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Juneteenth in the 517: Events and more coming to Lansing this weekend

Ahead of the Juneteenth holiday, organizations across my neighborhood are preparing to celebrate this weekend through a variety of events for the community
Posted at 6:25 PM, Jun 13, 2024
  • Juneteenth, an annual holiday to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States, is Wednesday but organizations in my neighborhood are beginning to celebrate early
  • One of those foundations is OurSpace, a group of Lansing community members looking to celebrate local culture.
  • 517 Juneteenth Weekend will include a Black History Black Future seminar on Thursday, a Juneteenth ice cream social on Friday, the 517 Juneteenth festival on Saturday, and a Fathers Day Jazz Night on Sunday
  • In the attached story, we spoke with organizers about their journey to create this weekend of events

Other Juneteenth events include:

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

The 517 Juneteenth festival is back for a 4th year. I'm your neighborhood reporter Asya Lawerence here in REO Town. I got a chance to talk with organizers Thursday to reflect on the humble beginnings of the festival and the preparations for the busy weekend ahead.

"Fun, culture, a celebration of freedom," said Keyante Saxon of Ourspace.

"Its a melting pot for all these things we have the arts, we have the culture, we have the business, we have things for our youth to engage in," said Mikeyy.

There are many ways to celebrate Juneteenth. and the foundation OurSpace made up of lifelong Lansing residents has spent the last few years expanding the Juneteenth festivities within the Lansing community.

"Just thinking back to all the civil unrest that has been happening and took place in 2020 and 2021 and all those different variables led to us doing our first Juneteenth festival".

"We've been able to grow over the years starting in 2021 when it was just a one-day festival.. we shut down the street we had a few vendors, we had over 1000 people come out but each year we've been able to double not only in attendance but as well as sponsorships".

An empowerment seminar, ice cream social, festival, and jazz night are all included in this year's 4-day celebration.

"We're adding to and building upon what has already existed here in our community.. whether that's through arts, whether that's musical whether that's a business professional wherever it is that blackness shows up in we want to make sure we're inclusive so it was important to create that space where people can thrive, people can show up, have fun and just celebrate"

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