Juneteenth Guide for Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor Families

Celebrate Freedom Day with kids at these local events, at-home activities and more.

Juneteenth, the official holiday that marks the day when all enslaved people were finally freed from Confederate control, is celebrated on June 19. The holiday has been celebrated in Texas since 1865, but it wasn’t until 2021 that Juneteenth became a federal holiday. In 2022, Juneteenth was officially recognized in Michigan for the very first time. 

This year, there are so many ways to celebrate the holiday. Whether your family wants to party at a festival, parade or local celebration or chooses to observe the day at a church service or through an at-home activity, there’s no shortage of ways to celebrate Juneteenth in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor. 

Check out these family-friendly suggestions for observing Juneteenth with the kids. 

Events

Celebrate Juneteenth with one of these great events around town. You can find even more events around metro Detroit and Ann Arbor in our Juneteenth event roundup, or check out the latest events added to our calendar.

Juneteenth Weekend Celebration at Cairns Community Center

June 16-19, 2023

Kick off the celebration on Friday at “The Meet Up” where you can enjoy a fish fry and meet local leaders and resource organizations. Saturday is “Family Game Day,” where adults and kids can play indoor and outdoor games. Sunday is “Desserts with Dad,” where there will be tasty treats and photo ops. End the weekend with “Free At Last” on Monday, where there will be arts and crafts, music, hustle lessons, performers, food trucks, games, bounce houses and more.

Juneteenth Celebration at the Novi Public Library

June 17, 2023

Celebrate Juneteenth at Novi Public Library with storytelling, live band, fraternity step show, sorority vocal ensemble, musical string ensemble, children’s story time, food trucks and more. For all ages.

Madison Heights Juneteenth Celebration at Civic Center Park

June 17, 2023

Families are invited to celebrate Juneteenth with fun activities for kids, food trucks, educational exhibits, speakers, vendor booths and entertainment.

2023 Juneteenth, Freedom Day Celebration – University of Michigan at Michigan League

June 15-16, 2023

The theme of this year’s event is, “Systems Check: Exploring Structural Solutions to Systemic Racism.” This year’s celebratory events include a community prayer breakfast, a black film festival and the Kidz Zone tent at the Top of the Park.

Juneteenth Community Celebration at Calvary Presbyterian Church

June 17, 2023

Come and enjoy a family-friendly time in the community at this 3rd annual Juneteenth event. There will be African drumming, African dancing, historians, a comedian, poetry, musical performances, vendors, kids zone and more.

Juneteenth Freedom Fest at Eastern Market Shed 5

June 18, 2023

Enjoy a pop-up exhibit highlighting the Walk to Freedom. Also, shop clothing and other paraphernalia.

Juneteenth Jubilee at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

June 19, 2023

Celebrate Juneteenth at this annual event which features live music, story telling, hustle dance classes, pony rides and more.

More Activities

Support a Black-Owned Businesses 

Metro Detroit is home to many Black-owned businesses, including clothing stores, restaurants, party suppliers, salons and more. Visit one of these great establishments and support the local economy and Black entrepreneurs in your community.  

Read an Anti-Racism or Black History Book

From learning about tolerance and anti-racism to the complex history of Black Americans in our country, reading with your child is a great way to help them understand why Juneteenth is celebrated. Start with one of these anti-racism books for kids of all ages, then check out a Black history book about the important contributions of Black leaders, innovators and freedom fighters in America. 

Anti-Racism Resources 

It has been more than 150 years since the first Juneteenth, known as Emancipation Day, was celebrated in Texas in 1865. Yet, Black people still face many challenges and prejudices in America. Get our tips on talking about race with your children, and take advantage of these anti-racism resources for families and kids


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Metro Parent Editorial Team
Metro Parent Editorial Team
Since 1986, the Metro Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for metro Detroit families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.

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