It’s the second year since the US declared Juneteenth a federal holiday; a measure that was long overdue. But here we are.

Juneteenth is a portmanteau of “June” and “nineteenth.” Black Americans across the country observe it in numerous ways; which we did long before the US government finally decided to recognize it. Some of us attend barbecues, concerts, and parades. Some turn up at clubs and block parties. Others spend the day solemnly reflecting on what we’ve suffered as a people, and what the future might hold.

Why is Juneteenth relevant to Black Americans? It is, in a nutshell, our Independence Day, since our ancestors were still in chains and shackles on July 4, 1776. According to The New York Times, “the holiday finds its roots in Texas, where enslaved African-Americans in the city of Galveston were finally informed of their freedom on June 19, 1865, about two and half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863.”

History pointed out that “emancipation didn’t happen overnight for everyone.” As if the slave owners weren’t abhorrent enough, some of them didn’t immediately inform their slaves they were free because they wanted to keep them in their station as long as possible. In December 1865, the 13th amendment was ratified, abolishing slavery nationwide.

Surviving the brutal institution of slavery is just one example of the resilience of Black people, though the fight to have our humanity recognized is ongoing.

Celebrate the ancestors by checking out these Juneteenth events across the country.

1. I am Juneteenth Festival - Texas

This event will take place on June 18 at the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth, Texas.

Enjoy live music, fireworks, games, great food, and much more.  The VIP Freedom Tent, available at an extra cost, offers additional perks.

More than 12,000 attendees and 100 vendors are expected.

Find more details here.

2. Juneteenth Unityfest - New York

If you’re in Brooklyn on June 19, head to the Lena Horne Bandshell on 9th Street and Prospect Park West.

According to the website, UNITYFEST will “feature performances by Tye Tribbett, Deborah Cox, Israel Houghton, Mali Music, and Robert Randolph.”

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.

It’s totally free and RSVP is recommended.

3. Juneteenth Rooftop Day Party - New York

If you’re in Manhattan, go to The Harbor for a rooftop celebration on June 19 at 2 p.m.

Everybody is free with RSVP before 3 p.m.

If you’re going with friends, consider one of the VIP bottle packages.

Proof of vaccination is mandatory. Find ticket information here.

4. Juneteenth Unityfest Block Party- New York


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Russell Johnson (@russell.l.johnson)

This event is the brainchild of the Robert Randolph Foundation along with House of Yes, Soul Summit Music, and others.

According to Pulsd, “Juneteenth Unityfest is an annual event that strives to bring together diverse voices in commemoration and celebration of Juneteenth and Black culture, both significant contributors to the vibrancy of American history and culture.”

It’s set to take place at Under the K Bridge Park in Brooklyn on June 19.

5. Father's Day Juneteenth Celebration Pool Deck Party - Florida

On June 19 from 2-6 p.m., celebrate Black people (with an emphasis on Black fathers) at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa.

Access to the deck itself is free, but you’ll need to purchase a pass to enter any of the three pools.

According to All Events, the pass “will give you access to the pools from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (limited quantity, guaranteed to sell out).”

Moreover, “with over 500 loungers and daybeds, you can sip your day away with signature cocktails or choose to relax on one of our ledge loungers, offering in-water chaise lounges submerged in up to nine inches of water.”

6. Pre-Juneteenth R&B Skate Party - New Jersey

If you want to get your Juneteenth celebrations underway early, head to Branch Brook Park Roller Skating Center in  Newark on June 15.

It’s open to all 18 and older and you’ll need to purchase your tickets in advance.

Skate to R&B hits and celebrate the Black people who created the genre.

Get your tickets here.

7. Various Events - Illinois


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Only In Illinois (@onlyinillinois)

There are a ton of events that will take place in Chicago over Juneteenth weekend.

Block Club Chicago listed: Juneteenth Community Picnic (Saturday) Black- A- Palooza Pop- Up Shop and Showcase (Saturday) and The Juneteenth BBQ and Block Party, hosted by Chance the Rapper (Sunday).

If you want to get a sweat going, check out the Juneteeth 5K Run/Walk at Garfield Park Football Field at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.

8. Juneteenth Ahorita Salsa Bachata Social - Colorado


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Exchange (@theexchangeontejon)

The Exchange on Tejon in Colorado Springs will host a Juneteenth dance social at 7 p.m. on June 18.

You’re encouraged to come dressed in green, red, yellow, or black.

Take a bachata lesson, practice the dance with others. and watch a professional showcase.

Grab your tickets here.

Related: Pharrell Williams’ SOMETHING IN THE WATER Festival Returns Juneteenth Weekend In Washington, DC