There are several ways to mark Juneteenth in Columbia this weekend.
If you’re not familiar, Juneteenth celebrates the Emancipation Proclamation, specifically marking the date of June 19, 1865, two years after the proclamation was signed, when a Union soldier led troops into Galveston, Texas, sharing the news that slavery, and the war, was over.
Last year, Juneteenth officially became a federal holiday and this is the first year it will be officially recognized by the city of Columbia, with city buildings being closed Monday in observance. Boone County offices and MU also will be closed Monday.
A Juneteenth Celebration for Small Businesses Expo will be held on Friday and Saturday at Rock Quarry Park, offering the community a chance to support local businesses. The event, hosted by Extravagantly Lit, Cakez Customs and the Columbia African American Business Alliance, is from 1-8 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday.
On Saturday, celebrations will begin at 10 a.m. with the Juneteenth Parade in downtown Columbia. It will begin at First Baptist Church at 1112 E. Broadway and go down East Broadway ending at the Second Baptist Church on North Fourth Street. Immediately following the parade and going til 5 p.m. will be a Juneteenth Celebration in Douglass Park that will include karaoke, dancing and food. To learn more, visit the COMO Juneteenth Celebration Facebook page.
From 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Shelter Insurance and Soul Sessions will host a Juneteenth event at Shelter Gardens, 1817 W. Broadway. Local vendors will be attending, along with Big Daddy’s BBQ (a finalist for Best Barbecue and Best Food Truck in our Best of Columbia 2022) and Kona Ice. There also will be poetry and music, with the main band playing from 6-8 p.m.
At 7 p.m. Saturday, the Missouri Symphony will host Singing in the Key of Freedom: A Juneteenth Celebration at the Missouri Theatre, 203 S. 9th St. The concert will feature guest conductor Dr. Brandon A. Boyd and a community chorus, and is meant to celebrate “the music of the soulful tradition.” Tickets are $25. To learn more or to purchase tickets, visit themosy.org/summer-music-festival.
And the BOLD Academy and Rose Music Hall will present BOLD Block Party at 6 p.m. Sunday in Rose Park. The Juneteenth celebration will include performances by Zamboni Funk and J-Artiz and the Mo’ Soul Collective, with 100% of proceeds going to the BOLD Academy, an organization dedicated to empowering Black and Brown girls in Columbia. Tickets are $22 for general admission or $31 to include food provided by Angelina’s Tacos. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit rosemusichall.com/event/bold-block-party.