top of page
Official%20FoMLK%20Juneteenth%20Logo_edited.jpg

The Friends of MLK (FoMLK) are proud to host the Quad City Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 17, 2023 at the Lincoln Center - TMBC located at 318 E. 7th St., Davenport, IA. from 11 am – 6 pm.

This festival is complete with food and retail vendors; local and national history information; community and resource booths; and fun-filled games and live entertainment for the whole family, this is sure to be an event you will not want to miss. Now that Juneteenth is a federal holiday, we are looking to make this year’s event our largest ever. 

We look forward to having you join us as a vendor, volunteer, sponsor or patron for this years festival as we acknowledge and celebrate the Black/African American culture and history.

2021 vendor.JPG

We are so happy you’re interested in participating in the 2023 QC Juneteenth Festival. Sponsor and Vendor information is below. If you'd like to volunteer or be a part of our entertainment, please click the link below and someone from the FoMLK will be glad to speak with you.

Vendors

Vendor booth availability will be on a first come first serve basis. All vendors must complete the vendor application. All food vendors must submit the temporary food services application provided from the Scott County Health Department.    

Please click the link below to register as a vendor for the 2023 Quad City Juneteenth Festival

Sponsors

Placing an ad in the 2023 Juneteenth program booklet is an excellent way for you to promote your business while supporting the celebration of Black/African American culture and history.

AD/Sponsor levels are as follows

Sterling - $1,000

Platinum - $500

Gold - $250

Silver - $100

Bronze - $50

Patron - $25+

vendor fair from 2022.JPG

Juneteenth History

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union Soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation,which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on Texas due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger's regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance. Later, attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years. All or none of the stories could be true. For whatever the reason, conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory.

A range of activities provided entertain to the masses, many of which continue in tradition today. Rodeos, fishing, barbecuing, and baseball, are just a few of the typical Juneteenth activities you may witness today. Juneteenth usually focused on self-improvement, education, a historic recount the events of the past and prayer services as a major part of the celebrations.

Certain foods became popular and subsequently synonymous with the celebration, such as strawberry soda-pop. More traditional and just as popular was the barbecuing. This was through which participants could share in the spirit and aromas that their ancestors would have enjoyed during the ceremonies. Hence, the barbecue pit is often established as the center of attention at Juneteenth celebrations. Dress was also an important element in early Juneteenth customs, and is often taken seriously, particularly by the direct descendants who can make the connection to this traditions’ roots.

In some cases in the early years, there was an outright resistance, and people would bar the use of public property for the festivities. Most of the festivities found themselves out in rural areas around rivers and creeks that would provide for additional activities such as fishing, horseback riding, and barbecues. Often, the church grounds were the sites for the festivities.

On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth became an official holiday in Texas, through the efforts of Al Edwards, an African American state legislator. The successful passage of this bill marked Juneteenth as the first emancipation celebration granted official state recognition.

Today, thirty-seven states have joined Texas in making Juneteenth an official holiday observance, and a movement is in place to recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday. Thursday, April 11, 2002, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack (D-IA) signed legislation establishing Juneteenth as a state holiday in Iowa. The holiday will forever be known as Juneteenth National Freedom Day. On June 15, 2021, the Senate unanimously passed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, [86] establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday; it subsequently passed through the House of Representatives by a 415-14 vote on June 16, 2021.

Juneteenth symbolizes the end of slavery, and symbolizes for many African-Americans, what the Fourth of July symbolizes for all Americans. For Americans that is freedom. While blacks celebrate the Fourth of July in honor of American Independence Day, history reminds us that blacks were still enslaved when the United States gained its independence.


2023 Quad Cities Juneteenth Community Events

Let's Celebrate Juneteenth

Juneteenth American Flag.jpg

Friday, June 16

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM Pulling Focus Film Festival Block 1 Films will be screened in the TMBC Auditorium located at 318 E. 7th St. Davenport, IA 

5:30-7:30 PM Pulling Focus Film Festival Opening Ceremony - In the Azubuike Studio located in The Lincoln Center

  • Azubuike Arts is producing the Quad Cities’ first annual 'Pulling Focus' Film Festival of The Black Diaspora for National Independent Filmmakers. The mandate of the Azubuike African American Council for The Arts is to empower and inspire Black filmmakers by showcasing the cinematic stories made by and about people of African Descent and bringing recognition to their work. The Pulling Focus Film Festival creates an appreciation for Black culture and the Black experience while creating empathy and understanding for each other and helping make our community a better place.

  • For more information visit     https://www.pullingfocusfilmfestival.com/ 

Saturday, June 17

11:00 AM - 6:00 PM QC Annual Juneteenth Festival  Lincoln Center - TMBC | 318 E. 7th St., Davenport, IA 

  • The Friends of MLK (FoMLK) are proud to host the Quad City Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 17, 2023 at the Lincoln Center - TMBC from 11 am – 6 pm. With food and retail vendors, history and information booths, fun-filled games and entertainment for the whole family, this is sure to be an event you will not want to miss.

11:00 AM - 12:45 PM Pulling Focus Film Festival Block 2 - Out of Competition Film Showcase. Films will be screened in the Figge Art Museum's Theater located at 225 W. 2nd St., Davenport, IA 

1:00 PM - 3:15 PM Pulling Focus Film Festival Block 3. Films will be screened in the Figge Art Museum's Theater located at 225 W. 2nd St., Davenport, IA 

3:30 AM - 5:00 PM Pulling Focus Film Festival Cinema of the Diaspora Panel. Discussion will take place in the Figge Art Museum's Theater located at 225 W. 2nd St., Davenport, IA 

5:30 AM - 7:50 PM Pulling Focus Film Festival Block 4. Films will be screened in the Putnam Museum's Giant Theater located at 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport, IA 

8:15 AM - 9:50 PM Pulling Focus Film Festival Block 5. Films will be screened in the Putnam Museum's Giant Theater located at 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport, IA 

7:00 PM | Alpha White Party - Figge Art Museum | 225 W. 2nd St., Davenport, IA

  • Join the brothers of the Mu Chi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated for they bring back their annual White Party. There will be great food (Hors D'oeuvres); prepared by Thunder Bay Grille, a cash bar and the latest jams spinning on the 1’s and 2’s. Attire is “All White”; so dress your best and no athletic gear please. For tickets, click the following link: https://www.eventcreate.com/e/aphiawhiteparty

Sunday, June 18

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM  | Faith, Freedom, Fatherhood - Lincoln Center - TMBC | 318 E. 7th St., Davenport, IA 

  • Faith | Juneteenth is a time when people of Christian faith recommit to evoke, stand on, and live out the promises of God to deliver all people everywhere from bondage and oppression. 

  • Freedom | Celebrate independence, emancipation, freedom, liberation, culture, and love!

  • Fatherhood | Honoring the Black man and the role they play in our lives and our community. 

  • All are welcome 

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM  Pulling Focus Closing/Awards Ceremony - Lincoln Center TMBC | 318 E. 7th St., Davenport, IA 52804 

5:00 PM - 9:00 PM  | Rhythm on the River - Schwiebert Park

  • Rhythm On The River will celebrate the contributions of Black musicians and highlight Black voices in our local music scene at Schwiebert Riverfront Park. Rhythm On The River brings the Rock Island riverfront to life with music spanning the decades. This community concert is a component of the QC Juneteenth festivities, led by the Lincoln Center and Friends of MLK. Presented by the Lincoln Center and Common Chord. In partnership with Rock Island Parks and Recreation & Rock Island Downtown Alliance. https://www.commonchordqc.org/event/rhythm-on-the-river-presented-by-common-chord-lincoln-center/

Monday, June 19

10:00 AM Honoring the 108th United States Colored Troops Infantry (USCT) | Rock Island National Cemetery

  • During this Juneteenth observance, the community is invited to join us as we honor the 108th USCT. The 108th United States Colored Troops Infantry (USCT) was a regiment of 980 men who were mostly former slaves from Kentucky. The regiment was sent to guard confederate prisoners of war at Rock Island Prison Barracks during the Civil War. The prison is now the site of the Rock Island Arsenal. During their eight month stay here, 50 men from the regiment died and are buried at the Rock Island Arsenal National Cemetery. You may enter at the Moline gate. Bring your lawn chairs.

11:30 AM - 3:00 PM Vera French Celebrates Juneteenth | Carol Center - 808 N. Harrison St., Davenport, IA 

  • Enjoy lunch, learning more about Vera French's actions in inclusion and community involvement, and tour the Carol Center by Clubhouse Members.   

12:30 PM Lincoln Center Ribbon Cutting - Lincoln Center - TMBC | 318 E. 7th St., Davenport, IA

  • TMBC is happy to cut the ribbon on our new business center and community board room. Both spaces are designed to be open for public use 


3:30 PM - 5:00 PM The Taking of Harris Neck, by Kevin Mannens - MLK Interpretive Center 501 Brady St. 

  • The documentary film “The Fight for Harris Neck” explores an ongoing land battle in Harris Neck, Georgia. In 1942, the U.S. war department seized 2,687 acres of land from a self-reliant community of 75 African American families. The documentary was created by Moss Chasteen and Luke Humphlett who interviewed many descendants of Harris Neck talking about the sacred land they love and want to have returned to them. Since 1962 the land has been a national wildlife refuge. The film seeks to answer the pivotal question: How has a community been shaped by its common goal to reclaim their land? Discussion to follow the film will focus on the importance of collecting our local stories, digitizing them to honor and preserve our Quad City History. Co-hosted by the Friends of MLK and Azubuike African American Council for The Arts. 

Full Juneteenth Flyer_2023.jpg
bottom of page