The Reds proudly teamed up with Paloozanoire for the annual Juneteenth Block Party at The Banks on Friday night.
In her second year at The Banks, the free block party ran from 4pm to 11pm. Fans could visit the Kroger Family Zone featuring the Reds mascot, the Reds Rally Pack, carnival performers and free posters of Reds pitcher Hunter Greene. Other entertainment included an ArtsWave artists’ market, live music, food trucks, games and more. The night was capped off with Rozzi’s famous fireworks display to wrap up the Reds’ game against the Brewers.
“The Juneteenth Block Party has grown in ways we never imagined,” said Paloozanoire founder Rico Grant. “Having our entire city at the gates of Great American Ball Park to celebrate unity and freedom was absolutely the best bit. In just our second year as hosts at The Banks, we’ve filled that footprint with joy and served thousands of families. And that’s what we’re about.”
First introduced by Grant, the block party originated in 2020 as a pop-up event in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Last year the Blockparty moved to The Banks and operated on a much larger scale, showing the potential for what this event could be.
“What a fantastic turnout for the Juneteenth Eve block party at The Banks,” said Phil Castellini, the Reds’ president and chief operating officer. “We thank Rico Grant and Paloozanoire for creating such a joyful experience of music, dance and food to celebrate this important date in our history. The Reds are proud to support the event and grateful that block party attendees were able to enjoy the Reds mascots and fireworks alongside our fans.”
The June 16 celebrations continued into the weekend at the P&G MLB Cincinnati Reds Youth Academy, which hosted a youth baseball tournament on Saturday. Local artist Brent Billingsley, who created the Joe Morgan mural that highlights the Academy’s facade in 2021, had set up a t-shirt stand throughout the day for children to stop by, decorate their own t-shirts and learn more about the history and importance of Juneteenth. Children could choose powerful figures from black history, inspirational words and messages to include on their t-shirt.