2022 Juneteenth celebrations returns this week to Franklin, TN

A slew of events will return to Franklin this week in celebration of Juneteenth.

Following last year’s first-ever Juneteenth festival in downtown Franklin at Public Square, the Franklin Justice and Equity Coalition will host it once again alongside a series of other events.

The African American Heritage Society of Williamson County will also hold its 18th annual Juneteenth remembrance and acknowledgment celebration at the McLemore House Museum in Franklin’s historic Hard Bargain neighborhood.

To those looking for a way to celebrate, honor and learn about the holiday in Williamson County, here’s what you need to know:

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas and ultimately freed more than 250,000 enslaved people in the state who had remained in bondage despite Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation over two years earlier.

The city of Franklin passed a resolution in May of 2021 declaring the Saturday closest to June 19 as Juneteenth, and the proclamation will be made at this weekend’s celebrations. Spring Hill, Brentwood and Nolensville also proclaimed Juneteenth as a holiday in 2021.

Eventgoers partake in a cake walk during the Juneteenth Celebration at Pinkerton Park in Franklin, Tenn., On Saturday, June 19, 2021.

Franklin Justice & Equity Coalition’s week of events

The Franklin Justice and Equity Coalition, formed in 2020, is hosting five events to celebrate Juneteenth:

  • June 15: Juneteenth Summit, Strong Tower Bible Church, 3 pm –6 pm
  • June 17: Juneteenth Gala, Liberty Hall, Factory at Franklin, 6 pm –10:30 pm
  • June 18: Juneteenth Festival at Franklin Public Square, 10 am –6 pm
  • June 19: Emancipation Worship Service, Franklin United Methodist Church, 8:30 am
  • June 19: “Family Reunion” Block Party, Jim Warren Park, 2 pm –6 pm

The second annual Juneteenth festival, sponsored by MARS Petcare, will host dozens of vendors, family-friendly activities and performances by musical artists.

Patrons and organizers chat together after a musical act during the Juneteenth Celebration at Public Square in Franklin, Tenn., On Saturday, June 19, 2021.

“We’re expecting larger crowds than last year, but we’re just expecting to have a good time just like last year,” president Walter Simmons said.

The event will feature keynote speaker Dorena Williamson, the author of the children’s book “The Story of Juneteenth,” and a panel of local leaders discussing the intersection of race, community advocacy, historical preservation and faith.

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