The City of Newport News and the Downtown Newport News Merchants and Neighbors Association, Inc. are partnering to commemorate history with a weeklong celebration of Juneteenth. Citizens are invited to spend the week coming together as a community to learn history while celebrating culture and traditions. Starting Saturday, June 12, and continuing each day through Saturday, June 19, there are a variety of in-person and virtual events for everyone including BINGO, a concert, drive-through giveaways, Juneteenth flag raising ceremony, a conversation with Frederick Douglass, a Freedom Festival, and more. All events are free and open to the public.
The celebration kicks off on Saturday, June 12 with Expressions. From 12 p.m. until 2 p.m., visit Denbigh Community Center (15198 Warwick Blvd), Brittingham-Midtown Community Center (570 McLawhorne Dr) or Doris Miller Community Center (2814 Wickham Ave) to receive free giveaway items, purchase food from food trucks and take photos with a curated background.
On Sunday, June 13 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m., bring a chair or blanket to King-Lincoln Park (600 Jefferson Ave) and enjoy a free concert featuring Calvary Chapel Newport News Worship Team, Brothers and the Unifics.
Join dignitaries on Monday, June 14 at 1 p.m. at City Hall (2400 Washington Ave) for the Juneteenth flag raising ceremony and reading of the Emancipation Proclamation and Mayoral Proclamation.
Make Tuesday a family game night! Bring the family out for Juneteenth BINGO happening from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. outside in the pavilion at Brittingham-Midtown Community Center. Win prizes and enjoy food while learning the history of Juneteenth. Space is limited and registration is encouraged.
Visit Denbigh Community Center from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 16 for the Juneteenth Conversation. Join contemporary historian Dr. Eric Claville with Frederick Douglass for a live interview about the significance and impact of the Emancipation Proclamation and the meaning of Juneteenth. Seating is limited for this event and registration is encouraged.
Thursday, June 17, stay home and log on to Facebook or tune in to NNTV (Cox channel 48 or Verizon Channel 19) to watch the Juneteenth Rally and listen as storyteller Crystal Sessoms shares the story of how the message of freedom was delivered to slaves in Texas.
Grab free tickets for A Journey to Freedom: A Juneteenth Production, happening at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 18 at Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center. Enjoy a screening of this original stage play that takes the audience through the various periods of Black history leading up to Juneteenth Celebration. Seating is limited and free tickets can be obtained online.
Finally, spend the afternoon of Saturday, June 19 celebrating at the Freedom Festival. From 12 p.m. until 4 p.m., visit King-Lincoln Park for live entertainment, food and craft vendors, exhibitors, children’s pony rides, glitter tattoos, and more. This event is still accepting craft vendors and exhibitors. There is no fee to participate as a vendor or exhibitor.
Additional related events include:
Newport News Public Library is celebrating Juneteenth with a special exhibit and program. On Saturday, June 19 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., visit the Main Street Library (110 Main St) for the unveiling of a new exhibit Until Freedom Comes: The African American Experience in Newport News. This exhibit chronicles the history of African Americans in the city from 1623 to present day.
The Contemporary Arts Network Juneteenth Block Party takes place on Saturday, June 19, from 12 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. at CAN HQ (9601 Warwick Blvd). Enjoy live musical performances, an outdoor boxing showcase, Buy Black Pop-Up vendors, Juneteenth Next Up at the CAN and the opening of the CANTemporaries collaborative exhibition.
Visit www.nnva.gov/juneteenth to learn more about this weeklong celebration.