A sketch of Harriet and Dred Scott. The two lived as slaves at Fort Snelling in Minnesota before suing for their freedom. Fort Snelling will have special tours of the historic place on Junteenth which is on Wednesday, June 19. Check story below for details on tickets. Photo: Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society
A sketch of Harriet and Dred Scott. The two lived as slaves at Fort Snelling in Minnesota before suing for their freedom. Fort Snelling will have special tours of the historic place on Junteenth which is on Wednesday, June 19. Check story below for details on tickets. Photo: Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

Juneteenth has been observed for more than 150 years in remembrance of June 19, 1865 when Union soldiers told slaves in Galveston, Texas that they had been freed. Slave owners had kept the news from the slaves that President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation two years earlier.

Following years of activism by 95-year-old Ms. Opal Lee, President Biden signed a law making it a federal holiday in 2021. In Minnesota, Gov. Walz signed legislation in 2023 making it a state holiday.

Several events to commemorate the holiday are being held around the Twin Cities metro area and parts of greater Minnesota in the days leading to June 19 and days after.

Below are a sampling of the events Mshale staff is aware of, most of which are free to attend. More events will be included as we learn of them. You can submit your event by choosing Event Submissions in the dropdown at this link. Put Juneteenth 2024 in the subject.

Provide as much information as possible in your submission and whether the event is free or paid as well as your contact information.

Historic Fort Snelling

Come see where Dred and Harriet Scott lived as slaves before suing for freedom

Have you heard of the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857? In case you didn’t know, Mr. Dred Scott and his wife Harriet, lived right here in Minnesota at Fort Snelling as enslaved people before suing for freedom. On June 19, Fort Snelling is offering a tour focusing on African American history at the fort. This tour will be a special topic add-on offered all day on Juneteenth. Learn about the early Black communities, free and enslaved, in what would become the state of Minnesota, and about the African Americans newly arriving during the Civil War.

After the Civil War, Black regulars of the 25th US Infantry – “Buffalo Soldiers” – were stationed at the fort prior to departing on their nearly 2000-mile bicycle experiment, and many went on to make the Twin Cities home after their service in the Army.

Tours on June 19 will be at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, and 2:30 pm.


We Are the Noise: The Echoes of Our Ancestors – Saturday, June 15

The University of Minnesota will host its third annual Juneteenth Celebration block party and commemorative march in North Minneapolis. It will feature Black vendors, free food, speakers, workshops, fashion show, storytellers, drumline, dancers, musicians, performers, DJs, live screen printing, roller skating, books, free food, free haircuts, art-making, a bouncy house, petting zoo, and more.

Location: Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) @ 2001 Plymouth Ave. N. Minneapolis, MN 55411

Juneteenth Minnesota 2024 – Sunday, June 16 on West Broadway from Lyndale to Emerson Avenues

This is Minnesota’s de facto main celebration of Juneteenth due to its sheer size and scale. You can read Mshale’s coverage of this massive event here.

There will be a parade spanning a few blocks and two stages for entertainment and speakers. A rally for social and economic justice will also take place. There will also be what organizers are calling a “local star-studded entertainment jamboree.” Some highlights include: A free mini-carnival and youth entrepreneur experience for those 16 and younger will be held all day and a West Broadway Block Party Father’s Day Brunch.

A free Metro Transit bus/train pass is available for download at the Juneteenth Minnesota website link above.

Kumbayah the Juneteenth Story – for Ages 8 and up – Friday, June 21 @ 11am

Written by Rose McGee, Kumbayah the Juneteenth Story is a two-act play that addresses the time when information was withheld from Blacks that they were no longer slaves. The play spans centuries and continents, with scenes set in early 1800s West Africa, present-day North Minneapolis, and the Turner Plantation, TX in 1863. Following the play, Dr. Amelious Whyte, University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts interim director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, will moderate a Q&A with the cast.

Cost: Free but registration required.

Location: Carlson Family Stage @ Northrop Auditorium – 84 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455.

St. Paul

The Music of Rondo – Wednesday, June 19

The Music of Rondo Juneteenth celebration in St. Paul will be celebrating the legacy of the Walker West Music Academy whose alumni include current St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and former St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. Photo: Courtesy Walker West Music Academy

The Rondo Center of Diverse Expressions (RCODE) will host its annual Juneteenth observance from 12pm to 5pm. This year’s theme is The Music of Rondo: Celebrating the Walker West Music Academy and recognition of the Academy and its founders, Rev. Carl Walker and Grant West. Performers from the academy will offer a concert featuring alumni and current students. A Spirit of Rondo Achievement Award will be presented to St. Paul Fire Department Captain Brittney Baker. Featured food vendors, exhibitors, and information tables will be found on Fisk Street.

Venue: Rondo Commemorative Plaza – 820 Old Rondo Avenue St. Paul, MN, 55104

Juneteenth Breakfast featuring Bakari Sellers – Thursday, June 20

Former South Carolina state Rep. Bakari Sellers will keynote the Juneteenth Breakfast on Thursday, June 21, 2024 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Photo: Courtesy Minnesota Humanities Center

The Minnesota Humanities Center’s annual Juneteenth breakfast will feature a keynote address and community conversation with former South Carolina state Rep. Bakari Sellers who is also an attorney, and political commentator. He will discuss his book “The Moment: Thoughts on the Race Reckoning That Wasn’t and How We All Can Move Forward Now.” Mr. Sellers is also a CNN political analyst and lobbyist for the government of Liberia.

Ticket info: Available at this link.

Venue: St. Paul Event Center – 400 Wabasha Street North, St. Paul, 55102


Brooklyn Center

Official City Celebrations – Day 1 is Golf and Day 2 is Family Celebration

The City of Brooklyn Center will be celebrating Juneteenth through two events, a golf tournament on Friday, June 14 at Centerbrook Golf Course and a family friendly event on Saturday, June 15 at Centennial Park featuring entertainment, food, vendors, art activities, inflatables, face painting, balloon art, teen activities, city trucks, and more. Full entertainment lineup that includes Afrobeats, Nunnabove and more at the link above.

Brooklyn Park

Official City Celebration on Saturday, June 15

KNOWN Mpls is one of teh efatyured performers at Brooklyn Park’s Juneteenth celbration being held on teh grounds of Norh Hennepin Community College on Saturday, June 15, 2024. Photo: Courtesy Known MPLS

Brooklyn Park’s celebration will take place on the grounds of North Hennepin Community College which will feature the main stage and at the Center for Business and Technology where “Wellness Break” activities like “Discovering Our Stories: Exploring Identity and Self-Love Through Literacy” by Devina Moore will take place. This year’s theme is “Black Art, Health, and Healing.” There will be a parade and live entertainment from the likes of Carnage the Executioner, Known MPLS, Maya Marchelle and others as well as Hip Hop Cardio fitness by instructor Kiki Jones. Guests include William Bakeshow Baker of KMOJ Radio and serial entrepreneur Rashida Jenkins.

Tip: Bring a lawn chair or outdoor blanket.


Official City Celebration on Saturday, June 15 @ 1pm

Brooklyn Park’s celebration will take place at North River Hills Park from 1pm to 3:30pm. This year there will be live music from All City Music Band and the Apple Valley R&B Group, A line dancing party, Rollin Nolen’s BBQ food truck, A game and contest, Spoken word from Alero Ogisi, Kids crafts and more!

Bring a lawn chair or a blanket.

Location: North River Hills Park – 11501 19th Ave., Burnsville, MN 55337

Maple Grove

Black-owned Business Fair & Live Performances – Wednesday, June 19

This is Maple Grove’s annual Juneteenth celebration hosted by the Parks and Recreation Dept. featuring a welcome from the Mayor, a black owned vendor fair, food trucks, kids activities, story walks, giveaways, a coloring mural, and entertainment on the stage. There will be spoken word from Poetíc Mamá & Destinee Foster including a tribute to Prince.


Eagan’s first ever Juneteenth Celebration – Sunday, June 23

According to a post on the City of Eagan website, Eagan residents Richard and Stacey Johnson plus Carmen and Manu Lewis reached out to ask how the City planned to Juneteenth now that Minnesota had made it a state holiday. In conversation with staff members, the group concluded that because Juneteenth is so deeply rooted in Black history and identity, the City should support, rather than lead such a celebration. Over the past year, these residents have worked hard to plan for a vibrant event with music, food trucks, activities, and an educational history walk.

The event will take place at Viking Lakes from 3 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 23.

Venue: Viking Lakes Plaza (Yes, at the ultra-modern Vikings Football team practice facility): 2685 Vikings Cir, Eagan, MN 55121.


Woodbury for Justice and Equality Juneteenth Celebration – Saturday, June 22 @ 11am

This family friendly event will feature a DJ, live performers, kid activities, free food and the return of last year’s grill masters with their famous BBQ chicken.

Location: Ojibway Park – 2685 Vikings Cir, Eagan, MN 55121.

Greater Minnesota


50th Annual Duluth NAACP Juneteenth Jamboree – Wednesday, June 19 @ 3pm

The Duluth NAACP invites the community to an afternoon of music, free dinner, family fun, BIPOC vendors, community information tables, and more starting at 3pm to 7pm.

Location: Central Hillside Community Center – 4th Street and Lake Avenue. GPs address is 12 E 4th St, Duluth, MN 55805


Greater Mankato Diversity Council Juneteenth Celebration – Wednesday, June 19 @ 2pm

Tom Funker will keynote Mankato’s Juneteenth celebration at the Civic Center Plaza on Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Photo: Courtesy Greater Mankato Diversity Council

This is the seventh year that GMDC is hosting its Juneteenth celebration at the Civic Center Plaza and the theme is ‘Black History is American History.’ The event starts at 2pm and concludes at 7pm but will be preceded by a Freedom Walk at 1:30pm that will start at Shared Spaces (127 South 2nd Street). The 0.2-mile procession will head to the Civic Center Plaza. Please RSVP for the walk at the event link above.

Keynote speaker is Tom Flunker, an educator and advocate. MC is Xavier Thomas of Brooklyn Park, a recent graduate of Minnesota State – Mankato.

Location: Civic Center Plaza – 10 Civic Center Plaza, Mankato, MN 56001

St. Cloud

Rooted in Resilience Juneteenth Celebration at Lake George – Friday, June 14 @ 12pm

The St. Cloud community is invited to Lake George for a time of celebrating our roots, our history and our community. There will be a 3×3 basketball tournament for ages 10-18 right across from city hall, a grill off competition and a Juneteenth Wonderland Family Zone and merchants of all kinds.

 Location: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park – 1738 E. Center St., Rochester, MN 55904


NAACP Juneteenth Community Celebration – Saturday, June 15 @ 12pm

Over 1,500 attendees are expected at this celebration that has been hosted by the Rochester Branch of the NAACP since 2005. There will be plenty of family friendly activities including live music, LaSonya Natividad and the Soul Train (Rochester’s Premier Soul and Funk Band), Jazz and Blues (Mitch Stevenson, LaSonya Natividad, Juneteenth Quartet and Guest Singer) and many food vendors.

Location: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park – 1738 E. Center St., Rochester, MN 55904


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