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Where to celebrate Juneteenth in Maryland

Juneteenth National Freedom day celebrates the end of slavery in states that were rebelling against the North. It commemorates the day in 1865 that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas finally got news of the emancipation proclamation two years after it was signed. Although Juneteenth has been unofficially celebrated for years, more Maryland counties now recognize it as an official holiday.

Musical performances, workshops and activities are planned for this year's Juneteenth celebrations in Maryland.
Musical performances, workshops and activities are planned for this year's Juneteenth celebrations in Maryland. (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun)

Here’s what’s happening on June 19:

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Baltimore City

The Reservoir Hill Association will host one of the city’s largest Juneteenth celebrations at 2411 Linden Avenue from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In addition to several musical performances, workshops and activities, the festival will have a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, health screenings and insurance enrollment among other resources.

“The Reservoir Hill community is determined to use this event as a platform to celebrate unsung American stories of Black freedom, Black achievement, and Black solidarity,” said Imani Bryan, event chairperson, in a statement.

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Also in Reservoir Hill, Dovecote Cafe will be celebrating its reopening with their fifth annual Juneteenth festival. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m there will be a variety activities like face painting, yoga, and trivia. Several performers like rapper Felisha George and poet Lady Brion will be featured.

A self-described group of street artists known as The Linwood Project are hosting a Juneteenth picnic at O’Donnell Square Park in Canton at noon. In April of 2021, the statute dedicated to Capt. John O’Donnell, a plantation owner in Canton was removed from the square following protests.

In Harbor East, upscale restaurant BLK Swan will have a fireside chat hosted by White House Correspondent April Ryan, accompanied by tapas and bottomless mimosas. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., guests, including New York Times Bestseller D. Watkins, Bravo’s Housewives of Potomac Dr. Wendy Osefo and award winning journalist Jeff Johnson, will discuss the importance, and historical significance of Juneteenth to the African American community. Tickets, which cost $100, can be purchased at eatatblkswan.com.

The Black-owned restaurant Breaking Bread, located in Hotel Revival in Mt Vernon will hold a Juneteenth event in collaboration with Black-owned premium whiskey brand, Uncle Nearest. Starting at 11 a.m. the event will be held at the Hotel’s Topside restaurant and feature food, beverages and music for attendees.

The Power of Freedom Juneteenth Jubilee will be hosted by the Douglass Leadership Institute and The Heritage Foundation. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Greektown Square Event Center and will commence with an award reception for the Maryland Black Republican Council. Bob Woodson, author of “Red, White, and Black; Rescuing from Revisionists and Race Hustlers,” will be the keynote speaker with live music by recording artist Kevin Howard. Tickets, which cost $50-100 can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/o/douglass-leadership-institute-amp-maryland-brc-33498907315.

Baltimore County

Baltimore County’s historic East Towson Community will hold a Juneteenth music festival from noon to 6 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, a pillar in the community founded by enslaved people over 200 years ago, according to their website. Singer and songwriter Carly Troyer, the Jordan Gillis Band, vocalist Katyrah Love, guitarist Noah Pierre and the Diamonds of Jazz featuring Larzine are scheduled to perform.

All proceeds from the event will go to the Northeast Towson Improvement Association for the benefit of the East Towson community and its residents.

Anne Arundel County

In Annapolis, a parade beginning at noon at the Annapolis City Dock will kick off the celebration. Marching bands, dance squads and floats are scheduled to participate in the festivities. After the parade, a Juneteenth music festival takes place at the Bates Athletic Complex. According to the event website, the festival will close with a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, theatrical performance and tributes from local artists.

Harford County

Harford County.’s Hosanna School Museum will host its fifth annual Juneteenth celebration with the theme “Celebrating the Black Family: Representation, Identity, Diversity.” What has historically been a large festival with thousands of attendees and a variety of activities and performances will be held virtually this year at 6 p.m. on the day. The event will include a libation ceremony, guest presenters, a Black-owned business showcase and community organizations.

Eastern Shore

At 4 p.m. in Salisbury City Park, The Eastern Shore will celebrate its fourth Juneteenth Community Cookout — a free festival with music, food, games, vendors and resource desks. Special musical guest DJ First Class is set to serenade attendees into the evening.

Howard County

This year, the Howard County Center of African American Culture will host its 21st annual Juneteenth celebration. The two-part event will begin at 10 a.m. on the steps of the Historic Oakland Manor on Vantage Point Road. Bring your own lawn chair to this socially distanced event that will include a performance of the Negro National Anthem.

The event will continue virtually at 11:30 with a virtual panel discussion entitled, “A Conversation on Race: Racism-Equity-Reconciliation.” Access to the Zoom meeting can be found on the HCCAAC website.

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