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Celebrate Lancaster: Honoring Umoja Showcases Community Spirit and Juneteenth Connection at Annual Event

June 13, 2023
By: Amber Strazzo Righter

*Celebrate Lancaster 2023 has been rescheduled for August 18, 2023. Stay up to date at visitlancastercity.com.

Celebrate Lancaster returns to downtown Lancaster on Friday, June 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. This popular annual event showcases the diverse cultures and residents of Lancaster City and features live performances, food vendors, local organizations, and an array of unique vendors. 

This year, in partnership with Crispus Attucks Community Center, the event will honor Umoja, which means the spirit of community and unity in Swahili, and highlight the connection to the Juneteenth holiday. Umoja programming includes spoken word, live band performances, and the Umoja Community Champion Awards, which will honor four recipients at a ceremony taking place at 4:30 p.m.

The event will feature an impressive lineup of performers, with notable artists such as Ever Sandoval, Sir Dominique Jordan, Arthur Brinson, Spoken Musik, and Pro Human Future taking the stage. Headlining the event will be the sensational Ralph Real & the Family Jam, whose electrifying performances are known to captivate audiences. To close the event on a high note, there will be a DJ dance party.

Food enthusiasts will have the opportunity to indulge in a wide array of offerings from the various food vendors attending the event: A. Lee’s Sauces & Rubs, Asian Taste, Blazin J’s, Bricker’s French Fries, Cafe 301, Chellas Arepa Kitchen, Dough Heads, Farm Show Milkshakes, Fish Bread and Chicken, Flavor Latino, Homage, JR’s Brisket, Kona Ice, LA Concessions, Mr. Mini’s Tasty Donuts, Schnader’s Concessions, Sherri’s Crab Cakes, Softie Whirl, Soulfrito, Souvlaki Boys, TJ’s Ice Cream, and Walk-o Taco.

There will be two beer gardens for 21+ attendees to enjoy. The Lancaster Rec Beer Garden in Ewell Plaza will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. There will also be a beer garden at Isaac’s Craft Kitchen & Brewery, 25 N. Queen St., from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

In addition to performances and refreshments, Celebrate Lancaster will introduce booths featuring local organizations: AAA Central Penn, Crispus Attucks Community Center, Demuth Foundation, Lancaster Creative Factory, Lancaster Pride, Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition, LancasterHistory, Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, and Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to explore a range of vendor tables, offering unique creations and services from local artisans and creators: Baldwin’s Gallery, Decades Lancaster, Face Painting, Henna Tattoo by Keisha Finnie, JHM Spray Art, Nick Fasnacht Illustration & Design, Schopf Bros, Seamlessly Tango, Social Apparel, and Truly Yours Art & Apparel.

The event’s schedule is as follows:

Food Trucks
11:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Live Performances
3 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Beer Gardens
11 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Ewell Plaza)
3 p.m. – 9 p.m. (Isaac’s)

Umoja Community Champion Awards
4:30 p.m.

Dance Party
9 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Celebrate Lancaster will take place on the 000 and 100 blocks of N. Queen St., stretching from Penn Sq. to Chestnut St. The main stage will be in Penn Square.

Street closures include:

7 a.m. – E. Grant St. at Christian St. to N. Queen St.

8 a.m. – 000 and 100 blocks of N. Queen St., Market St. at King St. and William Henry Pl.

11 a.m. – Orange St. & Queen St.

For more information, visit www.visitlancastercity.com/city-events/celebrate-lancaster.


Spanning 7 square miles in south Central Pennsylvania, the City of Lancaster is home to 60,000 diverse residents. Committed to building a stronger, more equitable Lancaster block by block, the City of Lancaster oversees a range of public services including public safety, health, housing, parks, streets, and water and sewer operations. For more information, visit cityoflancasterpa.gov.