Muskegon County celebrating Juneteenth with fireworks, music, educational events

MUSKEGON COUNTY, MI – Muskegon residents will gather to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday at various events across county Thursday through Sunday.

June 19, 1865, marks the day enslaved Black Americans in Galveston, Texas finally learned of their freedom. The news from federal troops came two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in all states.

Juneteenth has grown in the years since within communities and organizations throughout the country. Last year, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act officially making June 19 a federal holiday.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, issued a proclamation designating Sunday, June 19, 2022, as Juneteenth Celebration Day in Michigan.

“We encourage all citizens in the State of Michigan to participate in the Juneteenth Freedom Festival and celebrate African American history and culture, while continuing to promote diversity, equality, and a strong sense of community in our state,” according to the proclamation.

Below are some of the events planned in the Muskegon area.

Muskegon County Democratic Black Caucus

Start the Juneteenth celebration early by attending a narrative play about Juneteenth at the Bethesda Baptist Church, at 675 Getty Street in Muskegon. The event is Thursday at 6 pm and will include a history lesson through song and dance.

Muskegon Area District Library

  • Story Trail Celebration – The unveiling of a new permanent Story Trail exhibit at Bethlehem Park in Muskegon Heights. The inaugural book “Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free” will be encased, page by page, in a “walking book experience” on Thursday, June 16, from 4 pm 6 pm, 421 W. Summit in Muskegon Heights.
  • Juneteenth 101: What is it? Why is it important? Join a panel discussion facilitated by Mary Higginbottom-Johnson of MADL, featuring Michelle Loyd-Paige of Calvin University, Nick Budimir of Muskegon Community College and Muskegon’s Jon Covington as they present on the history and significance of Juneteenth on Wednesday, June 22 at 7 pm , Norton Shores Branch. Register at madel.org/calendar.

Muskegon Juneteenth Celebration 2022

Muskegon County residents are welcome to join the Mona Lake Park celebration all weekend, June 17-19, 5 to 10 pm Activities for kids, games, live music by three different bands, food trucks and more will be available for the whole family to enjoy .

The organizer, Jennifer Ross, told MLive that the city of Muskegon Heights and over 26 other organizations are sponsoring the event.

Juneteenth: A Day of Remembrance

The West Shore Christian Academy has cooperated with the Neighborhood Association of Muskegon East to host a Juneteenth day of remembrance in Muskegon Heights from 1 pm to 4 pm on Saturday, June 18.

The community can participate in the free and public event at the Loftis Youth and Community Dream Center, located at 2301 Sixth Street. Free meals, face painting for kids, and crafts will be available.

Free Covid-19 tests and vaccines will also be available on-site by the Muskegon County Vaccine Unit, and Hackley Community Care will be there to offer information on its Mobile Dental Unit.

Rotary Club of Muskegon

Friday, June 17: The Rotary Club of Muskegon will be hosting their annual community mixer from 5 pm to 9 pm at Mona Lake Park. Kids activities, games, food and music by a live reggae band will be there.

Saturday, June 18: A business mixer under a tent at Mona Lake Park for all to gain access to small business advice. The mixer will begin at 5 pm until the Open Mic showcase at 9 pm

Sunday, June 19: Full day of crafts and activities for children with different resource parts and food vendors. Three live bands will also be performing beginning at 4 pm followed by fireworks at dusk.

More on MLive:

Muskegon Heights reimagines downtown with new Strand Theater, upgraded park, retail and housing

Bridge work on Maple Island Road that begins soon will cause long detour

Parade, festivals, pop-up shops planned for Juneteenth celebrations in Grand Rapids area

COVID clinic in Holland will welcome undocumented residents

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