Commemorate Juneteenth in Cedar Rapids

The African American Museum of Iowa in Cedar Rapids is hosting festivities all day June 18. The event is being held at NewBo City Market, just a few blocks away. Photo: Courtesy of the African American Museum of Iowa.

Cedar Rapids is celebrating Black culture June 18 with a day full of live entertainment including dance, several genres of music and spoken-word poetry. The festival is taking place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. See the schedule of events here.

NewBo City Market will host Black-owned businesses inside at the same time, and representatives from various community and local organizations will also have tables at the celebration.

Declared an official U.S. federal holiday in 2021, Juneteenth commemorates the day the last slaves learned of the Emancipation Proclamation. Iowa has recognized the day as an official holiday since 2002.

On June 19, the Cedar Rapids Opera is performing a community concert at NewBo City Market Bankers Trust Stage. The free performance is at 2 p.m.

While in Cedar Rapids, visit the African American Museum of Iowa to learn about the practice of redlining, the Underground Railroad and the history of Blacks in Iowa. The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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