Juneteenth in Toledo – Days of Celebration for the National Holiday

The Truth Staff

Only a few years ago, even in pre-COVID times, there were very few activities in Toledo during Juneteenth. What a difference a few years can make! And what an abundance of activities awaits us in just a few days! Juneteenth (June 19) is more than just one day of celebrations here in the Glass City! Juneteenth will take up most of the month!

This year’s activities get off to an early start with a Minority Health Summit  on June 9 organized by JuneteenthNY Toledo in partnership with Toledo Public Schools and the Community ReInvestment Coalition – Englewood SW. It’s the first of many activities organized this year by JuneteenthNY Toledo – under the stewardship of Kathleen Greely. The Summit will be held at the Glass City Enrichment Center.


The full slate of activities really kicks in on June 13.

JuneteenthNY Toledo is hosting the Englewood Festival Community Day & Kids Zone at Robinson Park/Smith Park from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. featuring vendors and community resources. The day opens at Smith with a swimming clinic, golf clinic and 3-on-3 basketball clinic for the youngsters. A tennis clinic and football clinic will then be conducted at both locations. Later at Robinson – mid afternoon –  a kickball tournament will take place, followed by a state performance for youth K-12. The evening ends with an R & B performance and a baseball clinic/baseball game at Robinson.

Meanwhile, for adults who own or want to own businesses, the Black Wall Street Community Development (a partnership among The Juice radio station, The Sojourner’s Truth newspaper and Stalwart magazine) are hosting a Speed Funding Event at Ternian Training Education Center (TTEC) from 6 to 9 p.m. Potential funders will be meeting with businesses in a one-on-one format.

The Lucas County Fatherhood Coalition is holding a Fatherhood Conference: The Urban Fathers at Mott Branch Library from noon to 3:30 p.m.

Starting on June 13 – and continuing until June 18, JuneteenthNY Toledo has organized a restaurant crawl to a variety of Black-owned food establishments. Jamaican Spice, the Lyte House, Club Evolution, This Is It, Bertha Mae’s Kitchen and Jera’s Heavenly Sweet are the featured eateries on successive days from the June 13 to the 18. The establishments will offer specials and entertainment.

The Toledo Lucas County presents a Juneteenth Trivia Challenge
from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the Kent Branch
Test your knowledge of Juneteenth, which commemorates the abolition of slavery in the United States.

Jamaican Spice is the featured restaurant on this first day


FATHERS AND Families Day, sponsored by the Lucas County Fatherhood Coalition, will be held at the Port Lawrence Housing Development with a variety of activities for Fathers and Families – all are welcome to attend.

The African American Legacy Project will be honoring Sports Legends again this year starting with a Smoker at 6 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel. This year the sports legends being saluted are Al Baker (football); Myron Bell (football); Jerry Blanton (football); Robert Clark (golf); Donald Collins (basketball); Nigel Hayes Davis (basketball; Melvin Newbern (basketball); Theresa Early (track); Che’ Snelling (track).

The Restaurant Crawl continues at the Lyte House featuring burgers and billiards and live entertainment with Carmen Miller.


Who doesn’t love a parade! On Saturday morning a Juneteenth Parade, sponsored by Community United in conjunction with The Juice FM 107.3 will start St. Clair and Monroe, down to Summit, up to Jackson and end up at One Government Center with a ceremony at One Government Cent to follow. Dance teams, slingshots, Corvettes, scats and more will be on parade.

The African American Legacy Project’s second phase of honoring Sports Legends continues with the Induction at Jerusalem Baptist Church at 1 p.m. Call 419-720-4369 for more information.

The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc Juneteenth Community Health and Wellness Fair will be held in the parking lot of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy for Boys from noon to 3:30 p.m. – health screenings, free food, bike giveaways and activities for children are all part of the day’s fun.

Meanwhile, starting at 11:30, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. will host a Juneteenth Jazz Brunch & Silent Auction at The Pinnacle. Guest artists are J’Zillance Band and Ms. Sheila Brown. The event will also honor the sorority’s 2024 Scholarship Recipients. Afrocentric attire is encouraged. Tickets are available via EventBrite.

Bowling Green will also be celebrating the holiday. During the town’s fifth annual Juneteenth Festival, from 2 to 8 p.m., there will be activities for the family in the arts, with live music and food at Wooster Green – 100 S. Church Street

And you can round out the Saturday activities by attending a Juneteenth 2024 Rooftop Celebration – the third such annual event – at the Main Branch Library from 7 to 10 p.m. The rooftop event is a collaboration between the NAACP Toledo Branch and the AKL chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Tickets are available at EventBrite.

Club Evolution is the day’s hot spot in the restaurant crawl


On Sunday, diners are treated to a double treat of restaurants participating in the Crawl. This Is It is offering a jazz brunch and Turkey Up Toledo presents gospel music  with their brunch.


The Toledo Lucas County Public Library presents Juneteenth Rocks!
From 2 – 3 p.m. at Lagrange Branch
Create inspirational art and motivational messages on rocks in observation of the Juneteenth holiday.

Also at the Library – Juneteenth Campfire Story Time
From 3 – 4 p.m. at Mott Branch
Make a summer treat using an ice cream cone, chocolate, and marshmallows, then listen to a story about Juneteenth while you sit around your pretend campfire.
Register (https://events.toledolibrary.org/event/10287546)

Bertha Mae’s Kitchen is the restaurant of the day. Open from 11 am to 6 pm for their fried fish specialties (along with menu items such as wings and smash burgers), the band Hollywood Connection will provide the live entertainment and the Bar Party Truck will provide the cocktails!!


The Toledo Lucas County Library presents Juneteenth Fusion Jubilee
From noon – 1 p.m. at Lagrange Branch
Celebrate the Juneteenth contributions of the Afro-Latino community while making a refreshing and healthy meal. You will blend ingredients and cultures to create a Juneteenth Fusion Jubilee. Registration required.
Register (https://events.toledolibrary.org/event/10914011)

It’s dessert time at Jera’s Heavenly Sweet and what an appropriate, and heavenly,  way to close out the Restaurant Crawl. And desserts will be available from noon to 7 p.m. along with entertainment.


JuneteenthNY presents the Celebration of Black King at The Toledo Club starting at 5 p.m. This year’s honorees are: Lee Williams, Joseph Peterson, Tracy Knighten, Milt McIntyre, Truman Claytor, Willie Knighten, John Preston, Clarence Smith Jr., Elgin Rogers, Wakeso Peterson, Randall Parker, Rev Cedric Brock, Judge Ian English, John Glover, Edward Cook, Judge Myron Duhart, Dr. Calvin Burney Jr., Emilio Ramirez, Josh Williams, Larry Jones, James Gant, Maurice Morris, Ronald Rice, Richard Jackson, Roy Hodge, Victor Coleman, Lesean Shaw, Anthony Atkins and Shawn Mahone


The Toledo Museum of Art’s Juneteenth Celebration takes place at the Family Center from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Celebrate Juneteenth with your family and create a work of art together

  • Africa Unmasked: Teaching Collection Touch Art with Ask Me Docents – 4 to 6 pm
  • Drawing in the Galleries – 4 to 6 pm
  • Meet the Artist Q & A with James Dickerson “dirtykics” – 5 to 6 pm – His artwork is currently on display in the Robert C. & Susan Savage Community Gallery
  • TMA Pop Up Bar – 5 to 7 pm
  • Urban Art Orchestra – 6 to 7:30 pm – TMA Terrace