Gearing up for the Juneteenth Jam

Fourth annual festival scheduled for June 19 in Calder Plaza
Performers entertain on the stage at the Justice 4 All Jneteenth Jam in 2023. Photo courtesy of MOP Photography.

Grand Rapids is gearing up for one of its most vibrant and significant community events of the year: the fourth annual Justice 4 All Juneteenth Jam. Scheduled for Wednesday, June 19, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the picturesque Calder Plaza, this celebration is a tribute to Black culture, talent, art, and heritage, marking the profound historical significance of Juneteenth.

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day, commemorates the emancipation of African American slaves in the United States. This pivotal day dates back to June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas, with the news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This year, the Justice 4 All Juneteenth Jam promises to be a powerful reminder of this historic event while celebrating the enduring legacy and vibrant culture of the African American community.

A Day of Festivities and Culture

The Justice 4 All Juneteenth Jam is free to attend and offers an array of activities that promise to engage and entertain attendees of all ages. Calder Plaza will transform into a bustling hub of culture and community, featuring dozens of vendor booths. These booths will highlight a diverse array of offerings, from delicious food to stunning art pieces, all with a special emphasis on Black-owned businesses. This is a fantastic opportunity to support local entrepreneurs and experience the rich tapestry of Black culture through their crafts and culinary delights.

Entertainment and Performances

The main stage at Calder Plaza will come alive with a series of dynamic performances throughout the day. Local artists, musicians, dancers, and DJs will take the spotlight, showcasing their talents and bringing an infectious energy to the event. Attendees can look forward to an eclectic mix of musical acts, dance groups, and even martial arts demonstrations, making for an engaging and entertaining experience.

In addition to the scheduled performances, there will be a thrilling Breaking Battle, where dancers will compete in a display of skill and creativity. This high-energy contest is sure to captivate the audience and highlight the impressive talent within the community.

Community and Engagement

The Juneteenth Jam is not just about entertainment; it’s also a platform for community engagement and education. While there will not be any speakers on stage this year, there will be informational booths throughout the event area for guests to engage in opportunities for reflection on the ongoing struggle for civil rights and the importance of community solidarity.

Information tables will be set up throughout the plaza, providing resources and insights into various community initiatives and services. This is a chance for attendees to connect with local organizations and learn more about the efforts being made to support and uplift the African American community in Grand Rapids.

Fun for All Ages

Families with children will find plenty to keep the young ones entertained. There will be a variety of games and activities designed specifically for kids, ensuring that everyone can join in the fun. From interactive art showcases to hands-on games, the Juneteenth Jam is a family-friendly event that welcomes everyone to celebrate together.

Join the Celebration

The Justice 4 All Juneteenth Jam is more than just an event; it’s a celebration of freedom, a recognition of resilience, and a tribute to the rich cultural heritage of African Americans. By coming together at Calder Plaza, the community of Grand Rapids honors the past while looking forward to a future of equality and justice for all.

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, June 19, and join us at Calder Plaza, located at 320 Ottawa Avenue Northwest, Grand Rapids, for an unforgettable celebration. Let’s come together to celebrate freedom, culture, and community at the fourth annual Justice 4 All Juneteenth Jam.

For more details, visit the official event page: Justice 4 All Juneteenth Jam.

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