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Desert Botanical Garden kicks off the weekend with a Juneteenth festival

By Tom Maxedon
Published: Thursday, June 15, 2023 - 9:04am
Updated: Thursday, June 15, 2023 - 9:06am

Desert Botanical Garden 1
Kendra Szabo/KJZZ
The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.

Prior to the formal holiday on Monday, the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is hosting the Juneteenth Evening Festival on June 16 from 6-9 p.m.

According to a release, the festival will spotlight “the African American experience with the Archwood Exchange marketplace of Black-owned cultural goods, music performances, dance, food trucks, a live painting experience and more interactive activities.”

Nonprofit consultant Camille Ridley is one of the organizers of the event.

She said it’s a good opportunity for Black businesses to operate in a safe space. “There’s so many entrepreneurs out here, but it’s very scary when you’re not sure what the trajectory’s going to look like and especially when you’re not in a position where other individuals who are entrepreneurs look like you.”

“The Garden is committed to its Inclusion, Diversity, Equality and Awareness initiatives in making the Desert Botanical Garden a welcoming place for all,” stated Kevina Devereaux, senior director, social responsibility and inclusion. “We are proud to honor and celebrate Juneteenth with in-person and virtual events in collaboration with Archwood Exchange.”

DJs, musicians and food vendors featuring cuisine from across the African diaspora, including vegan options, will be on hand for the evening.

There is an entry fee to attend which may be purchased online or at the gates of the Desert Botanical Garden. Admission for children 3 and under is free.

Live entertainment schedule

  • 6–6:30 p.m. | DJ J-ME LEE
  • 6:30–7:15 p.m. | Jonathan Levingston
  • 7:15–7:30 p.m. | DJ J-ME LEE
  • 7:30–8 p.m. | Kawambe-Omowale
  • 8–8:15 p.m. | DJ J-ME LEE
  • 8:15–9 p.m. | Arouna Diarra Music