June 12 - 19
Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, will be celebrated in Newport News with a week-long series of activities and events. From June 12 through June 19, a variety of FREE in-person and virtual events will occur, including a concert, drive-through giveaways, Juneteenth flag-raising ceremony, a conversation with Frederick Douglass, a Freedom Festival, plus more.
To learn more about the history of Juneteenth, which has been commemorated since the late 1800s, join us for the following:
Saturday, June 12
From noon to 2 p.m., receive free give-away items, purchase food from food trucks, and take photos with a curated background at the following community centers:
- Denbigh Community Center, 15198 Warwick Blvd.
- Brittingham-Midtown Community Center, 570 McLawhorne Drive
- Doris Miller Community Center, 2814 Wickham Ave.
Sunday, June 13
From 5 to 7 p.m., bring a chair or blanket to King-Lincoln Park, 600 Jefferson Ave., and enjoy a free concert featuring Calvary Chapel Newport News Worship Team, Three Brothers, and the Unifics.
Monday, June 14
Join dignitaries at 1 p.m. at City Hall, 2400 Washington Ave., for a Juneteenth flag raising ceremony, a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, and a Mayoral Proclamation.
Tuesday, June 15
Bring the family to a special Juneteenth BINGO, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the outside pavilion of Brittingham-Midtown Community Center, 570 McLawhorne Drive. Win prizes and enjoy food while learning the history of Juneteenth. Space is limited, so registration is encouraged.
Wednesday, June 16
Visit Denbigh Community Center at 15198 Warwick Blvd. from 6:30 to 8 p.m. for a Juneteenth Conversation. Join contemporary historian Dr. Eric Claville with a re-enactor portraying Frederick Douglass in a live interview about the significance and impact of the Emancipation Proclamation and the meaning of Juneteenth. Seating is limited for this event, so registration is encouraged.
Thursday, June 17
Log on to the City of Newport News Facebook page or if you’re a resident of Newport News, then tune in to NNTV (Cox channel 48 or Verizon Channel 19) to watch the Juneteenth Rally and listen as storyteller Crystal Sessoms shares the story of how the message of freedom was delivered to slaves in Texas.
Friday, June 18
Enjoy a free screening of A Journey to Freedom: A Juneteenth Production at 7 p.m. at Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center. This original stage play takes the audience through the various periods of Black history leading up to Juneteenth. Seating is limited. Register here.
Saturday, June 19
Spend the afternoon celebrating at the Freedom Festival. From noon to 4 p.m., visit King-Lincoln Park at 600 Jefferson Ave. for live entertainment, food and craft vendors, exhibitors, children’s pony rides, glitter tattoos, and more.
Also, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., visit the Main Street Library, 110 Main St., for the unveiling of a new exhibit Until Freedom Comes: The African American Experience in Newport News. This exhibit chronicles the history of African Americans in the city from 1623 to present day.
And, finally, enjoy live musical performances, an outdoor boxing showcase, and more at The Contemporary Arts Network Juneteenth Block Party, which takes place from noon to 10:30 p.m. at CAN HQ, 9601 Warwick Blvd.
For additional details about each activity or event that’s a partnership between the City of Newport News and the Downtown Newport News Merchants and Neighbors Association, visit www.nnva.gov/juneteenth.