Chapel Hill-Carrboro Juneteenth Celebration Returns to Hargraves on Sunday, June 16

May 31, 2024

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The Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro will host their annual Juneteenth Celebration on Sunday, June 16 with music, food, art, and historical experiences from 2-6 p.m. at Hargraves Community Center, 216 N. Roberson St. in Chapel Hill. The event celebrates Black history, culture, and liberation and is hosted alongside the Hargraves Community Center and Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources.

Attendees can expect:

  • A market and expo featuring Black artisans, Black-owned businesses, and local non-profits and organizations. Arts vendors range in medium from crochet to painted figurines and homemade soaps.
  • Speeches from local community members, including Carrboro Mayor Barbara Foushee, James Cates Scholars, and more.
  • Performances from a variety of acts, including steel drummer Mickey Mills, genre-bending soul and hip-hop band Social Construkt, singer Rayah, and local jump-roping group Bouncing Bulldogs. DJ Twitty will keep the music going between sets.
  • A Transcribe-A-Thon hosted by the Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History. Attendees can listen to and transcribe short interview clips from oral histories recorded with current and former residents of Chapel Hill and Carrboro’s historically Black neighborhoods. Crowdsourced transcriptions will accompany audio files on the Jackson Center’s website and widen their accessibility online and in K-12 classrooms.
  • A zone for children with face painters and collaborative chalk mural. Chapel Hill Public Library’s Circulator will also showcase books for all ages that reflect and celebrate Black liberation and culture.
  • Local food trucks serving up barbeque, Creole, East African, and sweet cuisines.

This is the fourth year that the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro have organized the annual celebration after proclaiming the observance of Juneteenth in 2020. Each year, the Towns have strengthened the role of community engagement in the event planning process. Brentton Harrison, a Recreational Assistant at Hargraves Community Center, says, “Working on the Juneteenth Celebration planning committee has been an eye-opening experience – learning about the intentional ways committee members gather community feedback and really try to prioritize that feedback. There are still ways in which the town and its committees can learn to be in community with those who they serve if real relationships are built.”

The collaborative nature of this event showcases the connection between the Chapel Hill and Carrboro communities. “What I am looking forward to is seeing this Juneteenth Celebration come together, after several months of meetings and planning with key stakeholders in the community,” says Michelle Blume, Recreation Supervisor for Carrboro Recreation, Parks & Cultural Resources. “This event will be able to highlight and provide a dynamic blend of cultural enrichment and artistic expression with several vendors, food trucks and music performances. Dynamic speakers, Dignitaries and youth voices will be heard throughout the event.”

Parking for attendees will be available at nearby Northside Elementary School or public lots downtown, which are free on Sundays.  The parking lots at Hargraves Community Center will be reserved for vendors, event staff, and ADA spaces. For more information about downtown parking, visit parkonthehill.com. Attendees are also encouraged to walk, bike, or take Chapel Hill Transit. The A Route has direct service to Hargraves and a number of other routes run nearby. Best routes from Carrboro are the J Route and CW Route. There will also be shuttles running between Hargraves and Northside Elementary School.

For more about the Juneteenth celebration, visit chapelhillcarrborojuneteenth.org.

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