Celebrate Freedom at these Philadelphia Juneteenth Celebrations
Freedom Day celebrations bring art, history, and community to Philly.
Juneteenth celebrates the ending of slavery in the United States, taking its name from June 19, 1865, when news of abolition reached Texas. 2019 is historically significant because it represents the 400th anniversary of when the first enslaved Africans arrived in North America in 1619 (in recorded history). More generally, Juneteenth is a day to celebrate freedom, as well as African-American history and heritage. Though the day is technically June 19, there are special events on the weekends before and after the holiday, so the celebration lasts all week.
June 15, noon—7 pm
6300 Block of Germantown Avenue (between Washington Lane and Johnson Street)
The festival kicks off at noon on the 6300 block of Germantown Avenue, and you view exhibits on freedom throughout the block. There will also be live entertainment, historical reenactments, a beer and hard cider garden, a cultural marketplace, and tours of the historic sites. For the little ones, the children’s village will have baby goats, face painting, arts and crafts, and a moon bounce. At 1 pm and 3 pm, the Grounded Theatre Company will present a site-specific performance of The Slave Narratives, based on interviews of formerly enslaved people gathered during the 1930s.
June 19, 10 am–5 pm
African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street
Enjoy free museum admission, activities, and performances throughout the day including reenactments, Juneteenth flag making, an outdoor drum and dance performance, and more. Register online for free tickets.
June 19, 3–5 pm
211 S. Columbus Boulevard
Celebrate with storytelling, performances, and more. Free and open to the public.
June 22, 9 am—5 pm
4231 Avenue of the Republic
Join special storytimes to learn more about the end of slavery in the U.S. and this important day in history, create works of art, join a cooking demo, enjoy musical performances, and more! A kid-friendly reading of the Emancipation of Proclamation will take place at 1:30 pm with stories and songs as well.
June 22, noon–7 pm
Parade begins at 52nd and Jefferson streets; ends at Malcolm X Park (52nd and Pine streets) for the festival
The parade runs from noon-3 pm and will start at 52nd and Jefferson streets, to Malcolm X Park, where there will be a music festival. Performances start at 4 pm. If you can’t make it down to West Philly on June 22, tune into 6 ABC on Sunday, June 23 at 1 pm for the telecast!
Photograph courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.