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McHenry County



JUNE 15, 2024




Juneteenth commemorates the date of June 19, 1865, when Union troops marched to Galveston, Texas and enforced the January 1, 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, freeing over 250,000 enslaved persons still held in bondage, deprived of their freedom and basic dignity.


All Americans are encouraged to share and feel the power of this day. Juneteenth is a reminder of how important it is to work together toward our shared goal to eliminate hatred, racism and fear; and show that bigotry and hate have no home in the United States, in Illinois, or in McHenry County. 



Get ready for McHenry County's second annual Juneteenth Festival dedicated to celebrating freedom, joy and empowerment. Join us for live music, inspiring speakers, delicious food trucks and family-friendly fun.

This event is a chance to come together to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States and promote freedom and unity.  We strive to create an open and welcoming environment for everyone to enjoy and learn. We hope to see you at the 2024 celebration!

Historic Woodstock Square

Woodstock, IL 60098



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Rodney Katushabe is a young entrepreneur, motivator and passionate speaker. Rodney recently graduated from McHenry County College where he earned an Associate of Arts degree within a period of less than one year while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. He was also involved in student organizations at the college including Black Student Union, Speech and Debate team and Phi Theta Kappa. He was honored with being the commencement speaker for the Spring 2023 commencement ceremony at McHenry County College. He further received 8 awards including the Academic Scholarship award, the Student Leadership Recognition through the MCC and Me program as well as other awards and recognitions through speech and Spanish departments, making him MCC’s top Award Recipient. Rodney also volunteers as the assistant treasurer for a non-for-profit organization called Ugandan Community in Illinois, an organization that brings together Ugandans living in Illinois and the US at large to create a home away from home as well as send assistance to those in need back in Uganda. He plans to continue his education at Northeastern Illinois University majoring in business management and accounting.

Darlene Benton has been singing since the age of 4 years old. Her roots have taken her to gospel and jazz. She has sung throughout the Chicagoland area at such notable venues as the Auditorium Theatre, the House of Blues, the Chicago Hilton, and the Hemmens Culture Center. While her vocals have been requested by such iconic gospel artists as Albertina Walker, her true love is leading and ministering to the hearts and souls of people through praise and worship. Currently, she is working on her own material as a gifted songwriter.

Rodney Katushabe

Darlene Benton

Pastor Norval Brown

Pastor Norval Brown’s education includes a BA from The University of Chicago, Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and Doctor of Ministry from Chicago Theological Seminary. He holds a certificate in spiritual direction from The Claret Center in Chicago and has been involved in The Academy for Spiritual Formation (a two-year program of The Upper Room) as a participant, faculty presenter and member of the leadership team. Pastor Brown is an oblate at St. Benedict’s Abbey in Peoria, IL and he serves on various board and agencies of the church and community. He brings gifts in spiritual formation to the Church as he is called to lead retreats, revivals, and individual spiritual direction.  He currently is the lead pastor of Cary United Methodist Church.

Ken Davis

Ken Davis Project is a Soul/R&B band from Chicago. We are very excited to have them on this historic day.


 Food Trucks and Vendors 2023


Special Thanks to Our Donors

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We are still looking for more sponsors and volunteers to help make our festival a success! If you are interested in supporting our event, there is still time to get involved. We would be grateful for any financial or in-kind donations that you are able to provide. Additionally, we are looking for volunteers to help out with various tasks. If you would like to be part of this amazing event, please reach out to us at Thank you for your support.


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