Iowa Juneteenth

June seems like an awful long time from now, but it is time to start planning. Juneteenth is a 146 year old observance, dating back to June 19th, 1865, marking the end of slavery. This will be the 21st year of the Iowa Juneteenth Observance, the largest African-American event in Iowa.

To get ready for this year’s celebration, they have released several applications for different events:

2011 Iowa Juneteenth King & Queen

The Iowa Juneteenth King & Queen will begin their reign on June 10, 2011. In addition, the royal couple will represent the Iowa Juneteenth Observance by making several public appearances during their year-long reign.

Nomination Form

2011 Miss Iowa Juneteenth Essay Contest

This year’s essay contest focuses on the possibility of Juneteenth becoming an “official” national holiday observance (similar to Flag Day and Patriots Day).

Essay Contest Information

2011 Baby Contest

This year they are excited to present the 2011 Iowa Juneteenth Baby Contest under the theme of “Iowa Families: Guardians of Freedom, Liberty, and Citizenship.”

Application Form

2011 Parade Registration

We are inviting all individuals and organizations (businesses, churches, civic organizations, fraternities, sororities, neighborhood associations, government agencies, private non-profit corporations, etc.) to join in and have a presence in the 2011 parade.

Registration Form

Also, Check out their schedule of events, planned for this year:

21st Annual Iowa Juneteenth Observance Calendar of Events

Tentative Schedule of Featured Activities

  • May 21

    Performance of the play “For Colored Girls” in the auditorium at the Iowa State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust, Des Moines (10:00 am) –  For mature audiences – Parental Discretion Advised!!

  • May 21

    Jazz Heritage Concert in the auditorium at the Iowa State Historical Building at 600 E. Locust, Des Moines (Noon) For the entire family!

  • May 21

    Second year display of the “Iowa Juneteenth Exhibit” in the atrium at the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust, Des Moines (beginning at 10:00 am and lasting all day)Note: This year’s display will show from May 21 – June 18). Bring the entire family!!

  • June 10 – 

    Iowa Juneteenth Honors Reception at 6:00 pm (location to be announced)

  • June 16

    Proclamation Ceremony (time and location to be announced)

  • June 18

    Iowa Juneteenth Observance Finale

    • Iowa Juneteenth Parade. Staging area located on the campus of Drake University, parking lot behind the Dial Computer Center (24th Street and Carpenter Avenue). Parade begins to assemble at 9:30 am. and will leave for Evelyn Davis Park, at 14th & Forest Avenue, around 10:30 am. Arrive at Evelyn Davis Park around 11:30 am.

      Marching groups and vehicles from churches, schools, businesses, social service groups and other community-based organizations from across Iowa are invited to participate in the parade.

    • Neighbors Day at Evelyn Davis Park. Great entertainment, food, exhibits and family-fun spread out over 10 acres!!! “Iowa’s largest event produced by the African American community” All Iowans are welcomed!! (Noon to 7:00 pm).