Lael Marie Saez performs with FriendZWorldMusic during the Juneteenth celebration at West Hartford Town Hall in June 2021. Joe Amon | Connecticut Public

Juneteenth is an official federal holiday and Connecticut recently established it as a state holiday, which will be legally recognized in 2023.

This year, the holiday will be observed on Monday, June 20, since Juneteenth — June 19 — falls on a weekend.

But events honoring the holiday, marking the end of enslavement in the United States, extend throughout the month of June.

Here’s a list of events honoring Juneteenth in Connecticut:


June 18
Berlin-Peck Memorial Library, 234 Kensington Rd.

Vietnam veteran and retired Hartford Fire Department captain Steven Harris will give a keynote address. A representative from Discovering Amistad, an organization that teaches the lessons of the 1839 Amistad Uprising to advance racial and social justice, will also present to the crowd. Visitors will also learn about Berlin’s abolitionists, possible Underground Railroad sites and the Berlin Historical Society’s Wide Awake lantern project.


June 18
First Cathedral, 1151 Blue Hills Ave.
Blue Hills Fire Dept., 1021 Blue Hills Ave.
bluehillsfire.orgA parade will step off from First Cathedral at 11 a.m. to the Blue Hills Fire Dept. Free hot dogs and hamburgers will be served at the conclusion of the parade.

Bloomfield Public Library’s McMahon-Wintonbury branch, 1015 Blue Hills Ave.

Alika Hope and The Ray of Hope Project will perform at the library at 1 p.m. with free ice cream for anyone with a library card.

June 19
Blue Hills Fire Dept., 1021 Blue Hills Ave.

Join the Blue Hills Fire Department and Town Councilor Suzette DeBeatham-Brown for a community cookout from 2 to 6 p.m.

Video: Juneteenth around Connecticut in 2020

YouTube video

East Hartford

June 18
East Hartford Town Green, 1074 Main St.

Vendors, food trucks, entertainment, a bounce house, face painting and storytelling presentations are scheduled for the town’s first Juneteenth Celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is presented by the Town of East Hartford, East Hartford Parks and Recreation, the Committee on Culture and Fine Arts and the East Hartford Black Caucus.

MLK39 project


June 19
Enfield Town Green, North Main Street

A Juneteenth Festival featuring Hartford Poet Laureate Frederick Douglass Knowles II and music, vendors and food trucks is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.


June 25
Hill-Stead Museum, 35 Mountain Rd.

The art of regional Black artists will be on display at a Juneteenth celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at an outdoor event with food, music and family activities.


June 18
Salmon Brook Park, 215 Salmon Brook Street

Motown group Soul Sound Revue headlines the Granby Celebrates Juneteenth event scheduled form 3 to 8:30 p.m. The First Cathedral Praises of Zion and Jazzy Brass are also scheduled to perform. Visual arts and public humanities cultural organizer Dr. Frank Mitchell — who is also on the CT Humanities Board of Directors — will address the crowd.


June 18
Groton Public Library, 52 Newtown Road

Nekita Waller, the 17th State Troubadour, will sing songs of freedom and hope from 3 to 4 p.m. at the library.


June 19
Bushnell Park, Trinity Street

The city of Hartford’s second annual Juneteenth Celebration will take place at the Black Lives Matter street mural in Bushnell Park from 1 to 6 p.m. Attractions include live music, art, food trucks and children’s activities.


June 18
Peters House at Burnt Hill Park, 150 East St.

A Juneteenth Celebration will feature presentations, games, crafts, story walk, interactive drumming and an archaeological dig for children ages 6 and older. Evae Peart, Nia Arts, Hartford’s Proud Drill, Drum & Dance Corp will perform. The event is free and takes place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The celebration is billed as Hebron’s first Juneteenth event by The Hebron Coalition on Diversity and Equity.


June 18

Leisure Labs at Mahoney Center, 110 Cedar St.

Manchester’s Juneteenth Freedom Day Commemoration from 4 to 7 p.m. will feature art, live music, poetry and food vendors and children’s activities.


June 17
Middletown Farmers Market, Union Green

The Russell Library and CT Humanities Book Voyagers program will present an outdoor story time with the authors of the UmoJamz book series and a special Juneteenth story time presented by Mx Chalk at 10:30 a.m. Participants are welcome to bring chairs and blankets.


June 18
Milford Green Gazebo, 84 South Broad St.

The Milford Juneteenth Celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. will have music, poetry, local vendors, authors and dancers along with children’s activities.


June 19
Mystic Seaport Museum, 75 Greenmanville Ave.

Mystic Seaport and Discovering Amistad present Juneteenth Freedom Day from 3 to 5 p.m. A Djembe drum call will start things off at 3 p.m. At 3:30 p.m., there will be a panel discussion titled “Juneteenth: Exploring the Legacy of Slavery.” A brief Harambee ceremony will take place at 4:45 p.m. followed by tours of the replica of the schooner Amistad, with lessons about the shipboard rebellion and the captives’ Supreme Court victory. The event ends with a concert by Cape Verdean musicians.

New Britain

June 18
New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington St.

A Juneteenth Community Day is planned from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring performances by the New Britain High School drumline and jazz band, Jenee Shree, Belle & the Sons, Grace Poetic Souldier, Aaron St. Louis, Michael “The Chief” Peterson, Goddess and FriendZWorldMusic. Children’s activities include a scavenger hunt.

New Haven

The Official Juneteenth Coalition of Greater New Haven, the International Festival of Arts & Ideas will host the city’s ninth annual Juneteenth Celebration.

The New Haven Museum also celebrates Juneteenth 2022 with an event June 19.

June 17
New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm St.

Events kick off on Friday, June 17 with a meet and greet at the Stetson Library with local and national leaders and artists.

June 18
New Haven Green

The Juneteenth flag will be raised on the New Haven Green Saturday, June 18 at 10:30 a.m. Jesse “Cheese” Hameen II and the Bronx-based Bambara Drum & Dance Ensemble will perform followed by Gospel singers Pam Brooks-Campbell and Gabriel Abdul-Karim on the New Haven Green at 7 p.m.

June 19
New Haven Green

African wares and items will be on sale on the New Haven Green on Sunday, June 19, at 1 p.m. A 7-mile ride taking bikers through key historical landmarks will start from the green at 2 p.m. led by Michael Twitty of New Haven’s Black & Brown Soul Cyclists. The festival and coalition recognize members of the New Haven community who have served New Haven’s Black community during an annual Elder Honoring ceremony at 7:30 p.m. on the green.

Yale Repertory Theatre, 1120 Chapel St.

Author, chef, and food justice activist Bryant Terry will discuss his 2022 James Beard-nominated books “Black Food: Stories, Art and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora” and “Vegetable Kingdom” at 3 p.m.

The New Haven Museum, Pardee-Morris House, 325 Lighthouse Road

Dennis Culliton, the founder and executive director of the Witness Stones Project, will speak at the Pardee-Morris House on June 19 at noon. He will share the story of two enslaved people — Pink and Stepna — who are now memorialized with Witness Stones on the grounds of the home. The historic site will remain open for free tours until 4 p.m.

Ninth Square, 50 Orange St.

Punq Noire Festival of Underground Arts celebrates the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC pioneers of punk, alternative fashion and music. The event, scheduled for noon to 8 p.m., will feature music and performances, film screenings, food trucks, flash tattoos, vendors and a pop-up fashion show.

June 20
Stetson Library, 197 Dixwell Ave.

The Artsucation Academy Network will present “Africa Is Me!” featuring dance classes, drumming workshops and activities for children about the history of Juneteenth. The event ends with a mini parade.

New London

June 18
City Pier, 1 Waterfront Park

On June 18, the staff of the Hempsted House will give a guided tour on the Thames River Heritage Water Taxi leaving from City Pier. The tour includes history of fugitive slaves, a Revolutionary patriot, Black governors, whalers and the Amistad and will visit an early Mamacoke settlement, native fishing grounds and Fort Trumbull.

Old Lyme

June 18
Florence Griswold Museum, 96 Lyme St.

A jazz and poetry Juneteenth event from 2 to 4 p.m. will feature music by the Nat Reeves Jazz Quartet and readings by the Witness Stones poets Marilyn Nelson, Kate Rushin, Rhonda Ward and Antoinette Brim-Bell. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

Visitors are also encouraged to walk along Lyme Street outside of the museum to view Witness Stones marking former sites of enslavement and indentured servitude.

Witness Stones: Commemorating The Lives of Enslaved People In Connecticut


June 18
Hamilton Park, 110 Hamilton Park Rd.

Thirty local Black-owned businesses will set up shop as Waterbury digital radio station POWER 203FM provides the music at the third annual Juneteenth Celebration from noon to 7 p.m.

June 19
Silas Bronson Library, 267 Grand St.

The Waterbury NAACP is holding a remembrance service at 1 p.m. on the lawn of the Silas Bronson Library in downtown Waterbury. The site was the city’s first burial ground, which included a plot for enslaved people going back as far as the 1700s.

West Hartford

Tammy Exum

June 19
Blue Back Square, Memorial Road

The West Hartford Community Juneteenth Celebration will be from noon to 4 p.m. Mayor Shari Cantor will address the crowd, introducing preacher the Rev. Fredd L. Ward III and keynote speeches by state Reps. Stephanie Thomas (D-Norwalk) and Tammy Exum (D-West Hartford). A Witness Stones Project installation is scheduled.


June 17
Windsor Town Hall, 275 Broad St.

Black History Jeopardy has become an annual event in Windsor. Kevin Washington and Kevin Booker Jr. host the team competition.

June 19
Hopewell Baptist Church, 280 Windsor Ave.

The Rev. David W. Massey hosts a community church service at 10 a.m. celebrating Juneteenth and Father’s Day.

Windsor Town Green

Entertainment, music and dancing highlight a community picnic on the green from 1 to 4 p.m.

This story was originally published June 10, 2022, by Connecticut Public Radio.