Hosted by the Downtown Newport News Merchants & Neighbors Association, Inc. and the City of Newport News. Join us for our 2nd year of events as we expand to 10- days of remembrance and celebration. Event information is subject to change due to COVID-19 precautions.
Juneteenth is a day that commemorates and celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. Although President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in January 1863, it wasn’t until June 19, 1865 that Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War had ended and the enslaved were free. It was then that more than 250,000 slaves in Texas learned that they were finally free. Juneteenth symbolizes unity and the promise that all people are equal in the United States. Early Juneteenth celebrations included families gathering for music, food, dancing, storytelling and the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day and Emancipation Day. In June of 2020, Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order 66 declaring Juneteenth as an official state holiday in Virginia.
The events listed below will be periodically updated with more information and registration links as they become available.
Juneteenth Poster Contest
Elementary and middle school students can use their artistic talents to express ideas, visions and thoughts about the Juneteenth theme of liberty, freedom, equality, and justice. Registration materials can be picked-up and posters dropped off at Grissom Library, Main Street Library, and Pearl Bailey Library.
- Doris Miller Community Center | 2814 Wickham Ave.
- Brittingham-Midtown Community Center | 570 McLawhorne Dr.
- Denbigh Community Center | 15198 Warwick Blvd.
- Newport News Visitor Center | 13560 Jefferson Ave.
- Newport News, Parks, Recreation & Tourism Main Office | 700 Town Center Dr. Suite 320
Calling all Juneteenth champions. Stop by during normal business hours and pick-up free Juneteenth give-a-way novelties, and enjoy Instagrammable moments.
Brooks Crossing to King-Lincoln Park | 600 Jefferson Ave.
Enjoy the only Juneteenth community parade on the Peninsula. Starting at Brooks Crossing, the parade travels 1.5 miles through the Southeast Community, arriving at King-Lincoln Park where there will be food trucks and music from the Mosaic Steel Orchestra.
June 12 | 5:00 PM – 7:30 PM
King-Lincoln Park | 600 Jefferson Ave.
Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy musical performances by the Calvary Chapel Newport News Worship Team, Brothers and MOER.
***CANCELED DUE TO POOR SITE CONDITIONS***
Juneteenth Raising of the Flag Ceremony
City Hall | 2400 Washington Ave.
Dignitaries, guests and the community will come together for raising of the Juneteenth Flag, the reading of the Mayoral Proclamation and remarks from guest speaker Dr. Grainger Browning, Jr.
Brittingham-Midtown Community Center | 570 McLawhorne Dr.
Have fun playing bingo, winning prizes and enjoying refreshments while learning about Juneteenth and why it’s an important part of Unites States history.
Denbigh Community Center | 15198 Warwick Blvd.
Live debate with the youth of our community that focus on two cases and key decisions that were made by the United States Supreme Court regarding racial segregation.
Juneteenth Spoken Word
Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center | 2410 Wickham Ave.
Listen to oral poetic performances designed for self-expression by local artists and poets on ideas of liberty, freedom, equality, and justice.
Juneteenth Mime: The Faces of Freedom
Mariners Museum | 100 Museum Dr.
Watch silent movement performers enliven the room through dance and music to tell stories of emancipation.
Juneteenth Youth Field and Games
Riverview Farm Park | 105 City Farm Rd.
Youth ages 6-17 can participate in outdoor sporting games while bringing awareness of the four pillars of commemoration (liberty, free, equality, and justice) with a spirit of friendship, unity and team spirit.
Juneteenth Historical Pageant
Virtual Event - shown on NNTV (Cox Ch. 48/Verizon Ch. 19); streamed on nnva.gov/NNTV
Look through the lens of individuals throughout historical periods as they share their views on how the Emancipation Proclamation changed their lives.
Juneteenth Freedom Festival
King-Lincoln Park | 600 Jefferson Ave.
Free community festival featuring musical entertainment by the Unifics, food and craft vendors, informational exhibits, and children’s activities.