CORE (Community Operations Recovery Empowerment Inc.) is a non-profit community engagement and leadership development organization that partners with several community organizations every year to host the official JuneteenthICT Celebration in Wichita.
According to CORE: Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19 that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas, with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Juneteenth today celebrates African American freedom and achievement, while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures. Juneteenth has been celebrated in Wichita, Kansas, since the early 1900s in homes and gathering neighborhoods with celebrations involving music, food, tools for economic uplift and unity among African American communities.
The JuneteenthICT theme in 2022 is Our Journey Matters! and events range from a parade and scholarship pageant to youth history trails and a gospel music concert. JuneteenthICT festivities take place as early as June 3 though the official Juneteenth weekend of events is June 17-20, with most events happening at the historic McAdams Park, 1329 E. 16th St. N. Entry for the weekend of events is $5 for ages 13 and older, $3 for ages 5-12.
Here's an overview of how you can commemorate Juneteenth in Wichita:
June 3-25: Art Partnerships
“Mila on Display” is a group exhibition on display at Reuben Saunders Gallery June 3-25. It is dedicated to local artists of Wichita. The artworks pay homage to the past while also giving a glimpse of a bright future, focusing on personal growth, self-empowerment, cultural pride and connection. Featured artists include Caitlin Alexander, Amy Baber, Sheldon Draper, Elijah Jacobs, Verlene Mahomes and Brittany Stewart.
Watch the JuneteenthICT social media channels for other art opportunities in partnership with Mulberry Art Gallery and Camp Destination Innovation.
June 7: Miss JuneteenthICT sponsored by Credit Union of America
Buy tickets to attend the Second annual Miss JuneteenthICT scholarship competition at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 7 at the CAC Theater on the campus of Wichita State University. Support amazing young women as they look to be named Miss JuneteenthICT and earn scholarship money.
June 12-19: JuneteenthICT Cocktail Week sponsored by The Monarch
Support the 2nd annual JuneteenthICT cocktail week, June 12-19, by purchasing a signature Juneteenth cocktail at select locations where a percentage of proceeds will support the JuneteenthICT scholarship pageant that uplifts African American/Black youth seeking post-secondary education. Watch the JuneteenthICT social media channels for a list of locations, which will include The Monarch and Jenny Dawn Cellars, among others. On June 18, Jenny Dawn Cellars is re-releasing the Blackberry Passion wine and offering a special Old Fashion cocktail made with its Red Caboose wine and Black-owned Uncle Nearest whiskey.
June 15: Senior Appreciation sponsored by United Health
JuneteenthICT and United Health will honor our elders by providing Juneteenth bags and cards to various seniors in independent living on Wednesday, June 15.
June 17-20: Official JuneteenthICT Weekend sponsored by the Kansas Health Foundation
All events at the Historic McAdams Park unless otherwise noted; armbands serve as entry for entire weekend ($3 ages 5-12 and $5 ages 13 and older)
Friday: Sounds of JuneteenthICT featuring “Love” and “AfterDark,” 6-9 p.m.
- Bring your lawn chairs. No coolers allowed. JuneteenthICT will have a beer garden for those 21 and up.
Saturday: JuneteenthICT Park Celebration, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
- 8 a.m.-3 p.m. – 2nd annual JuneteenthICT Carl Brewer Cook-Off
- Cook-Off tasting from 1 to 2 p.m. and award ceremony at 3 p.m.
- 10 a.m. – parade sponsored by the Wichita State University Office of Diversity and Inclusion
- 11 a.m.-5 p.m. – vendors, activities, live music, food, fun
- Kids Corner sponsored by Wichita Public Schools USD 259
- Health Village sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield (COVID 19 vaccinations & boosters available 11 a.m.-3 p.m. courtesy of Facts Not Fear, Sedgwick County Health Department and the Black Nurses Association)
- 6-7 p.m. – live music
- 7:30 - 9 pm – “Press Play” performance
- Bring your lawn chairs. Please do not bring coolers. JuneteenthICT will have a beer garden for those 21 and up.
Sunday: JuneteenthICT Father’s Day Recognition sponsored by Emprise Bank
Attend the annual JuneteenthICT Father's Day Recognition at 3:15 p.m. inside The Center, 1914 E 11th St. N. Suite B. Armbands will be available at the recognition if you do not already have one.
Sunday: R&B Concert sponsored by the Kansas Health Foundation
Bring your own lawn chairs and enjoy this R&B concert featuring “Nostalgia" and "Somethin Extra” from 6:30-9 p.m. There will be a beer garden for those 21 and up. No coolers allowed.
Monday: Inaugural JuneteenthICT Gospel Concert
Bring your own lawn chairs and enjoy the first annual gospel concert to close out JuneteenthICT 2022 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. There will be food trucks starting at 6 p.m. and a beer garden for those 21 and up. No coolers allowed.
Other Wichita events and activities related to Juneteenth:
- Tour The Kansas African American Museum, a stop on the Kansas African American History Trail, in downtown Wichita – ongoing
- Dunbar Under the Stars: Space Jam and Juneteenth Street Party at Dunbar Historic Theatre – June 19
- Meet the Challenge Juneteenth Fashion Show at CityArts – June 25