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Denver’s annual Juneteenth Music Festival returns June 18-19

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Posted at 11:16 AM, Jun 13, 2022

DENVER — Denver’s Juneteenth Music Festival, one of the largest and longest running in the nation, returns June 18-19 with its annual parade and street festival featuring hundreds of vendors, concerts, delicious ethnic food and this year’s headliners Dave East and Twista. Denver7 is a proud partner of Juneteenth Music Festival.

In June 2021, Congress passed a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday. The state of Colorado also signed a bill making Juneteenth a state holiday in May, ushering in one of Juneteenth Music Festival’s biggest seasons yet. Denver’s Juneteenth Music Celebration continues to be one of the largest celebrations in the country even as a more widespread acceptance of the holiday sweeps the nation.

Each year, Denver’s historic Five Points Neighborhood is transformed into a hub of entertainment and celebration for residents and business owners recognizing the day the last of the nation’s enslaved people were freed.

The festival kicks off with the annual Juneteenth Parade presented by Verizon; a festive march of community and government organizations, social clubs, dance troupes and more representing the historic walk through the streets of the last freed slaves. Featuring Denver’s own Father of Black Radio; Dr. Daddio, as the 2022 Grand Marshall, the parade, takes place down East 26th Avenue starting Saturday, June 18 at 11:00 a.m. then rolls into two full days of live entertainment, food, retail and community vendors, interactive and educational activities for all ages, block parties and VIP areas.

This year the festival welcomes headliners; Harlem bred, Def Jam Recording artist and MC Dave East, on Saturday and the world’s “fastest rapper” Twista, best known for early 2000s hits Slow Jamz featuring Kanye West and Overnight Celebrity featuring Jamie Foxx on Sunday. The shows will take place at 6:00 p.m. each night on the main stage. Denver7’s Micah Smith will be on hand to introduce the headliners.

RELATED: Denver's Juneteenth Music Festival to include several new features

Guests can look forward to an array of fun and interactive activities with Juneteenth Music Festival’s amazing group of 2022 partners such as Vibes in the Park hosting the 29th stage with local performances, open air seating and Popongo at the 2nd stage. Meow Wolf is set to bring its distinctive style of immersive, maximalism to JMF with some fun surprises.

When it comes to festival libations, guests 21 and older can visit one of five block parties with partners such as Jack Daniels, where they can learn about Nearest Green, the slave that taught Jack Daniels how to make whiskey, or participate in a community mural. Beer lovers can grab a cold one from the Coors Airstream. Families can enjoy activations from the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rapids and Colorado Mammoth in the Kids Zone or catch a live boxing match courtesy of USA Boxing in association with the Denver Brotherhood of Police.

To learn more about Juneteenth Music Festival, visit www.JuneteenthMusicFestival.com.

About Juneteenth

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19 that Union soldiers, led by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with the news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This was two and a half years after Pres. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which had become official Jan. 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of Gen. Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of Maj. Gen. Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

About JMF Corporation

JMF Corporation is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate freedom through community engagement by focusing on the historical significance of Juneteenth. JMF Corporation utilizes its annual music event to promote inclusivity, educational and economic empowerment and support of the humanities.

About Mile High Festivals

Mile High Festivals facilitates large scale, outdoor events and provides dynamic festival/concert management and experiential programming solutions. Based in Denver, Colorado, the company is African American owned and has helped produce events such as Juneteenth Music Festival, Five Points Jazz Festival, Truck Stop: Food Truck Rally and more.