Northeast Ohio celebrates Juneteenth 2021 with parades, ceremonies, street festivals


** Video above shows the Interactive Bucket Drum presented by Rainey Institute who performed at The Rock Hall at 3 p.m. **

CLEVELAND (WJW) — Northeast Ohioans are gathering today to celebrate Juneteenth 2021, an annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is celebrating by bringing together a group of powerful and inspiring performers on the outdoor plaza from noon until 7 p.m. Rock Hall performances include:

  • 12:15 p.m. – Afi Scruggs, an electric bassist and multi-instrumentalist playing gospel, blues and jazz
  • 3 p.m. – Interactive Bucket Drum presented by Rainey Institute, a community anchor in Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood (seen in video above)
  • 5:15 p.m. – Ngina Fayola, singer/songwriter/producer and self-taught guitarist from Guayana, Africa
  • 6:30 p.m. – CowPastor performance from Cleveland Museum of Art, based on the poem, “The Namsetoura of CowPastor”
  • 7 p.m. – Djapop Cultrual Arts Institute, folkloric dance, explosive drumming, song and poetry

FOX 8’s Own Wayne Dawson was the Grand Marshal of the Juneteenth parade starting near the African American Cultural Gardens between Wheelock and MLK Boulevard. There were performances from local organizations, Grammy award winning artists and other special guests.

Right in the heart of downtown, MetroHealth Cleveland is celebrating their first Juneteenth Freedom Fest on Mall C until 10 p.m. The Freedom Fest includes:

  • Gates open at noon with host DJ HazMatt
  • A JACK Casino vendor village showcasing more than 20 Black businesses and entrepreneurs
  • A headline performance by Grammy Award winning Terri Lyne Carrington
  • Social Science with special guests Ms. Lisa Fischer and Maimouna “Mumu Fresh” Youssef
  • “Freedom on Juneteenth: Songs of Liberation,” a mainstage performance by Karamu House
  • A fireworks finale made possible by CL3 Alliance, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Browns, and Cleveland Indians.

A community ceremony at noon at Oakwood Cemetery in Cuyahoga Falls honored the family of two former slaves, John and Emily Hansparker, and their daughter Helen who are buried in unmarked graves in Lot 621. A silent procession will travel from the chapel to the unmarked graves, where speakers will reflect on the Hansparkers’ lives and discuss efforts to place a marker on their graves.

Lake County’s Black Lives Matter community is celebrating with a street fair from noon until 5 p.m. on Help Street in Painesville. Vendors will be there along with a dunk tank and face painting. The fire department is bringing a truck for kids to explore and a mobile COVID 19 vaccine clinic will be available.

The Metropolitan Cleveland Alliance of Black School Educators is hosting their first annual Juneteenth Awards Celebration: “Achieving Against All Odds.” This year’s virtual event is from noon until 3 p.m. where students in grades 9-12 will be recognized in the following areas: Talented Tenth, Cast Down Your Bucket, and Drum Major for Justice. Also, African American male teachers with creativity and innovative instructional techniques will be recognized with the Black Men Teach in CLE award.

East Akron is celebrating from noon until 6 p.m. at Joy Park Community Center with a family picnic There will be live music by DJ Smoov, live entertainment, community and legacy awards, splash pad for the kids, vendors, basketball and a car show.

The Buckeye Summer Soul Series is partnering up with the NAACP Cleveland Branch, Black Lives Matter Cleveland and New Era Cleveland and hosting the 4th Annual #JuneteenthOnBuckeye from noon until 6 p.m. at the Art & Soul park on the corner of E 118th and Buckeye Road. The celebration will include live entertainment, giveaways, food, vendors and various support resources for residents.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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