Juneteenth Celebrations Around Miami Beach

(Miami Beach, FL) Jun 18, 2022 -

The City of Miami Beach has curated a full weekend of artistic and educational programs beginning with a gathering at Pride Park on Saturday, June 18 at 9 a.m. to remember the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States while honoring the contributions of Black Americans.


This year marks the 156th Juneteenth Independence Day with activities that share the history and impact of the holiday on the Miami Beach community. Two years ago, the city planted a rainbow eucalyptus tree to forever remember the day in 1865 when enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas learned of their freedom from Major Gen. Gordon Granger of the Union Army, who announced the end of the Civil War two months after the surrender of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Appomattox, Virginia.


The holiday was named by combining the month of June with the number 19. It is believed to be the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. All nonessential Miami Beach government offices will be closed on Monday, June 20 in observance of the holiday.


The following Juneteenth events are scheduled to take place around Miami Beach:


  • Third Annual Juneteenth Freedom Day Celebration at the Rainbow Eucalyptus tree from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 18 at Pride Park, 1809 Meridian Ave. Speakers include Miami Beach Commissioner David Richardson, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and keynote speaker Florida International University Professor and Vice Provost Heather Russell. A professor of literature and vice provost for faculty leadership and success in the Office of the Provost, Russell specializes in African Diaspora, African American and Afro Caribbean literature and theory. She is the author of “Legba’s Crossing: Narratology in The African Atlantic.”


The event includes performances by jazz singer Carole Ann Taylor who redefines classic tunes like “You Can Have Him” by Nina Simone and “For All We Know” by Nat King Cole; Melton Mustafa, Jr., the three-time Grammy-nominated educator whose past performances include The Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival in Miami Gardens and Jim Gasior from The New World School of the Arts (NWSA) Jazz Combo. As director of the NWSA High School Jazz Ensemble, he has led the group to numerous national successes, including Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington competition 12 times. As a pianist and keyboardist, he has performed and/or recorded with international pop artists and groups to include Ricky Martin, Kelly Clarkson, Alih Jey, Chayanne, Smokey Robinson, Jose Feliciano, Michael Bolton as well as jazz artists Benny Golson, Slide Hampton, Freddie Hubbard, Terell Stafford and many others. He will be joined by students of NWSA High School Jazz and Instrumental Studies in his performance. The event will be livestreamed on the city’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofmiamibeach.


  • Juneteenth Food & Wine Festival Presents Beachside Cookout Village & Concert Hosted by Celebrity Chef Carla Hill & Chef Cecil G. from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, June 18 at Lummus Park, 1130 Ocean Dr. featuring celebrity performer Ronnie VOP with help from the Hardemon Project. This soulful seaside foodie village is comprised of African American cuisine from all over the United States. The event features Creole, Cajun, barbecue, soul food and even Caribbean and African foods as well as vegan dishes. Entry to this event is free. Food and drinks are available for purchase onsite. For more information, please visit www.jtfwf.com.


  • The Juneteenth Experience, a free, multidisciplinary celebration of Juneteenth on Sunday, June 19 at the North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The performance begins at 8 p.m. Presented by Hued Songs, The Juneteenth Experience is a multidisciplinary, immersive performance honoring America’s second Independence Day. A powerful and diverse cast of local artists includes Ace Anderson, Shanna Woods, Vanya Allen, Miriam King, J’Von Brown, Jasmine Williams, Christian Reategui and Stephan St. Louis with animation by Izia Lindsay and led by a creative team that includes Kunya Rowley, Michelle Grant-Murray, Wilkie Ferguson III and Joseph Cloud. “This is a celebration of Juneteenth past, present, and future,” according to event Artistic Director Kunya Rowley. “Pre-concert attendees will enjoy music and experience original short films centered around Black identity. The performance will be presented free of charge at the North Beach Bandshell as well as via a digital livestream. Reserve a ticket on Eventbrite.


  • Lift Up Your Voice and Sing! The Miami Beach Classical Music Festival with the support of the Ocean Drive Association, City of Miami Beach and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau will present an evening of poetry, music and dance on Sunday, June 19 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Lummus Park on Ocean Drive between 14 Street and 14 Place. Vocalists will present selections from the Great American Songbook selected by Miami Beach Classical Music Festival Director Michael Rossi. The Peter London Global Dance Company, poet Geoffrey Philp and musician Gregory LeDon (aka The Saxophone Guy) will perform at the event.


  • Live Jazz at The Betsy Hotel will feature award-winning vocalist LeNard Rutledge from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. with pianist Jim Gasior performing from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.  on Sunday, June 19. Patrons are also invited to visit The Betsy Poetry Rail located in the breezeway adjacent to the hotel (between Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue) to read “A Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes. It has been called one of the most influential poems of the 20th century with 11 lines that provide profound reference to the African American experience and to the meaning of Juneteenth, a celebration of our nation’s most infamous deferred dream, the long prayed for abolishment of slavery. These events are free and open to the public. The Betsy Hotel is located at 1440 Ocean Dr.