Barbecue tongs and dancing feet are getting ready for this year's Juneteenth celebrations, when the Black community will observe the official end of slavery with picnics, festivals and other spirited events.
An Independence Day for Black people in the U.S., Juneteenth is celebrated annually on June 19. Because this year it falls on a Sunday, the holiday will be observed publicly Monday, June 20. The entire weekend will see festivities across New England and the nation.
It also happens to be Father's Day this year. Many event organizers are combining the historical holiday with honoring fatherhood, particularly Black fathers.
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is a day embodying freedom and independence for the Black community in the United States, marking the effective end of slavery on June 19, 1865.
Though President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation had officially outlawed slavery nearly two-and-a-half years earlier, word did not reach the enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, until federal troops arrived there in 1865 to tell them about their freedom and announce the end of the Civil War.
Juneteenth is deeply rooted in tradition and considered the longest-running African American holiday. Last year, President Joe Biden signed a law recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday, officially Juneteenth National Independence Day. Prior to that, Juneteenth was recognized as a state or ceremonial holiday in 47 states.
Juneteenth's history explained by African American Civil War Museum director
Events are scheduled to take place all over New England on June 19 and in the days leading up to it. Here's a list of events to attend to celebrate Black joy and community, while also recognizing the gruesome history of U.S. enslavement.
Massachusetts Juneteenth events
First annual African American Association Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 18 at Brockton Fairground. Entertainment, games, vendors, food.
Juneteenth at Newton North High School on Sunday, June 19. Food trucks, dance performances, art, a DJ and more.
Cambridge-wide Juneteenth celebration for Black joy and Black excellence; events from June 12-20. Storytelling, parade, performances, Black business fair, yoga.
Museum of Fine Arts Juneteenth Open House June 20. Free for all Massachusetts residents. Art making; discussion, collaborative art symposium and performance; and "spotlight talks" focused on "Touching Roots: Black Ancestral Legacies in the Americas," a new exhibition that traces narratives of Blackness across the Atlantic world.
Juneteenth weekend sickle cell awareness blood drives June 17-20. Red Cross is looking for Black blood donors for drives in Dorchester, Copley Square and Brockton.
Juneteenth Celebration of Culture Pop Up Shop on Saturday, June 18 at Quarry Hills. Outdoor event with music, games, vendors, performances and prizes.
Massachusetts Teachers Association Juneteenth event on Sunday, June 19 at the Quinsigamond Community College soccer field. BBQ, games, activities, DJ.
College of the Holy Cross Juneteenth on Wednesday, June 15 at "the Oval." Food trucks, music, poetry, black-owned vendors.
Juneteenth flag raising at Worcester City Hall on Saturday, June 18.
Juneteenth: Freedom Day — marked in Worcester County
"Black in Business" Juneteenth outdoor vendor market on Sunday, June 19 at the Rotch-Jones-Duff House. Shop local Black-owned businesses while enjoying children’s activities, live music and raffle prizes.
Juneteenth networking celebration hosted by American Association of Blacks in Energy Boston chapter and Greentown Labs on Friday, June 17 at 444 Somerville Avenue. Networking, games and Black-owned spirits, wines and locally brewed beers.
Brookline's Juneteenth Celebration at the Florida Ruffin Ridley School and Brookline Avenue Playground on Sunday, June 19. Freedom march, food, live performances, vendors.
Framingham 2022 Juneteenth Fest on Saturday, June 18 at Farm Pond Park. Food, music, games, face-painting.
Juneteenth story time on Sunday, June 19 at Whelden Memorial Library. A library lawn event with a historical picture book reading and food.
JUNEteenth JAMboree on Saturday, June 19 at Chianti Restaurant. Soul food buffet and live music.
Juneteenth freedom walk with the Woods Hole Diversity Advisory Committee at Highfield Hall and Gardens on Sunday, June 19. Walking paths and light refreshments.
Juneteenth Freedom Day celebration on Saturday, June 19 at the Hingham Harbor Bandstand. Live music, dance performances and BBQ.
Juneteenth community conversation held by Abbot Public Library and Marblehead Racial Justice Team on Wednesday, June 22.
Three-day Juneteenth Jubilee June 17-19. Film screenings, book readings, gospel brunch, food sampling with BIPOC chefs.
Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 18 at Kennedy Pavilion Park. Food, vendors, prizes, live concert.
Rhode Island Juneteenth events
Juneteenth RI Festival on Sunday, June 19 at Roger Williams Park. Live music, food, family fun, fireworks.
Juneteenth Block Party on Saturday, June 18 at Kin Southern Table and Bar. Live music, street games, photo booth, movies, food and drinks.
Juneteenth Beach Day on Sunday, June 19 at Bristol Town Beach. Community fundraising event with games, food and drinks.
New Hampshire Juneteenth events
Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire's annual Juneteenth celebrations with events June 10-20. Art workshop, film screening, panel discussion, gospel choir, live performances.
Juneteenth 2022: Acknowledging the Struggle, Celebrating the Resilience on Friday, June 17 at New Hope Baptist Church. Keynote speaker, live music and light dinner.
In New Hampshire: Juneteenth celebrations expanding this year
Juneteenth flag raising on Friday, June 17 at 8 a.m. at Dover City Hall
Juneteenth Block Party on Sunday, June 19 at Hop Knot. Food, music, art performances.
Vermont Juneteenth events
City of Burlington's second annual Juneteenth Celebration June 17-19. Concert, fashion pop up, DJs, and more.
Juneteenth concert with the East Coast Inspiration Singers on Sunday, June 19 at Greensboro United Church of Christ.
Black drag and burlesque show on Friday, June 17 at Monkey House. Juneteenth event celebrating Black and brown stage performers.
Maine Juneteenth events
Juneteenth Walk on Sunday, June 19 from Kittery, Maine, across the bridge to African Burying Ground in Portsmouth, NH. Jazz band and church-style ceremony.
Juneteenth concert on Sunday, June 19 at John Paul Jones Park. Band, local historian and West African dance and drum performance.
Connecticut Juneteenth events
Did you know?: Norwich was the first Juneteenth celebration in Connecticut
Juneteenth ceremony, flag raising and 33rd annual festival with NAACP Norwich branch and Global City Norwich June 17-19. Awards, vendors, bounce house, live art stations, youth performers, dancing and singing.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY NETWORK: Juneteenth celebrations throughout New England, MA CT NH RI VT ME