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Honoring Juneteenth in Downtown Tempe

Tag: BlogEvents

Juneteenth is the day when freedom from slavery became a reality for all African Americans. In 2021, President Biden declared Juneteenth a national holiday, and Tempe was the first city in the Valley to officially deem Juneteenth a paid holiday on an annual basis. Making Juneteenth a holiday is just one way to draw awareness to the importance of this holiday. This year, Downtown Tempe honors Juneteenth through an inaugural Juneteenth Event that invites people of all races to share in and witness black joy.  

Events may seem, on the surface, as if they are superficial … some fun with games, food, and music. But they are so much more than that. For ages, events have allowed groups large and small to come together and celebrate life and culture. Festivals and events have commemorated seasons and victories, created togetherness after wars and hardships, and celebrated life with all its joy and trauma - through art, music and the breaking of bread. As humans, we crave community and moments to embrace culture. And we need to commemorate our most inspiring moments in history, so that the learning continues and struggles are never forgotten.  

This year, we are holding our first standalone Juneteenth Celebration in downtown Tempe.  You will find all the standard components of a community event - a stage, food vendors, a marketplace, and some information booths. Only this event is honoring the vibrancy of black culture and the resilience of a people that fought for emancipation. Texas was the final state to declare slavery unlawful on June 19, 1865 and there have been Juneteenth celebrations around our the country since the first anniversary.  

At our event in downtown, you can expect black-owned food and market vendors alongside musicians and artists showing off their incredible talents. City of Tempe’s Mayor, Corey Woods, will also say a few words about what this event means to him.  This is a tribute to the beauty of our diverse city and the pride we should all feel around celebrating our local black community.  And it’s just one of the many Juneteenth events happening this year in Tempe … check out the full list:

Downtown Tempe is also honoring Juneteenth through Juneteenth flags displayed proudly through the streets of Downtown Tempe during the month of June. This is just another way to draw awareness to the importance of this holiday to our residents and visitors.

We hope you are able to join us for the event on Sunday, June 19 from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. Get all the event details HERE  and join us for an evening that’s so much more than food, drinks and music ... this is community.  

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