Juneteenth Block Party celebrates freedom, culture

A family-friendly Juneteenth Block Party featuring entertainment, food and kids’ activities will take place from 2-6 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at Harper College in Palatine.

Admission is free, and no prior registration is needed. The celebration will be at the Drs. Kenneth and Catherine Ender Pavilion, 1200 W. Algonquin Road, Palatine.

Hosts will be Glenn Marshall and Jewell Hillery, both of WGN-TV.

Performances will include Harmony and Soul with live music; young talent with poetry, dancing and singing; and DJ Zel spinning music for all ages.

DJ Zel will spin tunes at the Juneteenth Block Party June 22 at Harper College. Courtesy of Schaumburg Township

Entertainment and activities will include face painting, balloon artistry, a bounce house, 40-plus double Dutch crew, community dance, blood pressure screening, free giveaway of books by Black authors, voter registration, real estate and mortgage tips, a candle making activity by Max Candle, storytime with the Schaumburg Township District Library, a community quilt, mental health resources and more.

Food trucks will include Aunt Tina's Sound Bites with Southern comfort food, CheSa’s Gluten Free with gluten free fare, and Ms. Tittles Cupcakes.

A complete list of participating vendors, including many local, Black-owned businesses, and food truck menus can be found at

Aunt Tina's Sound Bites will serve Southern comfort food at the Juneteenth Block Party June 22 at Harper College. Courtesy of Schaumburg Township

Updated information regarding the event can be found at the celebration’s Facebook Event Page or Eventbrite page.

The event is hosted by the iCU Community Organization, NFP, Schaumburg Township and Harper College.

This is the fourth consecutive community Juneteenth Celebration hosted in conjunction with Schaumburg Township, and the first hosted by this committee at Harper College. Previous Juneteenth celebrations were hosted at the Schaumburg Town Square.

“It is an important time to come together with our neighbors and celebrate the Juneteenth holiday for its true purpose — freedom,” said iCU Community founder and executive director Deborah Harris. “Juneteenth commemorates the abolishment of slavery and signifies the opportunity for Black Americans to stand in their rightful freedom. That’s why we were very intentional with highlighting Black business owners and collaborating with organizations that align with preserving the historical significance of this federal holiday.”

Attendees can park in parking lots 8-11. Shuttle service will be provided for those who need assistance walking. The space is wheelchair and walker accessible, and American Sign Language interpreters will be on-site. An interactive campus map can be found at Restrooms, a cooling station and free water will be available.

Families are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and sunscreen. iCU Community T-shirts, with proceeds benefiting future iCU Community events, are available for $25 at

About iCU Community:

iCU Community is a grass-roots nonprofit organization dedicated to illuminating cultures and unifying communities. Its mission is to create inclusive spaces where respect is paramount and everyone feels welcome to connect, celebrate and learn from one another. Learn more at

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