Jun 17, 2021 - News

A guide to Juneteenth in Des Moines

The Isiserettes Drill and Drum Corps will be perform outside.

The Isiserettes Drill and Drum Corps will be performing for Juneteenth: The Movement. Photo: Handout/Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

Juneteenth, the annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S., is this Saturday and it'll be a big weekend of celebrations in Des Moines.

  • Backstory: On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers told enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, that they were free — more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

Here are some ways to celebrate Juneteenth in DSM this year:

  • Neighbors Day, a free, family-friendly festival with music, art and history from 11am to 10pm Saturday at Western Gateway Park.
  • Juneteenth: the Movement is a live multimedia event between IPR, Iowa PBS and xBk Live. Watch or listen to live performers 7-9pm Saturday or get tickets to the Des Moines event.
  • Des Moines Black Liberation Movement is hosting a celebration with free food and a basketball tournament from 4-9pm Saturday at the Willkie House. Register for the tournament online.

Go deeper: Read a full Juneteenth guide from the Register here.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Des Moines.

More Des Moines stories