Here’s how to celebrate Juneteenth across Middle Tennessee!

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Juneteenth commemorates the day, June 19, 1865, when the last enslaved Black Americans in Galveston, Texas, learned they were free.

It was about two months after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered and the Civil War ended. It was also two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

As early as 1866, local festivities were organized to celebrate and commemorate this day, but it would not become a federal holiday until 2021.

Now, celebrations are taking place across the country!

In Middle Tennessee, a number of festivals and events take place throughout the week and on Juneteenth itself!

For example, through June 19, you can support these Black-owned restaurants that are participating in Taste of Freedom Restaurant Week! Check out all the deals they have here.

Saturday June 15:

  • Music City Freedom Festival is a free event taking place Saturday and Sunday in historic Hadley Park. The festival will take place from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    • There they will have many local food trucks, vendors and of course live music!
  • Black on Buchanan is in its 5th year and will line the street with over 75 vendors and community partners all coming to celebrate the day! There will also be plenty of food, live music and a kids zone!

    “Black on Buchanan” block party kicks off Saturday

  • Digging: American Foodways Garden: This program will begin at 10 a.m. with a special talk by Kelley Fanto Deetz, author of Related to Fire: How Virginia’s Slave Cooks Helped Invent American Cuisine. Tickets cost $30.
  • Celebrate Juneteenth with a stroll through Frankie Pierce Park. The Freedom Day Ride begins at 7 a.m. There will be a 25-mile self-guided route and a 10-mile route led by the Music City Dope Peddlers. Each registration comes with a day of hike badge, t-shirt and number!

Sunday June 16:

  • The Nashville African American Wind Symphony will hold a concert on June 19 at 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.
  • The 4th annual FREE Juneteenth Community Festival will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. There will be food trucks, a children’s zone, a barbecue and lots of games for everyone to enjoy!
  • Bridge to Broadway’s fourth annual block party features an exceptional lineup of local artists from a variety of genres, including DJ Smoke, Houston Kendrick, Daisha McBride, Singa B, Nappy Roots and more! It takes place at NMAAM and runs from noon to 8 p.m.

Wednesday June 19:

  • The free Juneteenth615 celebration will be held at Fort Negley Park and will run from 5 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. You can expect music, food trucks, fireworks and more!
  • From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., NMAAM will celebrate June 16 with a block party! The party will take place at the Food Assembly Skydeck! It’s free and open to the public and restricted to those 21 and over.
  • At Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, they will have a number of conversations, including:
    • A preview of Juneteenth and Tennessee Emancipation Day will take place at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
    • Freed Colored Men in New Orleans 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
    • The freedom of Hannah and Aaron 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
    • Alfred’s Freedom Story 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
  • 2nd Annual Music City Freedom Day 5K Run/Walk in June
    • The race will start at 7:30 a.m. at Shelby Park! Here are the details.

Thursday June 20:

Wonder Woman; school honors beloved teacher with brain cancer

I think we can all remember our favorite teachers. In many ways, they leave an imprint on our lives. Get your tissues ready for Forrest Sanders’ story about Mrs. McMurray. She has invested so much in her students, and they return her love when they need it most.

-Carrie Sharp

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