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OKLAHOMA CITY —This year Oklahoma City will celebrate Juneteenth in style, with a three-day, family-friendly event featuring live music, a 5k race, interactive murals, dance performances, spoken word, food trucks, educational tents and vendors, featuring local small businesses, who are the backbone of the Eastside community.

Juneteenth on the East is produced by With Love OKC and local community leaders, including Jabee, Oklahoma Mural Syndicate, Red Coyote Running and Fitness and OKC Zoo. These champions of Oklahoma City hope to provide families in our city with an experience they only dreamed of as kids.

This celebration of Freedom and Placemaking will highlighting the history of Emancipation in the United States. Juneteenth reminds us that liberation is not a one-time event. Rather, it’s an ongoing process of fighting for, and gaining back, basic human dignity. 

Juneteenth on the East back for a third year

Black people in the United States got a first taste of liberation on June 19, 1865, after more than 400 years of enslavement, exploitation, and denial of humanity. June 19 now marks an annual celebration – Juneteenth.

Today, we celebrate the Black community’s leadership in cultural revolutions & a powerful determination to celebrate, gather, create, dance, sing, and live in abundant Joy. This joy is not reliant on physical or systemic circumstances; instead, the ability to withstand oppression with laughter and levity is locked deep within Black culture and genetic memory.

In that spirit, Oklahoma City is invited to join celebraters for Juneteenth on the East as it stretches through the heart of the Eastside of Oklahoma City on NE 23rd St. between N. Kelham Ave. and N. Hood St. 


This year’s headliner for the OKC celebration will be the Grammy Nominated performer D Smoke. An Inglewood, California, native, D Smoke rose to fame on Netflix’s hip-hop reality competition in 2019, and is already one of the hottest new artists out there. The former high school teacher was just nominated for two Grammy Awards: best new artist and best rap album

D Smoke Also appeared in the Peacock series Bel-Air, in the episode “PA to LA”, based on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Also Headlining will be Grammy Award Winner Elle Varner. Elle Varner is a Grammy-Award-winning singer-songwriter who unveiled her first studio album titled, “Perfectly Imperfect”, in 2012. It debuted at the top of several Billboard charts. The album also produced hit singles “Only Wanna Give It to You” featuring J. Cole and “Refill”.

juneteenth on the east

Elle’s relatable struggles with body image, relationships, and everyday life situations are some of the themes reflected in her music, creating a cult-like following from fans for the hip hop & soul singer. Elle won her first Grammy in 2017 for her work on Chance the Rapper’s hit album, Coloring Book. 

The festival includes a 5K run the night before, a freedom march, kids’ activities, dance performances, community awards, food trucks, vendors, Live Murals and musical performances.


Friday, June 16, 2023:

5k Run at 7 p.m. Meet at Kindred Spirits, located at 1726 NE 23rd St., Suite C.

Saturday, June 17, 2023:

Juneteenth on the East Festival from 3 p.m. – 9 p.m., located at NE 23rd St. between N. Kelham Ave. and N. Hood St.

Sunday, June 18, 2022:

Brunch on the East at 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Florence’s Restaurant , Eastside Pizza, Kindred Spirits, & Eastside Eatery, located at 1437 NE 23rd St.

The Black Wall Street Times is a news publication located in Tulsa, Okla. and Atlanta, Ga. At The BWSTimes, we focus on elevating the stories of our beloved Greenwood community, elevating the stories of...