The third Saturday of June was established as Iowa’s official day of recognition for Juneteenth in 2002. Events across the state greatly vary, but their theme remains the same: raising awareness about our country’s history and uniting communities through fun activities. From community walks, delicious banquets and movie nights to informational panels and live performances, Iowa’s Juneteenth activities offer exciting ways for everyone to celebrate.
Hosted by Iowa Juneteenth Observance, this event takes over Des Moines for the entirety of the week. From Western Gateway Park to Valley West Mall to the Capitol Grounds and Drake University, each day’s activity offers a unique experience. Find the full schedule and all locations here.
The African American Museum of Iowa invites you to celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation throughout the week. Join in on the big festival at NewBo City Market and enjoy all the fun that comes with a pie eating contest and a great variety of live performances from bands and singers to drumlines and the spoken word. Find the full schedule here.
Celebrate Juneteenth and support local businesses at the same time! Iowa City’s event includes the Juneteenth History Walk-In, during which visitors can pick up a punch card and stop by participating Black-owned businesses to learn more about the history of the holiday and Black history in Johnson County. Get a stamp at seven locations and be entered into a drawing to win a $100 or $50 gift card from one of the businesses. Otherwise, join in on community conversations, book discussions, the education and resource fair, a block party at the park and a film screening. Find the full schedule here.
Hosted by The Friends of MLK, Inc. Davenport, the Quad Cities’ Juneteenth event fits all the excitement into one day. Be sure to stop by the Lincoln Center, which will be filled with food and retail vendors, history and information booths, fun-filled games and entertainment for the whole family.