ORLANDO, Fla. – Juneteenth 407 Weekend celebrates the holiday and is set to begin its celebration Friday with a citywide scavenger hunt to support Central Florida Black-owned businesses.
Participants will team up in groups of four and visit up to 50 businesses in Central Florida for a “fun-filled day-and-a-half of challenges and riddles” at each business location, according to a Juneteenth 407 Weekend news release. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S.
The scavenger hunt is set to start at The District GastroBar & Night Shade Lounge, which will commence the hunt with its Retro Happy Hour: Black in the Day event.
Kobina Amoo, co-founder of Pattie Lou’s Donuts in downtown Orlando, said his business will be one of many participating in the scavenger hunt, adding that he plans to make special Juneteenth donuts for the occasion.
“We thought it was a great partnership for people to come down here and celebrate Juneteenth,” Amoo said. “Just knowing the history of being freed with African Americans from many, many years ago.”
Nikki Akins, co-owner of Nikki’s Place Soul Food in Parramore, told News 6 she welcomes the business that the celebration will bring in, and she’s also welcoming others to learn more about the holiday.
“We want everyone to know how important it was for us to be emancipated and how important it was for us to be unified together,” Akins said.
According to organizers, the first-prize winner in the scavenger hunt will win four tickets to an Orlando Magic game.
Juneteenth 407 Weekend said it will continue the celebration Saturday with a Black Wall Street Block Party from 1-5 p.m. at the intersection of Court Avenue and Central Boulevard.
The block party will host local vendors, food trucks, DJs, performances and special guest hosts, with an after-party scheduled for 5 p.m. at Wall Street Plaza.
“Our vendors range from clothing, self-care, financial expertise and so much more, so you can spend your money right in our community,” the group said. “We also have a diverse list of DJs spinning everything from 90s R&B, Afrobeats, Hip-Hop and everything in-between, so there is literally something for everyone. All you have to do is grab your friends, grab your tickets and come out!”
The weekend celebration continues through to the Juneteenth holiday, with The Art of Brunch, which will be held at The Hall on the Yard restaurant from 12-4 p.m.
This final event will include an all-inclusive brunch menu and attendees can enjoy unlimited mimosas and an open bar while enjoying a gallery of local artists showcasing their artwork.
“I’m very excited for the growth of this project. We start off with just the scavenger hunt, (and) now we’ve expanded to the full weekend of events,” creator Knakeesha Samuels said. “The partnerships we’ve formed will ensure that this celebratory weekend will be one that the city of Orlando is sure to remember. I just can’t wait to bring it all to fruition.”
For more information about the weekend-long event, visit the group’s website here.