Photo Credit: Vonecia Carswell
8 Juneteenth Celebrations Set To Bring Exactly What We Need In 2021
Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19 and commemorates the liberation of the last enslaved people in Texas, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation had abolished slavery in 1862. President Biden officially signed the bill to recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday, and many states observe the date with local Juneteenth celebrations including parties, parades, picnics, and festivals.
As COVID-19 restrictions begin to relax, more people are planning unique Juneteenth celebrations across the country, after all we could use a little celebrating these days. Here are 8 U.S. cities that are either going all out this year, or doing something outside the norm.
1. Warsaw, NC
Located about an hour south of Raleigh in a town of about 3,000 people, is Warsaw, North Carolina— a small town that is expected to host one of the most exciting Juneteenth events this year to celebrate culture with a 90s vibe.
There will be double dutch ropes, live music, a health fair, and more. Get your K-Swiss classics from the back of the closet and be ready to have fun from 10 am to 7 pm.
2. Atlanta, GA
Atlanta’s Juneteenth Celebration is an all-weekend event and music festival starting on June 18.
There will be a parade starting at noon at the intersection of Auburn Avenue and Jackson Street. It will travel down Auburn Avenue to Centennial Olympic Park.
This year’s parade theme is True Identity = True Freedom Free The Land.
There will also be yoga sessions, genealogy research, fireworks, and more, according to the event website.
3. New York City, NY
What we love about one of New York City’s Juneteenth celebrations is the fact that it’s focusing on mental health and wellness, as well as honing in on entrepreneurial excellence in our community.
Like Atlanta, there will be events all weekend long from June 18 through June 20, including a relaxation and kid’s spa corner.
4. Miami, FL
Miami has a unique way of commemorating Juneteenth through an art experience. Hued Songs and the Rhythm Foundation will host The Juneteenth Experience through the City of Miami Beach’s Arts in the Parks.
Leading up to and culminating on June 19, the experience will be a celebration of Black joy, Black arts, and the Black community.
People will have a chance to participate in an intergenerational community workshop series, dance, spoken word, and film. The final performance will take place at the North Beach Bandshell in partnership with The Rhythm Foundation, as well as Mangrove Creative Collective.
They will have a limited-person audience, and also providing a free live stream. You can RSVP for either.
5. Chicago, IL
The organization Think Outside Da Block is hosting a Juneteenth celebration on wheels in the Englewood community. The Roll N Peace Juneteenth bike ride aims to decrease violence through community presence, increase physical fitness with exercise and mobility, and improve emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing through intentional community engagement.
You have the choice of BYOB (bring your own bike) or rent one on the day of. Registration is required.
6. Phoenix, AZ
Located about 45-minutes away from Phoenix, the residents in nearby suburb Surprise, are throwing a wine fest for Juneteenth. It’s the first event of its kind in the region, and will celebrate Black-owned businesses and food trucks, and most importantly, Black-owned wineries.
Purchase a ticket and find out more information on the website.
7. Houston, TX
Houston will be filled with Juneteenth celebrations, according to Eventbrite. The most notable is the inaugural BLCK Market Expo curated for the Black American experience. It will also serve as a safe space for Black entrepreneurs.
There will be food festivals, art exhibits, and other pop-up shops entering the city all weekend long.
8. Philadelphia, PA
Organizers behind the Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade and Festival say it’s the largest annual celebration in the nation.
Due to continued COVID-19 restrictions, there will not be a parade, however, there will be a series of events throughout the city, including the Philadelphia Juneteenth Freedom Day Float House Competition, Juneteenth Freedom Day March along 52nd Street to support a national holiday, and Philadelphia’s first Juneteenth Freedom Day Exhibit in Malcolm X Park.