Juneteenth Celebration June 15th

By Chiluvya Zulu
June, 2024
Free Public Event


Annual Juneteenth Celebration

with Art Exhibition and Block Party!

State College to Mark Fifth Annual Juneteenth Celebration with 
Art Exhibition and Block Party 2024
Food, Music, Poetry, Dance and More at MLK Plaza and South Fraser Street

State College, Pa.— Community members are invited to an unforgettable Juneteenth Block Party in downtown State College on Saturday, June 15, 2024. Founded by the State College Chapter of the NAACP, and hosted with the State College Borough, the Center for Performing Arts at Penn State, and the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau, the Block Party begins at 12 pm and will showcase live performances by a wide range of musicians, poets, dancers and more. There will be food, free Juneteenth cupcakes, an array of local vendors, and many fun activities for everyone throughout the day. 

This year marks the fifth annual State College Juneteenth celebration and promises to be a highlight of the summer with a host of activities for the entire family and an electrifying performance by Bilal, the Grammy award-winning R&B neo-soul singer-songwriter and Philadelphia native. The independent singer and record producer is a member of Soulquarians and will headline the festivities, coinciding with the release of his new album, Live at Glasshaus, on June 14th.  The block party will kick off with an energetic performance by the Marching Cobras, a celebrated marching band drumline and dancers from New York City. Their dynamic routines and vibrant music will set the tone for the day of celebration and unity.

“Celebrating Juneteenth in the Borough of State College is a vibrant weekend where our entire community comes together to honor history, embrace art, and unite through the joyous sounds of music. It is a time to reflect, rejoice, and forge stronger bonds with our diverse community.” - Chiluvya Zulu, Borough of State College DEIB Director

Throughout the event, attendees can also enjoy performances from a variety of local artists, showcasing the incredible talent found within our community. There will be numerous vendors offering a range of local crafts, delicious food, and unique merchandise, providing a true taste of State College’s diverse community members.

Families and children are warmly welcomed, with a range of kid’s activities designed to entertain and educate. Highlights include the Pittsburgh-based Double Dutch Swing Squad’s showcase and tutorial, where everyone can learn and enjoy this classic game that has been a staple in black communities for generations.

Our selected theme, “Embracing Unity and Solidarity from Sundown to Sunrise: Juneteenth A New Horizon, illuminates the historical perspectives about sundown towns that mandated us to be hidden, places that were labeled unsafe or hostile toward black people. Sunrise speaks to a new day dawning, hope for a prosperous future that continues to emerge” said Leslie Laing, founding member of the Juneteenth Commemorations and present co-chair. “We are our ancestors’ wildest dreams and hosting a freedom festival in the middle of town allows us to highlight black culture, music and entertainment right here in Centre County’. - Leslie Laing, Penn State Director of Adult Learner Programs & Services

The Juneteenth Block Party underscores the all-important day, June 19, 1865, in American history marking the emancipation of the last enslaved peoples and signed into law as a federal holiday by President Joe Biden in 2021. Celebration weekend kicks off on Friday, June 14, with an intergenerational art exhibition at the Woskob Family Gallery curated by Grace Hampton and includes works by local artists and artists from across the country. The month-long exhibition will run daily from 12:30 pm to 5 pm. 

This freedom festival has expanded in 2024 as a result of two grants, local donors, volunteers, and the generosity of local sponsorship. For additional information, please visit social media and/or the State College Engage page: https://statecollegepa.civilspace.io/en/projects/juneteenth


Free Public Event