Juneteenth events: 5K, jazz concert, and celebration at RMSC Monday
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Juneteenth, a federal holiday that marks the news of the Emancipation Proclamation reaching enslaved people in Texas in 1865, is on Monday.
The Rochester area is celebrating with a block party, live music, museum activities, and a 5K. Here’s your guide to Juneteenth events:
Juneteenth 5K and jazz concert (Monday)
The seventh annual Roc Juneteenth 5K Run/Walk is taking place at the Riverbend Shelter at Genesee Valley Park. It starts at 1 p.m.
After that, there will be a free jazz concert at the Roundhouse Pavilion at Genesee Valley Park. The concert featuring Ryan Johnson and Friends and RPO trumpeter Herb Smith’s ensemble runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The run will benefit the Minister Franklin Florence Rochester Civil Rights Heritage Park, dedicated in October 2021 to the late Rochester-area civil rights leader. You can register for the run here. Registration is $25 and $30 the day of the race.
Rochester Museum of Science Center Juneteenth Celebration (Monday)
RMSC is celebrating Juneteenth with free events at the Eisenhart Auditorium on Monday from noon to 5 p.m.
The Bach Children’s Chorus from Dr. Walter Cooper Academy is celebrating freedom by singing Lift Every Voice and Sing and the African National Anthem. There will also be performances from storyteller Almeta Whitis and the Sunshine 2.0 Theater Troupe.
There will also be a Black-owned business bazaar, button making, a 360 photo booth, and more at the RMSC. You can learn more about the events here.
More Juneteenth coverage:
Juneteenth Block Party (Friday): The City of Rochester held its second annual Juneteenth Block Party on Friday at the doorstep of Rochester City Hall on Church Street. There were food trucks, live music, and speakers talking about the historical significance of the federal holiday.
“It serves us well to understand that together we can overcome all obstacles in our path,” Mayor Malik Evans said. “The observance of Juneteenth is about the journey and achievement of Black Americans from a horrific period of sanctioned enslavement to the pinnacle of human endeavors.”
Juneteenth parade and festival (Saturday): The Rochester Juneteenth Festival kicked off on Saturday morning with a parade. It started at Chesnut Street and Court Street, passed by the News10NBC Studio, and ended at the Strong National Museum of Play.
A festival at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park followed the parade. It included live music, food, and cultural celebrations. Nationally acclaimed R&B artist Lil’ Mo performed.
Simeon Banister, president of the Rochester Area Community Foundation and member of the Juneteenth Planning Committee, said that Juneteenth is important because it reminds us of what we went through in history and what we can achieve in the future.
“Rochester is not perfect today but days like this give us a chance to reinspire and reinvigorate ourselves so we can take on the work necessary to make Rochester what we want it to be,” Banister said.
Brighton Farmers Market (Sunday): The Town of Brighton celebrated Juneteenth at the Brighton Farmers Market on Sunday. The celebration included performances from the African drum troupe Womba Africa and Black-owned food trucks.
“It allows us an opportunity to reflect on what this day actually means, the fact that not all Americans were granted freedom at the same time,” said Miriam Moore, chief diversity officer at the Town of Brighton.
Interview with about Juneteenth: You can see our interview with Melanie Funchess, the CEO of Ubuntu Village Works, about Juneteenth here: