The hidden history of diverse Hoosiers from the 1860s to the 1890s will be highlighted when the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site hosts the inaugural Juneteeth Foodways Festival from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 17, at the Old Northside historic site.
The festival is intended to allow visitors to experience for themselves how Black cuisine adds flavor to America’s favorite foods.
The event also draws attention to one action by Indiana’s only U.S. president, who fired the French chef working in the White House and invited renowned Black caterer and chef Dolly Johnson to bring All-American cuisine to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
The Juneteenth Foodways Festival, made possible through the generosity of Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, will showcase the contributions by Black chefs to American culture with a focus on Dolly Johnson, the White House Chef hired by President Harrison, who took office in 1889. Dolly Johnson will be brought to life through an reenactment in partnership with Freetown Village.
The vendor lineup for the June 17 event includes Big Taste, Black Leaf Vegan, Black Lemon, author David Williams, Drip Small Batch Ice Cream, Freetown Village, Gip Got Tips, Glazz Galore, Groove Candles, Grub House, Guys Cooking Creation, Ivy Tech’s Hospitality Program, Market Square Popcorn, Marlo’s Kitchen, Panthera Elite, RMY’s Restaurant, Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream, Sweet Creations, Taste Of Luv by Dee, Tea’s Me, The Coney Lady, Turkey Galore and
For early birds, a happy hour from 4 to 5:30 will offer the chance to purchase both “small bites” and full-priced items.
The Juneteenth Foodways Festival will present not only a wide array of some of the city’s most delectably diverse food offerings, but also involve historically Black non-profit partners. The event will shares the importance of Juneteenth – and connect to the Harrison Site’s 2022 exhibit, Harrison and Civil Rights.
PHOTO ABOVE: The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site is located at 1230 N. Delaware St. in The Old Northside.