Hampton Roads Planning District CommissionHRPDCVA

Public Involvement

Hampton Roads Juneteenth 2023 Celebrations

As Juneteenth approaches, the HRPDC is reminded of the deep and rich history of Black people in Hampton Roads and the important role this region has played in the struggle for freedom and equality.  From the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in 1619 at what is now known as Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia, (which would later be characterized as the “Freedom Fortress” after enslaved people fled there to be granted amnesty) to the Civil Rights Movement of the 20th century, the story of Black people in Hampton Roads is a story of resilience, perseverance, and determination.

To celebrate Juneteenth this year, the HRPDC has created a Juneteenth 2023 Calendar of Events. Organizations and groups within the Hampton Roads region planning Juneteenth events have shared their event information with us and we've combined them into an easy to use table below.

The HRPDC encourages our localities to consider this opportunity to help share their own history as it relates to Juneteenth. Whether it's through historical tours, educational seminars, or community events, we believe that sharing our stories can help to build understanding and foster a greater appreciation for the contributions of Black people in our region.

If you are aware of a Juneteenth event that is not listed below, whether it's a parade, a concert, a historical tour, or an educational seminar, we want to hear about it. Please send the information to us at titlevi@hrpdcva.gov, or you can fill out the event form here: https://forms.office.com/r/dq7nJMMqVq, so that we may include it.

By working together, we can create a comprehensive calendar of events that honors the legacy of those who fought for freedom and equality, while also celebrating the rich history and culture of Black people in Hampton Roads. Thank you for your commitment to making Juneteenth a special and meaningful day in our community.

Hampton Roads Juneteenth 2023 Calendar of Events

Title of Event Date & Time Location Description and Link for more info (if available)
Valerie Davis: Come Freedom, Come



Indian River Library, 2320 Old Greenbrier Rd, Chesapeake, VA 23325 Attend the powerful performance, “Come Freedom, Come”, by storyteller and actor Valerie Davis at Indian River Library on Thursday, June 14th at 5:30 p.m.  Valerie Davis portrays Martha Ann Fields, an enslaved cook and one of Virginia’s unsung heroes, from Nutshell Plantation in Hanover County.  Escaping late at night, she makes the brave journey to freedom with her eight children crossing the Pamunkey River. Learn about the impact she made as a free woman.
2023 Chesapeake Juneteenth Luncheon



Greenbrier Country Club - 1301 Volvo Pkwy
Chesapeake, VA 23320
The 2023 Chesapeake Juneteeth Luncheon featuring Keynote Speaker, Justin E. Fairfax, Esq. 41st Lt. Governor of Virginia. Entertainment provided by comedian Steven Alexander & Co., gospel singer Carolyn Smith, and Women of Praise/Ministry
Kween Yakini: Juneteenth Spoken Word



Russell Memorial Library 2808 Taylor Rd, Chesapeake, VA 23321

Sharran Taylor, A.K.A. Keween Yakini, is a local spoken word artist and author who will share her thought-provoking and inspiring poetry and present about the history of Juneteenth.  Her passion is writing poetry that directs a spotlight on lesser known aspects of Black American History.


Juneteenth Community Cookout



Elizabeth River Park,  1400 Elizabeth River Way Chesapeake, VA 23324

The Juneteenth Community Cookout is co-sponsored by the Chesapeake Fine Arts Commission. This is an outdoor, public event with DJ, amplified sound, food trucks, children’s activities, and games.


James City County
Talking History Program: A Prelude to Juneteenth



Jamestown Settlement State Route 31 just southwest of Williamsburg

Join us at Jamestown for a thought-provoking evening of history and performance exploring the precarious nature of freedom from 17th-century Jamestown to Juneteenth with Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander, Endowed Professor of Virginia Black History and Culture at Norfolk State University, musical interludes by Sylvia Tabb & the Rejoicing Singers and dramatic readings from primary sources.


W&M Juneteenth Celebration at the Hearth



William and Mary Hearth: Memorial to the Enslaved 200 Stadium Dr, Williamsburg, VA 23185

Join William & Mary and communities around the country as we recognize and celebrate Juneteenth, which marks the end of slavery in the United States. William & Mary will kick off the local area's Juneteenth Weekend on its campus at the Hearth: Memorial to the Enslaved. The event is expected to include performers, vendors, and more. It is one of several events planned in the Williamsburg area that weekend in honor of Juneteenth.


WRL Gallaery at Stryker Center  



 Williamsburg Regional Library Gallery at Stryker Center 412 N Boundary St, Williamsburg, VA 23185

Special Williamsburg exhibition of local and regional Black artists curated by Willis Potter at the Williamsburg Regional Library Gallery at the Stryker Center. Opening reception Friday, June 16 from 6 pm - 8 pm with a special musical performance by acoustic blues duo Jackie & Resa. Exhibition on view through July 28. Gallery hours are Monday thru Friday, 9 am - 5 pm Saturday & Sunday, 12 pm - 5 pm. Closed July 4


YJCW NAACP Motor Parade & Juneteenth Community Fest  



Highland Park & Bicentennial Park 703 North Henry Street
Williamsburg, VA, 23185

 The morning kicks off with a motor parade line-up in Highland Park, followed by the NAACP Youth Works and Williamsburg Police Department car show in Bicentennial Park. From 10 am - Noon, there will be a Community Vendor Fair, Games, Intense Fiyaaaaa, and Line Dancing.


 Newport News   
Juneteenth Raising the Flag



Newport News City Hall 2400 Washington Ave, Newport News, VA 23607

Join us for the 3rd Annual Juneteenth Raising the Flag Ceremony as it brings unity in the community while we wave the flag of freedom for the last enslaved African American in Galveston, TX. Emcee Karson Jarman will begin the welcome, leading the pledge of allegiance and read the history of Juneteenth and the significance of the flag.
Presentation of colors: Lt. Dorsey
Singing the National anthem: Lt. Gerry Harston
Opening remarks: Cindy Rholf
Reading of the Mayoral Juneteenth proclamation: City Mayor
Raising of the Flag: Lt. Dorsey
Singing the Negro National anthem: Crystal Sessom
Introduction of speaker: Dr. Saundra Cherry
Keynote speaker: Nathan Richardson 


Juneteenth Freedom Festival 



King Lincoln Park 600 Jefferson Ave, Newport News, VA 23607

Newport News presents this free community festival featuring musical entertainment, food and craft vendors, informational exhibits, and children’s activities. Activities include inflatables, yard games, glitter tattoos, petting zoo.  



YWCA South Hampton Roads-Conference on R.E.S.T – Racial Equity & Social Transformation



Norfolk State University 700 Park Ave, Norfolk, VA 23504

R.E.S.T. is a training ground for those interested in learning more and leaning into the effects of injustices and inequities. Through information-collaboration-activation, participants will learn and build best practices with a long-term goal of building a blueprint for the transformational change needed to build an antiracist Hampton Roads.



Urban League of Hampton Roads-Juneteenth Freedom Day



High Street Landing, Portsmouth VA

Join us as we celebrate African American Freedom. This FREE family-friendly event will bring vendors, food, drinks, live music and entertainment.


Juneteenth Sunrise Service



The Majestic Compton Oak 113 W Nicholson St, Williamsburg, VA 23185

To commemorate the triumphant spirit of the African American journey, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation will host a sunrise service on Sunday morning, June 18th at 6 a.m. at the majestic Compton Oak, a landmark tree symbolizing life, endurance, shelter, and joy. Special keynote address by visionary thought leader Tina Lifford.


Williamsburg Live: KEB' MO' 


Lawn of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg 301 S Nassau St, Williamsburg, VA 23185

 Five-time Grammy. winner and recipient of the Americana Music Association’s 2021 award for Lifetime Achievement in Performance, this iconic artist has brought his feel-good blues to all kinds of stages from corner dives to the White House. Rooted in the blues, his music slips and slides away from classification, mixing classic blues with country, pop, soul, and Americana, all delivered in an easygoing growl that draws the listener in. Gather your friends for an unforgettable good time with Keb’ Mo’!


Free Colonial Williamsburg Admission



 Colonial Williamsburg - 101 Visitor Center Drive
Williamsburg, VA 23185

Colonial Williamsburg will be offering free admission on Monday, June 19 in observance of Juneteenth. Free Admission Also Includes:
Costume-interpreter-guided tours of the Governor’s Palace, Capitol, and Courthouse
Admission to trade sites, to see and speak with expert masters, journeymen, and apprentices practicing 18th-century trades
Admission to daily staged performances on the Charlton Stage and in the Hennage Auditorium
Admission to our two world-class art museums
Free parking at the Visitors Center
Complimentary shuttle service


The Village Initiative in Education Equity Juneteenth Freedom Celebration



Williamsburg Community Building - 401 N Boundary St, Williamsburg, VA 23185

 Parade and DJ General XO, Funga Alafia with drums, Rhythm Project All-Stars, Loco Strut Runway Productions, The Gresham Brothers Gospel Singers, Free Food, Food Trucks, Children’s Entertainment, International Flag Performers, Vendors.


 York County    
Juneteenth Celebration at McReynolds Athletic Complex



McReynolds Athletic Complex - 412 Sports Way, Yorktown, VA 23692

Family Activities, Bounce House, Speakers, Entertainment, Community Groups, Food Trucks, Concessions, Free Popcorn & Snow Cones.   Concert: SlapNation 6-8 PM   Movies in the Park: The Princess & The Frog 8:30 PM


 Historical Triangle-Coming to the Table Juneteenth After Party




 The Historic Triangle's "Juneteenth After Party" will focus on Reflections of Juneteenth, 2023. We will discuss the significance of Juneteenth and give the community the opportunity to share their thoughts about local events, and what they would like to see happen for Juneteenth 2024.







Contact the Office of Civil Rights and Community Affairs

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