Commemorating Juneteenth in Lexington, KY

Celebrate and learn about the history of Juneteenth with events running from Saturday, June 10 to Sunday, June 25.

A panel of speakers on stage with a sign that says "SoulFeast Week."

Lexington has countless ways to commemorate Juneteenth this year. | Photo courtesy of SoulFeast Week

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Monday, June 19 is Juneteenth, which marks the end of institutional slavery in the US. Also referred to as Emancipation Day, this is the third year Lexington will be officially recognizing it as a national holiday.

If you’ve been downtown, you may have noticed Main Street decorated with Juneteenth flags + banners to commemorate the holiday. Even more, the city and organizers behind SoulFeast Week have created several opportunities to explore both educational and celebratory events. Pull out those calendars so you can plan ahead.

Saturday, June 10

18th Annual Juneteenth Jubilee | 7:30-8:30 p.m. | African Cemetery No. 2, 419 E. 7th St. | Free | Honor + learn about the history of Black Civil War soldiers from local historian Yvonne Giles.

Friday, June 16

Sorel Diaspora Dinner | 6:30 p.m. | Harper Hall, 177 N. Upper St. | $50-$115 | Learn about the African Diaspora by trying cuisine from the Caribbean + West Africa paired with cocktails made from Sorel liqueur.

Saturday, June 17

SoulTeenth Fest | 12-6 p.m. | Moondance Amphitheatre, 1152 Monarch St. | Free | Grab your lawn chairs + blankets for a day of live music, food, and vendors from Black-owned businesses in the area.

Juneteenth Independence Day Celebration | 1-5 p.m. | Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center, 300 E. Third St. | Free | Celebrate the artistic contributions of the Black community with a variety of performances, including acting, dancing, rapping, and singing.

Heaven Hill Brands Cocktails & Cigars | 8-11 p.m. | Jack’s Sandbar & Grill, 2536 Larkin Rd. | $45-$50 | Learn about the world of cigars while sipping on cocktails handpicked by Lynn House, Heaven Hill National Ambassador.

Women dancing while holding glasses.

Hip-Hop Brunch is one of the many ways residents can gather for Juneteenth festivities. | Photo courtesy of SoulFeast Week

Sunday, June 18

Seventh Annual Juneteenth Celebration | 11 a.m.-7 p.m. | Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden, 577 E. Third St. | Free | Learn about Black hamlets from speaker Marvin Young presented by the US Freedmen Coalition.

Juneteenth Freedom Day | 2-8 p.m. | Douglass Park, 726 Georgetown St. | Free | Get together and recognize the contributions of the Black community at this family-friendly event.

Rabbit Hole Juneteenth Hip-Hop Brunch | 12-4 p.m. | The Grove, 109 S. Upper St. | $45-$50 | Luna and Black Soil KY are teaming up to bring fresh ingredients directly to your plate + cocktails from Rabbit Hole.

Monday, June 19

Lexington Black Restaurant Week | Locations vary | $10+ | Kick off this week-long event featuring $10 meals from local Black-owned restaurants including Moody Mike’s, Wing Kyng, and The Social Vegan.

Bites of the Bluegrass: Black History Walking Food Tour | 12-3 p.m. | Lexington Visitors Center, 215 W. Main St. | $75 | Learn about Lexington’s Black history as you walk through town to try different local eats.

“A Sense of Place” Campaign Launch | 11 a.m. | Cadentown Missionary Baptist Church, 2950 Cadentown Rd. | Free | Hear about this new organization that aims to preserve historical Black hamlets, such as Cadentown.

Sunday, June 25

Soulful Sunday Gospel Brunch | 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.| Infinity: Rooftop Restaurant + Bar, 150 W. Main St. | $25 | Close out SoulFeast Week with brunch eats, mimosas, and a live gospel performance from Courtney Campbell.

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