Juneteenth on Mercer Island: A Celebration of Unity

June 19, 2020 | by My MI Team

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A community event supported by the City of Mercer Island, MI School District Board of Directors, MI Community Fund, MI PTA Council, and ONE MI (listed in alphabetical order).

On Friday, June 19th, Mercer Island will join towns across the country to celebrate Juneteenth, a historic day of American liberation commemorating the final enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation.

All islanders are invited to mark this day with (socially-distanced) front yard/park cookouts and picnics — play music, barbecue, make s’mores, and build community with your neighbors! Share Juneteenth traditions: draw Juneteenth flags in the streets with chalk, read the Emancipation Proclamation out loud, and serve red foods and drinks, which symbolize resilience. Let’s come together, even while we stay apart, and celebrate the promise of freedom that our country holds for all people.  

When: Friday, June 19th, 5 to 8 pm

Where: Your front yard or a nearby park (please observe social distancing and keep gatherings to the people in your household) 

How: 

  • Invite your kids to draw the Juneteenth flag on your street or sidewalk with chalk
  • Read a story about Juneteenth or talk about what “resilience” means to you
  • Visit the “Say Their Names” installation at Mercerdale Park and reflect on how our nation’s work to be the “land of the free” is an ongoing project (installation will be up through June 28th)
  • Tune in to KMIH 88.9 FM, Mercer Island High School’s radio station will be playing music in honor of Juneteenth 
  • Brainstorm festive red foods and drinks to mark the holiday, like red velvet cake and hibiscus iced tea
  • Pass around the Emancipation Proclamation and read it out loud as a family. What does it mean to be free? 
  • Post pictures of your food, families and celebration to social media, #juneteenth_on_mi on Instagram. There is also a FB event announcement where you can share photos.

Learn more about Juneteenth at www.juneteenth.com.

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