Member and Event Portal

Nova Labs Annual Juneteenth BBQ and Potluck

  • 18 Jun 2022
  • 4:30 PM
  • Nova Labs (Outdoors) 3850 Jermantown Rd, Fairfax VA


Registration is closed

Please sign up now or closer to picnic day to bring an item Potluck -->>   (password is 1916)

Come to the Nova Labs Juneteenth Barbeque and bring your friends and family for a fun-filled community day. Share reds foods, dress snappy, and learn about African American traditions, inventors, and makers. (We'll have tents for shade, but this is outdoors in the fresh aire with lots of room.)

Activities for the whole family: 

  • Lego area for kids
  • Lego area for adults - try out the giant robot.
  • Water play activities for the kids
  • Bring your maker stuff and enjoy after-dinner making/crafting
  • Movies or sports on the big screen indoors
  • There will be music

More about the holiday

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. June 19th or Juneteenth is a time for family, friends, and community to celebrate freedom. Juneteenth is worthy of recognition for some important historical reasons.  First the Emancipation proclamation was signed by Abraham Lincoln on January 1st, 1863.  Second, Robert E. Lee did not surrender the Confederate Army until April 9th, 1865. Finally, The enslaved people in Texas, some 250,000 men, women, and children did not learn about their date with freedom until General Morton Granger and his 2,000 union soldiers arrived in Texas to inform them on June 19th, 1865.

Just like our makerspace, Juneteenth celebrations almost always focus on education and self-improvement. But importantly, the Nova Labs Juneteenth tradition is an opportunity to bring our community together, to reunite, and to plan bright futures together in celebration--over some great barbeque.

The following is derived from

Barbeque is a traditional focus of Juneteenth celebrations, formerly enslaved people celebrated by eating meats such as lamb, beef, and pork each of which was rarely available to enslaved people. Consuming red foods is another recognized tradition of Juneteenth.  Strawberry soda, “Red Drink”, beet salad, and red velvet cake are all examples of foods which are welcome and common at Juneteenth celebrations. “The crimson is a symbol of ingenuity and resilience in bondage,” according to The New York Times.  The red is significant as some West African traditions associate the color red with strength. Other traditions include wearing ornate or fancy clothing in celebration of Juneteenth. Formerly enslaved people were not allowed to wear clothing of any consequence, dressing with sophistication is an  exercise in freedom on Juneteenth.

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