at the Pan Am Plaza from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Growing Places Indy and the Be Nimble Foundation are launching the first of its three-part, night food festival series this summer.

Indy Juneteenth: The nonprofit "Indy Juneteenth" is hosting a celebration from 12 to 6 p.m. on June 19 at Riverside Park, located at 2420 East Riverside Drive. There will be live entertainment, food trucks, a youth basketball tournament, a parade, and more.

Martin University: The university will host a community-wide Juneteenth event on June 18 in its Gathertorium, 2186 North Sherman Drive from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The event will include presentations, community listening sessions, and networking.

Newfields: Newfields will have free general admission on June 19. They'll play a 7-minute video on the history and importance of the holiday, which will be accompanied with a prompt asking guests, “How would you like to see our Indianapolis community honor Juneteenth?”

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis: The museum is hosting a Juneteenth Jamboree on June 19. The full-day celebration will feature storytelling, drumming, local artists, performances and more.

Hamilton County

Noblesville: The northeast corner of downtown Noblesville Square will host a celebration from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 19, rain or shine. There will be activities, entertainment, and education for all ages, including a flag activity, music and more.

Monroe County

Bloomington: The City of Bloomington will host a Juneteenth celebration on June 19 from 3 to 6:30 p.m. at Switchyard Park, 1601 S. Rogers St. The community-wide, family-friendly gathering will feature free food, games, and music, with Black-owned businesses on-site offering additional products for sale. Activities will take place at the shelter, the great lawn, and the spray pad.