Mayor Fischer kicks off Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration

June 14, 2021

Mayor Greg Fischer today joined members of the Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration Commission and representatives from Louisville Visual Arts (LVA), Waterfront Park, Kentucky Center for African American History and Norton Healthcare to kick off a variety of city-wide events that will highlight the historical significance of Juneteenth. This year’s celebration will be held June 17-20. 

Juneteenth, observed every year on June 19, is the oldest known holiday commemorating the final communication of the abolition of slavery in the United States. Last June, Mayor Fischer signed an executive order recognizing the day as an official holiday for Louisville Metro Government (LMG) workers, effective this year. Furthering his commitment in February, the Mayor established by executive order, the Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration Commission.  

The 15-member commission includes representatives from the Metro Council, the business community, arts, educational and faith institutions, and others. Commission members have worked for months on this year’s Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration, including developing a budget and securing sponsorships and other funding in coordination with Metro Council, Waterfront Park and Louisville Metro Government. They also will advise on ways to create a series of educational and cultural community-wide celebrations for Juneteenth 2022 and beyond.

“It was important to bring together a cross-section of people to collaborate on a city-wide celebration that also supports our ongoing work to advance racial equity,” the Mayor said. “I’m thankful for their partnership and for thinking boldly in putting together this special week of events.”

Jubilee Commissioner and Metro Councilwoman Keisha Dorsey, D-3, said, “I think this will spark an interest in history as more young people in our city learn about the historical significance of Juneteenth. As a commission, we also wanted to provide opportunities for everyone to engage in the arts and culture, health and wellness, and entrepreneurship. As an HBCU grad, I am looking forward to next year’s expansion of the celebration to include an HBCU showcase that will inspire young people to become the changemakers that our ancestors dreamed we would be to form a more perfect union, establish justice and ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and prosperity – and continue to ordain and establish the Constitution for the United States of America. ”

In addition to the festivities, a four-day Juneteenth Day Camp hosted by LVA and Waterfront Park begins today. Ten campers, ages 7-12, will meet each morning for visual art instruction and activities on the covered outdoor patio of the David K. Karem Building with plenty of room for social distancing, said LVA Education Director Annette Cable.

“At the Juneteenth Day Camp, instructor Lance Newman will increase campers' appreciation for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) artists and writers, inspiring creativity and community,” Cable said. “LVA is thrilled to join this exciting celebration by empowering our city's next generation of artists. We welcome and encourage the young participants to expand their imaginations and to continue their creative activities into the future.”

Norton Healthcare will host a Wellness Fair at Waterfront Park’s Big Four Lawn from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. As part of its commitment to provide access to care to Louisville residents, Norton Healthcare will offer health and wellness services at the event, along with information about job opportunities.

“This past year has more broadly exposed the inequities of health care, especially in communities of color. Our fair will provide information about healthy living, available jobs and other beneficial facts,” said Steven Patton, D.O., Community Medical Director, Norton Healthcare. “We are pleased to be a part of the Juneteenth celebration and want to continue to build connections that will help our communities thrive.”

The commissioners’ schedule of events include:

June 14-18 – Juneteenth Camp, Louisville Visual Arts and Waterfront Park The Louisville Visual Arts and Waterfront Park are hosting a day camp for youth ages 7-12. In the afternoon, campers will explore Waterfront Park sites for fun camp activities.  The session is limited to 10 students.

June 17 – Metro Council Committee on Equity & Inclusion meeting, 3:30 p.m. This special meeting will address “Critical Race Theory” – an academic approach that examines how race and racism function, especially in K-12 and where numerous state legislatures are debating bills seeking to ban its use in the classroom.

June 17-18 – WAVE Country with Dawne Gee, 2 p.m. WAVE-TV anchor and reporter Dawne Gee will discuss Juneteenth highlights and moderate panel discussions.

June 18 – LGBTQIA History, Struggles, Triumphs and Our Future panel discussion (MetroTV & YouTube) The panel’s topics will include employment, health care and the creation of space for trans and queer persons of color. The recorded discussion will air on MetroTV and its YouTube page.

June 18 – Agape Day, Dare to Care & National Panhellenic Council Louisville Local Divine 9 Black Greek fraternities and sororities will partner with Dare to Care to deliver food to communities.

June 19 – Norton Healthcare’s Wellness Fair, Big Four Lawn, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Norton Healthcare will provide information about healthy living and job opportunities.

June 19 – Juneteenth at Fourth Street, Kentucky Center for African American Heritage & MELANnaire Marketplace, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. The outdoor event will feature live musical performances by a variety of Louisville-based musical and spoke word acts. The entertainment headliner will be national performing artist, Victory Boyd. Also, the marketplace will feature Black vendors from around the city.

June 20 – Virtual/In-person worship, Burnett Avenue Baptist Church, 1 p.m. The interfaith service will be led by Burnett Avenue Baptist Church’s Senior Pastor Daniel Corrie Shull. The virtual worship can be found at

For more information about the Juneteenth Jubilee Celebration, please visit


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