Juneteenth Festival to include food, fellowship and fireworks

Event kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 18, 2022

The Second Annual Juneteenth Festival, coordinated through a citizen-led committee with the support of the City of Norman and Norman Arts Council, will begin at Reaves Park (2501 Jenkins Avenue) at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 18. The event is free and open to all.

Activities and amenities include: Words from Dr. George Henderson of the University of Oklahoma, as well as former Oklahoma Congressman JC Watts and City of Norman Poet Laureate Julie Ann Ward; DJ music, youth dance group performances, food trucks, freestyle frisbee dog show, domino tournament, participation from the 9th and 10th Calvary of the Buffalo Soldiers, and a children’s bouncy house. The event will conclude with a fireworks show at approximately 9:30 p.m.

“We value the passion and vision that committee members have for this event,” said Cinthya Allen, Chief Diversity & Equity Officer for the City of Norman. “It has been a pleasure co-coordinating another festival that commemorates such a vital part of American history and celebrates freedom of all people.”

Community advocate Kendall Hendricks also spoke about the volunteerism and vision behind the Juneteenth Festival this week in the latest episode of On West Gray, the City of Norman podcast, which can be listened to here.

Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. Their arrival came two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. In 2021, Juneteenth became recognized as a federal holiday.



As the Juneteenth holiday falls on a Sunday this year, City of Norman administrative offices will close Monday, June 20, 2022, in observance. See closure details here.