Juneteenth events in Helena

What is Juneteenth, and how do you celebrate it?
Posted at 12:00 PM, Jun 17, 2024

Juneteenth, or June 19, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. The day in 1865 was when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. Newly freed Black people celebrated and started an annual tradition of Juneteenth commemorations with music, barbecues, services, and other activities.

This year, Helena organizations have come together to plan four days of activities in celebration of Juneteenth.

The Montana Historical Society, The Myrna Loy, Holter Museum, City of Helena, Alive at Five, and Art Mobile are excited to announce the following events. listed below.

Juneteenth Events

  • Tuesday, June 18 through Saturday, June 22, 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.Sunday, June 23, 12:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.Nobody's Free Until Everybody's FreeHolter Museum of Art12 E Lawrence St, HelenaArtwork by community membersArt made by community members of all ages by the quote “Nobody’s Free Until Everybody’s Free”, by civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, will be exhibited at the Holter Museum of Art. Click the link here for information about a special Friday event! []
  • Wednesday, June 19, 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Alive at FiveWomen' Park500 Fuller Ave, HelenaMusic by The Good the Bad and the BluesAlive at Five will feature The Good the Bad and the Blues playing their unique mixture of Gospel, Blues, Soul, and Funk. Speakers will highlight Juneteenth and announce the week’s activities. Stop by the Juneteenth Planning Committee’s tent for a schedule of activities, photos, and information on Black history from Montana and to create art to contribute to the community exhibit at the Holter. There is a $2 donation for a wristband to purchase alcohol, and proceeds will go to Montana Black Collective Missoula.
  • Thursday, June 20, 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.Community BarbecueHelena Civic Center Lawn340 Neill Ave, HelenaHosted by the City of HelenaThe City of Helena will host a free community barbecue. The Helena Fire Department will do the cooking and will have their trucks out for kids to enjoy. There will be lawn games and other activities for the whole family.
  • Thursday, June 20, 7:30 p.m.Stand-up Comic Kevin BozemanThe Myrna Loy15 N Ewing St, HelenaWith a smooth and clever style, a great smile, and a contagious laugh, Kevin has been entertaining in clubs and colleges across the country. He was a semi-finalist on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” in 2015 and has appeared on Comedy Central, NBC, CBS and Fox. Tickets are $22 and available for purchase at The Myrna Loy. Click here for a link to purchase tickets []. This event features content rated for adults.
  • Friday, June 21, 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.Nobody's Free Until Everybody's FreeHolter Museum of Art12 E Lawrence St, HelenaArtwork by community membersThe Holter Museum will be open to the public with free entry. Art by community members responding to Fannie Lou Hamer’s quote, “Nobody’s Free Until Everybody’s Free”, will be on display, and visitors can create their own art to add to the exhibit. From 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., there will be a reception to celebrate everyone’s contributions to this collaborative effort.
  • Friday, June 21, 7:00 p.m.Hidden Stories: Montana’s Black PastThe Myrna Loy15 N Ewing St, HelenaThe Myrna Loy will screen Hidden Stories: Montana’s Black Past, a documentary chronicling African American journeys to and within Montana, as well as events and policies that influenced their experiences. Documenting individual and family stories over two centuries, the film provides insight into Black communities’ resilience statewide. The free screening is sponsored by the Montana Historical Society and will be followed by a Q&A panel with individuals involved in the film’s production and content.Click this link for screening flyer [].
  • Saturday, June 22, Afternoon and EveningJuneteenth ActivitiesThe Myrna Loy15 N Ewing St, HelenaJuneteenth activities will take place in and around The Myrna Loy throughout the afternoon and evening.

    • 12:15 p.m. and 1:15 p.m.Black History Tour TrainThe Montana Historical Society will lead special tours highlighting the Black history of downtown Helena in partnership with the Last Chance Tour Train. Prior registration is required.Register for the 12:15 p.m. tour train with this linkRegister for the 1:15 p.m. tour train with this link
    • 12:30 - 2:30 p.m.Juneteenth-themed children’s art activitiesOutside The Myrna Loy, staff from the Holter will lead Juneteenth-themed children’s art activities including sidewalk chalk for younger kids and art creation with teaching artists from the Art Mobile for older kids.
    • 2:30 p.m.Summer of SoulThere will be a screening of the film Summer of Soul, a powerful documentary that is part music film and art historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion: The Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969. Tickets can be purchased for $10 from the Myrna Loy.Click this link to purchase tickets 
    • Juneteenth Block PartyClick this link for block party flyer

      • 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.Food TrucksAttendees can grab a bite to eat from food trucks while contributing to the sidewalk chalk art.
      • 4:45 p.m.Guest speaker Jason ForgesEnjoy a spoken word performance by Montana Black Collective Missoula social justice artist Jason Forges
      • 5:30 - 9:00 p.m.Live music from DJ Andrea Crossguns Listen and dance to music from DJ Andrea Crossguns to close out the week’s festivities.