Hey Mama Hey! If you have made your way here on the blog you have already seen my Instagram post sharing a few Juneteenth events for Chicago families. The response I received from that post was 5xs my usual posts. The shares, saves, comments and even DM’s all let me know how much you valued the content. I have my own guess why. I think your family is just like mine. We are new to celebrating Juneteenth. We are in the exciting position of creating our own traditions. It was only 2 years ago that President Biden declared Juneteenth as a National holiday. Since that day, I have made it my business to celebrate the holiday with my family.
How do I celebrate Juneteenth?
Community. That’s the answer. I surround myself with the music, art, culture and energy of African American people. A perfect Juneteenth has me surrounded by my family, biological and chosen! Since ObieQ is 6yo we have had a conversations around the history of the holiday and how we can honor our enslaved ancestors. For us that is with joy! The smell of BBQ, a cousin doing a line dance, the sounds of my kids laughing….that’s joy! Something that I have introduced recently is supporting locally owned Black businesses and artists. This year my celebration weekend (Yes we are celebrating all weekend) looks like:
LeFlore Juneteenth 2023
- Friday: Rock The Block
- Saturday: Southside YMCA Juneteenth Celebration and Juneteenth Family Fest
- Monday: Chicago White Sox Game: Juneteenth Special Programming
Now let’s get options for you and your family! Below I have broken it down for each day also given you my two cents on each event. I have West Side, South Side, North Side and even threw a suburb event in!
Chicago Juneteenth Family Events 2023:
Rock the Block in Armstrong Park: This event will always have a special place in my heart. It was the first Juneteenth event I ever took my boys. Tickets are free, parking in plentiful and there is a free flowing order of activities. This is an enjoyable, accessible and great first event to kick off your weekend.
Family, Wellness, Art and Freedom Celebration at Blue Door Neighborhood Center. Music, spoken word, literary, dance and drum are all on the center stage for this Juneteenth celebration. The special guest speaker is Chairman Fred Hampton Jr.
Juneteenth Celebration and Community BBQ at South Side YMCA: As soon as I park my car in the YMCA parking lot, ObieQ is begging to get out. With the grill going, music jamming, and kids running around how can you blame him. It’s giving family reunion vibes and I LOVE it. You can also support Black Mama Owned business Chicago Culture Gear.
Juneteenth Jubilee at Bronzeville Children’s Museum: Last time I took my boys to the Bronzeville Children’s Museum my husband and I learned as much as the kids. This family owned museum is full of history and knowledge of culture. This event is 2 hours 1-3p which is perfect if you have little kids only time for one stop. IYKYK
Juneteenth Family Festival in Beverly/Morgan Park Neighborhood: The buzz about this event has been off the charts. The planning committee is stacked with community engaged women who have organized an afternoon of entertainment, vendors, workshops and sponsors. The event is all day, 11a-7p which makes sense because it is PACKED with programming specifically for families
Paint The Hood Orange in Seward Park: This special edition of the iconic block party series has the goal of bringing resources, love and unity to our communities. This event is for the whole family so perfect for a multi generational celebration.
3rd Annual Juneteenth Celebration in Columbus Park: One thing that makes this event especially special is the on site historians who are ready to share the history of Juneteenth! Bouncy houses for the kids, chess for the seniors and something for everyone in between!
Homewood – Flossmoor Juneteenth Festival This suburban festival is new on the block, founded in 2021, and has already become a highly anticipated 2 day celebration for south suburban families. There is entertainment, food and a long list of vendors. Make sure you stop by the BrownSkinBeautiful booth to purchase your Everyday Beautiful Journal. Tell her Mama Fresh sent you!
It Takes a Village Festival in Douglass Park: National musical performers like Angie Stone, Talib Kweli, BJ The Chicago Kid and a long list of more make this an event you don’t want to miss. Carnival rides…even a ferris wheel makes this the perfect Sunday Funday destination.
Chicago White Sox celebrate Juneteenth at Guaranteed Rate Field: The White Sox is celebrating Juneteenth by supporting local Black Owned businesses. The game starts at 7:10 but my family and I are showing up early to tailgate to learn more about Black Owned orgs. ObieQ has recently started to play baseball so I am excited to show him what it looks like to show up on the field and for your community.
Juneteenth Community BBQ at DuSable Museum: This Black history museum sets it out every Juneteenth. Horseback riding, food, giveaways are all consistent with years past. BUT this year is the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop and DuSable is celebrating with a special tribute, even a I’m performance by KOOL MOE DEE himself!
Juneteenth Block Party at The Woodlawn: Are you ready for a PARTY! This is your Juneteenth event. Some of the best DJ’s in the city. Rooftop Yoga. Live Podcasting. If you haven’t checked out The Woodlawn yet, this event is the perfect introduction.
Chicago is showing up and showing out this holiday! Look for me celebrating all weekend. Matter of fact, let’s just start right now! Happy Freedom Day to you and yours. If you see me outside, don’t forget to say Hey Mama Hey!