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Ways to Celebrate Iowa Juneteenth in 2022

Iowa Juneteenth

June 10, 2022

Images from the June 19, 2021 Iowa Juneteenth Observance event.

Recognized on Sunday, June 19 of this year, Juneteenth is a national holiday that celebrates the emancipation of African Americans in the U.S. In Greater Des Moines (DSM), Juneteenth celebrations will include events that take place from Saturday, June 11 through Monday, June 20. Whether it’s attending the first annual Juneteenth Golf Outing or taking part in the Juneteenth Jubilee in West Des Moines, there are plenty of ways to celebrate and take part in Iowa Juneteenth celebrations.

Calendar of Events

The following events will be held as part of the 2022 Juneteenth celebrations:

Saturday, June 11

Emancipation Day will take place from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Living History Farms in Urbandale. The event will explore the Black experience in Iowa and include a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, dramatic performances, hands-on activities and a pie and ice cream social. The City of West Des Moines will present the Juneteenth Jubilee at Jamie Hurd Amphitheater at 5 p.m. The Jubilee will feature live entertainment, free face painting and food truck vendors, as well as a panel discussion at 5:45 p.m. about the “State of Black Affairs – 157 Years Later.”

Sunday, June 12

The Celebration of Gospel will take place at Franklin Junior High School at 6 p.m. Doors open at 4 p.m. Hear special guest Bishop J Drew Sheard, Presiding Bishop and Chief Apostle of Church of God in Christ, Inc.

Tuesday, June 14

The Black Mental Health Virtual Discussion at Des Moines University will begin at 5 p.m.

Wednesday, June 15

The documentary showing of André Robert Lee’s Virtually Free will take place at Tall Grass Theatre Company in West Des Moines at 6 p.m. The film shines a light on the fight to end youth incarceration and transform the juvenile justice system. Watch the trailer below:


Thursday, June 16

The Community Builders Appreciation Banquet will take place at the Drake University Olmstead Center, with a social hour at 5 p.m. and banquet at 6 p.m. Tickets are $60 and can be purchased here. Hear from the banquet speaker, Dwana Bradley, Ed. S. on “The Wisdom Among Us.”

Friday, June 17

The first annual Juneteenth Golf Outing begins at 8 a.m. at Grandview Golf Course. Registration and check-in begins at 7 a.m. Also on Friday, the first annual Culture of Color event will take place at 7 p.m. at Bella Love Event Venue in Clive. The first-ever Des Moines Culture Creators awards will be announced. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here.

Saturday, June 18

Neighbor’s Day will take place from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. at Western Gateway Park. Music, food, art and more make this a fun event to attend in Downtown Des Moines (DSM). Parking is available at Wellmark Parking Garage at 1331 Grand Avenue.2021 Booth

Sunday, June 19

Watch the Juneteenth Townhall on Facebook and YouTube. Presented by the Urban Impact Show, it will take place at 5 p.m. live from The Studio in Windsor Heights.

Monday, June 20

Attend the Black Women 4 Health Living Juneteenth Tea at Noon at the Corinthian Baptist Church.

To learn more and see a complete list of Iowa Juneteenth events, visit iowajuneteenth.org.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership calendar of events is a one-stop resource for activities taking place throughout the region. Find networking information for Greater Des Moines (DSM) businesses or events specific to Downtown DSM.

Dwana Bradley

Dwana Bradley is the proud mother of Nautika and JaMarcus, the Executive Director of the Des Moines Urban Experience and serves as the General Chairperson for Iowa Juneteenth. She owns Iowa Urban Media, is a former member of the Des Moines Public School Board and is currently working on her doctorate in educational leadership at Drake University.