The 2022 Madison Heights Juneteenth Celebration will be held from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 18 at Civic Center Park. The event is expected to draw visitors from across the Metropolitan Detroit Area.

The festival, celebrating the end of slavery in the United States, will feature live music, food trucks, vendor booths, children’s activities, a petting zoo, rib cooking competition, an art show, oral storytelling and educational exhibits, including re-enactments by the Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Association of Detroit.

Juneteenth commemorates the date — June 19, 1865 — when Union Gen. Gordon Granger issued General Order No. 3 in Galveston, Texas, proclaiming all enslaved people free. Madison Heights held its inaugural Juneteenth Celebration last year, just days after it became a federal holiday.

This year’s celebration is being organized by Madison Heights Citizens United (MHCU), a local nonprofit; and co-hosted by the city’s Human Relations and Equity Commission (HREC). The event is paid for entirely by donations and run by volunteers.

Madison Heights Juneteenth logo
Madison Heights will celebrate Juneteenth officially

“I’m proud to celebrate this holiday in my own city with my neighbors,” Keleila Wright, the co-founder of Madison Heights Citizens United, said. “But it’s not just for people who live in Madison Heights. All are welcome. It’s important to remember that Juneteenth is not just a ‘black holiday,’ but an American holiday, and we invite our friends from all around the Metro Area to come celebrate with us.”

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A 45-minute opening ceremony will kick off the festival. It will include a reading of General Order No. 3; remarks from Quinn Wright, the city’s first African-American city council member; a rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing”; and a presentation on racial reconciliation.

“Juneteenth is very important,” Tony Austin, an African-American community leader and 22-year city resident who will read General Order No. 3, said. “It finally validates the Emancipation Proclamation, the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution in the eyes of the descendants of slaves.”

The celebration boasts a stellar line-up of live music, including two national acts: Grammy-awarded funk group Raydio featuring Arnell Carmichael and The IV Horsemen, an elite battle rap group. Other outstanding performers include the Smoke Jones Detroit Band, a popular Metro Detroit rhythm and blues band; Detroit’s internationally acclaimed Brazeal Dennard Chorale and Artistic Director Alice McAllister-Tillman; and Diamond Paige DeYampert, a gospel singer and Detroit pastor. All concerts are free.

Admission to the festival and parking are free.For more information, please visit madisonheightsjuneteenth.com

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