Celebrating Juneteenth in Charlotte? Consider Durag Fest, poetry open mic, winery tours

·6 min read

June 19 is still as important today as it was in 1865.

The date, coined “Juneteenth,” commemorates the day federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 to free enslaved people — more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation On that day, U.S. Gen. Gordon Granger read, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”

Celebrations ensued that night and became a formalized party for “Jubilee Day” the following year on June 19. Over the years, Juneteenth celebrations evolved to include barbecues, music, prayer services and more activities.

This year, like those past, Charlotteans will celebrate Juneteenth across the city and beyond, with art, live performances, food, special events and festivals.

NC plantation calls slaveowner a ‘white refugee’ in racist Juneteenth event promo

Belmont Juneteenth Celebration


Details: This year, the Belmont Juneteenth Celebration will be virtual. You can catch the parade from the Montcross Area Chamber webcam or register your family to participate. Later that day, there will be a virtual concert and virtual vendors. More details to be announced on the event Facebook page.

Time: 2 p.m. parade, 7 p.m. concert

Cost: Free

Durag Fest

Victoria Yards, 408 N. Tryon St.; NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza, 400 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.; Camp North End, 1824 Statesville Road

Details: The fourth annual Durag Fest will celebrate Black culture through music, fashion and art across three locations. At Victoria Yards, visitors can shop local vendors at the Durag Market and enjoy bites from local food trucks. The NASCAR Hall of Fame will host the Durag Hall of Fame with portraits of Charlotteans and music/dance performances. To close the event, Durags After Dark: Adult Swim event at Camp North End will include a wave contest and live performances from DJs and local artists. COVID-19 safety precautions will be in place, and unvaccinated attendees are asked to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Time: Noon-6 p.m. Victoria Yards, 2-8 p.m. Durag Hall of Fame, 7-11 p.m. Durags After Dark

Cost: Free, but RSVP is required.

The 2018 Durag Fest.
The 2018 Durag Fest.

Freedom: A Juneteenth Celebration

430 S. Tryon St.

Details: The Knight Theater will host young professionals, fashion enthusiasts and progressive thinkers to celebrate Juneteenth. This upscale party presented by King Entertainment Events will feature live music from DJ Kato and DJ Shaun Nyce.

Time: 9 p.m.

Cost: $20+

Grand Opening of Hideaway Bar & Lounge

Details: Jay and Miketa Davis, the power couple that own Lulu’s Maryland Style Chicken and Seafood, will host the grand opening of their new sports bar and lounge, Hideaway. The menu will include burgers, chicken wings, cocktails, CBD products, hookah and sandwiches. For the celebration, expect appearances from Charlotte’s No Limit Larry, host Ohtavia Phillips and a musical performance by Baltimore’s Tate Kobang.

Time: 2-6 p.m.

Cost: Free

Juneteenth Block Party

525 Johnson Road

Details: Designed to celebrate unity, empowerment and progress, the Juneteenth Block Party will motivate and inspire. More details to come on the event Facebook page.

Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for family fun, 4-8 p.m. for the after party

Cost: Free

Juneteenth celebration in Clover, SC

405 Kings Mountain St., 312 Mobley St.

Details: Less than an hour’s drive from uptown, Clover, South Carolina, will host a Juneteenth celebration. The event kicks off with the second annual Freedom Walk at Clover Chapel UMC, where participants will walk through town on a designated route to commemorate Juneteenth. The walk will culminate in a reading of the Town of Clover Proclamation. In the evening, participants can gather in Roosevelt Community Park for Celebration in the Park, which will include food trucks, a youth basketball tournament, cornhole tournament, live DJ and cultural dancing.

Time: 9 a.m. for the Freedom Walk, 5:30 p.m. for Celebration in the Park

Cost: $15 for the Freedom Walk, free for Celebration in the Park

Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas

Central Avenue and Thomas Avenue in Plaza Midwood

Details: The Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas will celebrate with four days of events. On June 17, there will be a youth day camp, followed by an opening ceremony and drum circle on June 18. On the morning of June 19, join the peaceful Juneteenth Freedom March, which will begin at Marshall Park and end at the House of Africa on Central Avenue. Later that day and through Sunday, learn the history of Juneteenth and join in prayers.

Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for youth camp on June 17; 5-9 p.m. opening ceremony and drum circle on June 18; 9 a.m. for the Freedom March on June 19; noon to 9 p.m. for prayer and history of Juneteenth on June 19; noon to 8 p.m. for history of Juneteenth on June 20

Cost: Free

March, join a drum circle and learn the history of Juneteenth at the Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas.
March, join a drum circle and learn the history of Juneteenth at the Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas.

Juneteenth Jam

Spirit Square at the corner of 7th and College streets; Victoria Yards, 408 N. Tryon St.; NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza, 400 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.

Details: Join Blumenthal Performing Arts for Juneteenth Jam, a two-day, artist-forward event that will highlight the history and significance of Juneteenth. Throughout uptown, participants can enjoy live music, interactive dance sessions and an installation of the Durag Fest. There will also be a hip hop performance from AJ Glasco, dance director for We Are Hip Hop.

Time: 4 p.m. June 18, 11 a.m. June 19

Cost: Free

Enjoy music and dance at Juneteenth Jam, presented by Blumenthal Performing Arts.
Enjoy music and dance at Juneteenth Jam, presented by Blumenthal Performing Arts.

Lyrical Healing Open Mic

229 S. Brevard St.

Details: Hosted by Porsha the Poet, this open mic night will celebrate Juneteenth and encourage healing at Studio 229 on Brevard. The event will include live music, poetry, spoken word, rap and R&B.

Time: 7-11:30 p.m.

Cost: $20

RVA Juneteenth Cocktail Market

200 S. 10th St.

Details: The RVA Juneteenth Cocktail Market is the perfect opportunity to celebrate Juneteenth by enjoying food and cocktails prepared by Black chefs at Charlotte’s Southern Deli and Tapas. Featured chefs include: Candace Vinson, Daryl Cooper, Emmanuel “Manny” Baiden, George Carroll, Nikke Gregory, Paul Polk and Oscar Johnson. Proceeds from this donation-based event will benefit the RVA HIP & Bohlale Baheti Social & Charity Club, a nonprofit committed to providing scholarships to college-bound female Black high school seniors through mentorship, financial aid preparation and community services.

Time: 8 p.m. to midnight

Cost: $5 donation to RVA HIP & Bohlale Baheti Social & Charity Club is required for entry

Queen City Juneteenth Festival

Fran’s Kids Boys & Girls Center, 2600 W. Trade St.

Details: The Queen City Juneteenth festival will bring communities and families together under a theme of “Educating, Empowering, Entertaining.” The celebration will spread awareness for African American culture and give back to less-fortunate communities. In addition to 50 Black-owned businesses, there will also be live music, giveaways and dance performances. For younger attendees, there will be limbo, kids’ games, face painting and a pie-eating contest.

Time: Noon to 6 p.m.

Cost: Free

QC Juneteenth Fest

7601 The Plaza Blvd.

Details: Celebrate freedom, community and cultural prosperity at the QC Juneteenth Fest presented by Black Business Owners Corp. and Melanated Exchange Market. The event will feature live performances, a kids’ zone, community activities, special guest speakers, a selfie experience, visual artists and a special installment of Black Food Truck Fridays.

Time: Noon to 8 p.m.

Cost: Free

Wine Me Down Juneteenth

224 E. 7th St.

Details: Tour Black-owned vineyards and winery destinations. Sip wine throughout the day and enjoy food from Black-owned food trucks and restaurants. Tickets include round-trip shared coach bus travel, two tours and an entertainment pass. Guests must be 21+ and masks or facial coverings are required during transit.

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Cost: $109

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