Juneteenth Weekend

A 3 Day Juneteenth Itinerary

Plan to celebrate Juneteenth in Elgin over the third weekend in June. This federal holiday commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States, which was celebrated for the first time in Texas on June 19, 1865.

Elgin’s Juneteenth Celebration provides a perfect opportunity to recognize this important event with entertainment, education, delicious food and cultural exploration. This year, the Downtown Elgin Market will honor Juneteenth with a showcase of culture, heritage, and community.


Day 1

Start your trip with the basics, checking in to where you’ll be staying.

Then celebrate Juneteenth on Friday afternoon and evening at the Downtown Elgin Market. This year, the market is joining forces with the Black Excellence CULTUR5 Expansion Market to kick off the weekend’s festivities and merge seamlessly with the city’s official Juneteenth Cultural Festival on Saturday.

The Black Excellence CULTUR5 Expansion Market, set for 3 to 8 p.m. Friday in the Pit Lot at S. Riverside Drive, Elgin, promises an afternoon and evening showcasing culture, heritage, and community with arts and crafts, karaoke, live music, entertainment, and more.

Feeling peckish after all that exploring? Don’t worry! Both The CULTUR5 Expansion Market and the Downtown Elgin Market will have a variety of delicious food vendors to tantalize your taste buds.

Day 2

There’s no need to travel far – the Juneteenth Cultural Celebration at Festival Park promises a full day of fun for the whole family.

All of the festivities will be located in downtown Elgin, within walking distance of the Milwaukee District West (MD-W) Metra line and the Elgin Transportation Center for PACE buses.

Set for 1 to 9 p.m., the celebration will include music, performances, art exhibitions, storytelling, vendors, food, history, and entertainment for the whole family.

This year’s theme, “What About the Children?” invites the community to honor the diverse cultures of the African diaspora and inspire our youth to embrace their heritage with pride.

And speaking of kids, this year’s event will include the Kid Zone expansion, promising endless fun for children of all ages, from interactive games to reading corners to creative activities.

The fest will also include plenty to get your hands clapping, heads bopping and feet dancing, with entertainers such as DJ Dre, We In The Basement and many others. Find a space to enjoy the music and more.

There is plenty of free parking available throughout downtown. See this file for a list of all the public parking spaces.

Arial view of people attending the Juneteenth Cultural Celebration at Festival Park

 When hunger strikes, you won’t have to venture far. The festival boasts a wide variety of vendors offering delicious food options. Savor the flavors of the African diaspora or indulge in classic festival fare – there’s something to tantalize every taste bud.

This Juneteenth, skip the long drives and expensive outings as Elgin’s Cultural Celebration offers everything you need for a memorable day.

So, mark your calendars and get ready for a day filled with joy, community, and cultural pride!

view of the stage at the Juneteenth Cultural Celebration

Day 3

After checking out of your hotel, stick around the Elgin area and enjoy a delicious breakfast or brunch.

Looking to immerse yourself in the great outdoors?  Travel down National Street and park anywhere along Festival Park and walk along one of the many bike trails along the Fox River.

The Elgin area has drawn visitors from all across the region and internationally, for so many different reasons.

Some points of note:

The Elgin Police station is where the first African Americans Civil War refugees stayed at the Kimball House in 1862.

The monument at Hill and Fremont talks about the Settlement neighborhood.

Be sure to check out The Promise of Elgin Mural, located in the alley between S. Grove & S. Spring, just north of Fulton Street. The mural was commissioned by the Social Justice Collective as part of the Making Space Initiative.

Newsome Park, located at the corner of Dundee Avenue and Kimball Street in Elgin, was dedicated in 1992 to African American leaders Arthur Newsome and Peter Newsome. In 2017, Newsome Park was recognized by the National Park Service and certified as a site on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

You can also follow our self-guided Art tour.

Photo of The Promise of Elgin Mural

There is something for everyone during the Juneteenth weekend in Elgin.

Make sure to share your photos with us on social media using the #ExploreElgin.

Entrance to Newsome Park

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