June ushers in a whole summer of celebrations. On June 19, we celebrate the federal holiday Juneteenth, which commemorates emancipation of enslaved African Americans. There are a variety of Juneteenth celebrations going on around Greater Des Moines all month long and we’ve compiled a list of everything happening around the metro!

June 16:  

Juneteenth Charity Golf Outing 
Location: Blank Golf Course, 808 Country Line Road 
Time: 7 a.m. check in, 8 a.m. shotgun start. 

What: Tee up for this four-person scramble style charity golf tournament at Blank Golf Course. Register individually or as a foursome, with raffles for prizes at the end.  

Juneteenth Comedy Jam 
Location: Teehee's Comedy Club, 1433 Walnut St., Des Moines 
Time: Early show - 7 p.m.; "Ladies Night" show - 9:30 p.m. 

What: Check out this comedy showcase featuring up-and-coming black comedians from Des Moines and the Midwest.  

June 17: 

Neighbor’s Day Celebration 
Location: Western Gateway Park, 1000 Grand Avenue  
Time: Noon – 8 p.m.  
What: Live entertainment, gospel, jazz, spoken word, bands, motivational speakers, shopping, children’s play area, raffles, educational seminars, storybook walk and more. 

3rd Annual Juneteenth Festival 
Location: District Town Square, 1500 SW Main Street, Ankeny 
Time: 4 – 10 p.m.
What: Ankeny’s third annual festival includes local performers, food trucks, live music, and an arts and crafts kids’ corner.  

June 18: 

Queer and Black Art Market 
Location: Gravitate Coworking, 500 Locust St., Des Moines 
Time: 1 – 5 p.m.
What: Art vendors, free food, a photo booth, local non-profits, and drag performances are just some of what you’ll find at this event taking place at Gravitate.  

June 19:
Drive-In Movie Night: “Wakanda Forever,”  
Location: Valley West Mall parking lot next to the old Younkers, 1551 Valley West Drive.  
Time: 6 p.m. gates open, 8 p.m. start. 

Hope+Elim Juneteenth Celebration
Location: Hope+Elim Church, 2500 University Avenue, Des Moines 
Time: light dinner from 5:15 – 5:50 p.m., sounds of freedom celebration from 6 – 8 p.m.
What: Performers like Will Keeps, The Isiserettes, and Bridges 2 Harmony highlight this celebration, which includes worship, spoken word, dramatic skits, Afrobeats dance routines, and gospel choirs.  

Black Women for Healthy Living’s Annual Juneteenth Tea 
Location: Grand View University Speed Lyceum Conference Center, 2811 E. 14th St Des Moines, IA 50316 
Time: Noon – 1:30 p.m.
What: Come for an afternoon of tea and speaker Anesa Buchanan. Tickets are free!  

June 23: 

The Culture in Color,  
Location: Bella Love Event Venue, 8801 University Avenue, Suite 29, Clive. 
Time: 6 – 10 p.m.
What: This event includes cultural food by Joppa Experience, music by DJ Maxx, and an award ceremony to honor individuals serving the community. Attendees are encouraged to wear their most vibrant colors! 

Now – June 30:

Keo Way Billboard Display 
Location: Southbound lane of Keo Way just north of the I-235 overpass, 1619 Keo Way , Des Moines , IA
What: As a part of Art Week 2023, take a peek at this new billboard art installation in honor of Juneteenth. The billboard will be up throughout the month of June!

Now – July 7:  

Black Innovation at Living History Farms
Location: Red Barn Exhibit Hall
Time: Tuesday-Saturday; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
What: This exhibit showcases seven African Americans who overcame overwhelming obstacles to receive patents in the 1800’s. Their innovative ideas revolutionized work I nthe home, on the farm, and in town.  

For more information on these events and more, check out the Iowa Juneteenth website here.