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Sunday, June 19, is Juneteenth. It’s also Father’s Day. But it’s Juneteenth and the celebration of Black excellence that are being feted, not to mention feasted and toasted, at the Juneteenth Block Party & Food Market, taking place at the Junction Craft Brewery.
The two-part event kicks off at 11:30 a.m. with an advance ticketed VIP tasting event ($55 per person), Sips & Snacks, hosted by Ren Navarro, the founder of Beer Diversity. Participants will get to savour a quartet of sweet and savoury snacks -- Ghanaian kelewele (spiced ripened plantain); Haitian griot and pikliz (fried pork shoulder with pickled cabbage); sweet, crunchy West African chin chins; and dark chocolate fudgesicles with bourbon cherry sauces -- all paired meticulously with appropriate Junction brews.
At 1 p.m., the free, family-friendly, come-one-come-all block party kicks into gear. While DJ Big Jacks supplies the beats, visitors can groove their way through the Food Market, whose vendors represent a diversity of Black cultures and cuisines. Offerings run the diasporic gamut from Zimbabwean-style pies and Jamaican rum cheesecake to West Africa-style beef jerky and super healthy Caribbean and African sea moss. Although you can purchase for later, there are plenty of Junction Craft beers on hand with which to wash down these delicacies on the spot.
The event is hosted by, and in support of, Foodpreneur Lab, Canada’s sole Black-woman founded and led nonprofit “with a fierce national mandate to advance racial and gender equity in the food ecosystem.” The group aspires to open new paths for Black foodpreneurs, encouraging them to draw upon their cultural and lived experiences to create innovative food products with the ultimate mission of transcending the limits of grocery stores’ “ethnic food aisles.”
Juneteenth Block Party & Food Market is open from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Junction Craft Brewery at 150 Symes Road. Advanced tickets for Sip & Snack are available online only from Eventbrite.