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Juneteenth events in North Texas: Free festivals, family activities, Lil' Kim and Rick Ross headlining concert

Here's a look at the events taking place across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

DALLAS — This article will be continually updated with additional events.

Looking for Juneteenth events? There are dozens of things happening in North Texas this year.

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is held every year on June 19 to commemorate the end of slavery in the U.S.

It marks the day in 1865 that Union soldiers, led by Major Gen. Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce to over 250,000 enslaved people that they were free. President Abraham Lincoln had freed slaves two years earlier with the Emancipation Proclamation. Granger and the soldiers pressed locals to comply with the directive.

At the celebration in Fair Park, the Dallas Historical Society has the only known original copy of the General Orders, and they will be on display at the Hall of State during the Juneteenth Celebration.

Here's a look at the events taking place across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

Annual Juneteenth Unity weekend - Dallas

Dallas Southern Pride is hosting the Annual Juneteenth Unity weekend from June 17-20. The entertainment lineup will include artists like Lil' Kim, Rick Ross, Young M.A and DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown aka Erykah Badu. 

The event will include vendors, health screenings and other resources for the community. 

Weekend schedule includes:

Friday, June 18, 2021
Welcome Reception: 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. at Sheraton Suites Market Center

Saturday, June 19, 2021
DSP After Dark: 2 a.m. - 4 a.m. at Sheraton Suites Market Center

Pool and Block Party: 4 p.m. - 9 p.m. at Sheraton Suites Market Center

Mega Party: 10 p.m. - 3 a.m. at Gilley's Dallas

Go here for more information from Dallas Southern Pride.

RELATED: Lil' Kim, Rick Ross, Young M.A, Erykah Badu in lineup for 4-day Juneteenth celebration in Dallas

Fair Park in Dallas

A Juneteenth Celebration, March and Festival is set for 11 a.m. at William Blair Jr. Park with a 3.5-mile walk, which will end at Fair Park. The festival features a Negro League Baseball exhibit, a health & wellness expo, music performances, and other various activities. All programs and activities are free and open to the public.

There will be a kid zone, a car show, concerts, food and vendors for the entire family. Walmart will also be on hand offering the COVID-19 vaccine to those ages 12 and up. 

When: March/parade begins at 10 a.m., the rest of the events start at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 19.

Where: March starts at William Blair Jr. Park near Bonton. The remainder of the events are at Fair Park.

WFAA's Rooted will be at the main stage at the Fair Park event on Saturday, June 19.

In the parade, there will be horses, trail riding clubs, parade floats, cars, bikes, organizations walking, trucks and trailers. 

RELATED: The history behind the holiday: 15 things you may not know about Juneteenth

DeSoto Juneteenth

DeSoto is hosting a Juneteenth celebration with the cities of Cedar Hill, Duncanville and Lancaster at Grimes Park, 501 E. Wintergreen Road in DeSoto.

This celebration is known as the "Best Southwest Juneteenth Celebration," organizers said.

It will be a diverse entertainment line-up including Go-Go music from Shawn Martin, Blues Singer Phat Daddy, an opera singer, a children’s performance, and African Dancers, organizers said. 

There will also be a variety of foods offered, including BBQ, turkey legs, crawfish, hot dogs, nutritional drinks, and Juneteenth-themed treats including tea cakes and red soda pop.

When: Gates open at 5 p.m., event at 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. Saturday, June 19

Where: Grimes Park 501 E. Wintergreen Road, DeSoto, TX 75115

Go here for more information from Eventbrite and the City of DeSoto.

Juneteenth Community Freedom Bike Ride

This bike ride is hosted by Pan-African Connection Bookstore, Art Gallery and Resource Center.

When: Meet starts at 6 p.m., bike ride begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 18

Where: Pan African Connection Book Store, 4466 S. Marsalis Ave., Dallas, TX

Go here for more information from Pan-African Connection.

Arlington

The Arlington Museum of Art and Create Arlington is organizing a Juneteenth Block Party, which is free and open to the public.

When: 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 19

Where: Near the museum and the George W. Hawkes Downtown Library.

Vendors and food trucks will be set up along West Main Street, which will be closed to vehicle traffic between Pecan and South Center streets. Free parking is available throughout Downtown. Go here for more information from the city of Arlington.

Celebrate Juneteenth Bike Ride

This bike ride will be family-friendly and "a social pace 10 miles, starting at Uptown Pub, and ending at Freedman’s Cemetery where we will lay a wreath donated by Kroger on Capitol’ we will have a moment of silence and reflect on the cost of freedom."

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 19

Where: Ride starts at 3605 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204

Go here for more information from the Facebook event page.

Fort Worth

The City of Fort Worth is putting a call to action for people to support Fort Worth Black/African American-owned businesses and is hosting multiple events. Go here for full details on the events.

Thursday, June 17 programs hosted by the city:

  • Black Restaurants that Fed the Civil Rights Movement: A historical presentation and discussion. Learn how restaurants in the South, such as Dooky Chase’s in New Orleans, The Four Way in Memphis and others, became high-profile focal points for the Civil Rights movement through this informative presentation. Register for the program, which be held at noon, Thursday, June 17, via Webex. The Webex platform can be accessed via computer or a smartphone app.
  • The Green Book: Guide to Freedom film screening and discussion. This documentary explores some of the segregated nation's safe havens and notorious "sundown towns" through witness stories of struggle and indignity as well as opportunity and triumph. The film chronicles how, in the 1930s, a black postal carrier from Harlem named Victor Green published a book that was part travel guide and part survival guide. It was called The Negro Motorist Green Book, and it helped African Americans navigate safe passage across the U.S. well into the 1960s. View a trailer. Admission is free for this in-person program at 7 p.m. June 17 at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden Center lecture hall, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd. Registration is required.  

In addition to the city programs, there are several community events and activities planned to celebrate Juneteenth:

  • Saturday, June 19: Lake Como Community Juneteenth Celebration
  • 8:30 a.m. Freedom Ain’t Free Walk: Begins at the corner of Horne and Blackmore streets; walkers should meet in the Zion Missionary Baptist Church parking lot, 4100 Horne St.
  • 9:15 a.m. Storytelling Time: History of Juneteenth and Lake Como.
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Vendor Fair.
  • 4 p.m. Home/Yard Decorating Contest: sign up by June 13. Judging takes place at 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 19, 10 a.m. to noon: Opal’s Walk, Evans Plaza, 1050 Evans Ave.
  • Saturday, June 19, 3 to 9 p.m.: Juneteenth FTW Community Festival, Panther Island Pavilion, 395 Purcey St.

Juneteenth in Joppa-Joppee

Join Joppa-Joppee for the annual Juneteenth In Joppee Celebration. 

"As always it is a time to reflect, fellowship, and celebrate. This year is much like last year; still adhering to Covid-19 guidelines. We will have some extras that you don't want to miss this year......We will continue in documenting oral history as well, so if you want your family's history documented, please join us."

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 19

Where: South Central Park, 4743 Fellows Lane, Dallas, 75216.

Go here for more information.

McKinney

The City of McKinney will have a day of cultural experiences, learning and fun for the whole family to celebrate Juneteenth.

When: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 19

Where: Finch Park, 301 W. Standifer St.

There will be activities for the kids, such as bounce houses, a mobile library, game trucks and a splash pad. There will also be live entertainment, local poets, dance performances and more. Food trucks will be available.

Go here for more information from the City of McKinney.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra - Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom and Diversity

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is holding concerts Friday, June 18 through Sunday, June 20.

"Jeff Tyzik leads a deeply stirring celebration of Freedom Day that is sure to bring the house down. Featuring vocalists Kearstin Piper Brown and Kevin Deas and spirituals including 'Ride On, King Jesus!' and 'Lift Every Voice And Sing,' this will be a weekend to remember at the Meyerson."

Go here for more information from DSO.

Legacy West Plano

Legacy West is hosting Juneteenth Fest from 12 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

"Join in celebrating Juneteenth & recognizing the freedoms, education, accomplishments, and contributions made by African Americans. DFW/Plano residents will have the opportunity to make their way through the Legacy West property, shop from Black-owned businesses, listen to incredible local musicians, and support artists who are showcasing their work!" organizers said.

Juneteenth Fest will feature fun for the whole family, as you can stop by the Mtoto Agency booth for kids' face painting from 12 to 2 p.m.

Go here for more information from Legacy West.