Music City Freedom Festival – A Juneteenth Celebration

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Photo by Madeline Ludwig

On Saturday, June 19th from 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, many gathered at Hadley Park in Nashville to celebrate Juneteenth at the Music City Freedom Festival. This free, family event hosted many local businesses and organizations, which came out to support each other and the community, as well as local bands and entertainment. Among the many Juneteenth celebrations happening across Middle Tennessee this weekend, this was not one to miss!

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is a day of celebration to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19th, 1865, Union soldiers led by General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War was over and those enslaved were now free. Even though President Lincoln’s proclamation abolishing slavery had been declared official on January 1st of 1863, that day in 1865 represented the time the message of freedom was finally spread across most of the U.S. However, just last year, President Joe Biden officially declared Juneteenth a federal holiday.

Festival Details

Across a large portion of Hadley Park, many tents were set up to promote local vendors and organizations, mostly owned and led by people of color. The products promoted included everything from art, jewelry and accessories, cigars, apparel, bath products, and other handmade creations.

Several food trucks were also present, including, but not limited to Bag Lady’s Fry Joint, I Take It, Eden BBQ, Phat Pizza, and Epic Taste, each selling their own unique snacks and bites.

While the adults were busy spending their money on the amazing creations around the festival area, the kids were free to play in the Kid Zone, which was sponsored by Lipscomb University Family Therapy Center. This area was complete with inflatable obstacle courses, bouncy houses, and games galore for every kid to enjoy (and maybe some adults too!). There were also several local bands and entertainers who performed throughout the day on the main stage.

Maria, a representative of the Human Rights Campaign, discussed with us the importance of Juneteenth and the events that celebrate it, “Rights for one is rights for all… it impacts the whole world, not just us.” The Human Rights Campaign was also promoting their LGBTQ+ support items to celebrate Pride Month.

These family friendly events are great for fostering a nurturing and inclusive environment for everyone to celebrate and support our community and those who live in it. To learn more about the Music City Freedom Festival, visit https://www.musiccityfreedomfest.com .

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