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Historic Juneteenth Music Festival Returns To Denver's Five Points

Writer and Digital Content Specialist

In 2021, Congress passed a bill recognizing Juneteenth as a Federal Holiday. It was a historic moment for one of this nation's most important commemorations. Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration acknowledging the ending of slavery in the United States. 

And to celebrate this recognition, JMF Corporation and Mile High Festivals are going bigger than ever before as they prepare for the annual Juneteenth Music Festival taking place in Denver, Colorado's Five Points neighborhood.

Denver’s Juneteenth Music Festival, one of the largest and longest running in the nation, returns on June 18th and 19th with its annual parade and street festival featuring hundreds of vendors, concerts, delicious ethnic food and this year’s headliners Dave East and Twista.

Adding to the celebratory aspects of the festival, the event kicks off with the Juneteenth Parade, a festive march of community and government organizations, social clubs, dance troupes and more representing the historic walk through the streets of the last freed slaves.

Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with the news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.

Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order.

However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

The historical significance of the Juneteenth holiday simply cannot be overlooked. And yet, for over 150 years, it was. It received Federal Holiday status only last year, 156 years after the final slaves were freed.

This festival does remarkable work remembering the significance of Juneteenth and celebrating its impact on our nation today.

The Denver Nuggets will have their own presence at the festival, with various talent -- including Rocky -- in attendance on Day 1.

Vice President of Community Relations at Kroenke Sports and Entertainment Deb Dowling took pride in the company's involvement. "It is our honor to be involved to celebrate this holiday in the center of Denver’s rich African American historic district."

You can find more information on JMF Corporation, Mile High Festivals, and the Juneteenth Music Festival below:

JMF Corporation is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate freedom through community engagement by focusing on the historical significance of Juneteenth. JMF Corporation utilizes its annual music event to promote inclusivity, educational and economic empowerment and support of the humanities.

Mile High Festivals facilitates large scale, outdoor events and provides dynamic festival/concert management and experiential programming solutions. Based in Denver, Colorado, the company is African American owned and has helped produce events such as Juneteenth Music Festival, Five Points Jazz Festival, Truck Stop: Food Truck Rally and more.