8 ways to observe Juneteenth in Philadelphia

Elected officials, community leaders, youth and drum and marching bands take part in the second annual Juneteenth Parade, in Philadelphia, PA on June 22, 2019 in the week that Juneteenth was declared an official state holiday by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. Juneteenth National Freedom Day commemorates the announcement of abolition of slavery on June 19, 1865. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

By Kalena Thomhave

June 10, 2024

Philadelphia is recognizing Juneteenth 2024 with several festivals and events celebrating the end of slavery.

Juneteenth (June 19), the holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States, commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union troops brought news of freedom to enslaved people in Texas. Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation two years earlier.

In Philadelphia, where the Founding Fathers argued for liberty even as slavery persisted, you can celebrate Juneteenth — and Black freedom — at these community block parties, museum exhibits, art shows, festivals, and more.

Juneteenth Wine & Arts Festival 2024

Date: June 15

The Juneteenth Wine & Arts Festival, held at the Cherry Street Pier, celebrates the end of slavery with a festival of culture. The second installment of the annual event will feature wine tastings, live music, arts and crafts vendors, food and drink, and more. Admission is free with wine tasting tickets available for purchase.

The Oldest Philadelphia Juneteenth Festival

Date: June 15

The celebration that calls itself the oldest Philadelphia Juneteenth Festival has taken place in Philly’s Germantown neighborhood for decades. The festival, headed by the Johnson House Historic Site — a stop along the Underground Railroad that guided enslaved Africans to freedom — will take over the 6300 block of Germantown Ave. on June 15. Expect a festival featuring live music, dancing, artists, poets, street performers, arts and crafts vendors, food and drink, and more!

The Johnson House Historic Site also currently has an exhibit at Historic Germantown documenting the history of Juneteenth celebrations in Germantown.

Exterior shot of a building.

Photo courtesy of CC BY-SA 3.0.

Juneteenth at Overington Park

Date: June 15

Overington Park, located in the Frankford neighborhood in Northeast Philly, is a lovely greenspace to spend a Saturday, and that’s especially the case on June 15 when the park hosts a Juneteenth festival. There will be live performances, games, free health screenings, a free movie in the evening, free tours at the nearby Historical Society of Frankford, and much more.

Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade and Festival

Date: June 16

The massive city celebration that is the Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade and Festival encompasses a parade, market, and music festival. The parade, which rolls at noon on Sunday, June 16, is the largest Juneteenth parade in the country! You can expect to see more than 25,000 paradegoers enjoying the spectacle. After the parade, the festival takes place at West Philly’s Malcolm X Park with music (including artists The RoWill and Urban Guerilla Orchestra) and a vendor market featuring Black makers.

Juneteenth at the National Constitution Center

Date: June 19

On June 19, admission to the National Constitution Center, a museum and educational dedicated to the U.S. Constitution, will be free in celebration of Juneteenth. Visitors can tour the center exhibit Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality, an exhibit about how conflicts over the Constitution and slavery helped lead to the Civil War and how the post-war Constitution outlawed slavery. You can reserve your free tickets to the museum on the center’s website.

Juneteenth Block Party at the African American Museum in Philadelphia

Date: June 19

The African American Museum in Philadelphia — the first municipal museum dedicated to the history and heritage of African Americans — will of course be host to an unforgettable Juneteenth bash. The theme for the day, “Rhythms of Liberation: Celebrating Juneteenth Through Music,” will unfold at a Juneteenth block party featuring special musical guests, including hip-hop artists Kid ‘n Play. The outdoor festival will also include games, dancing, and arts and crafts by Black vendors. Plus, admission to the museum will be free all day! You don’t need to register for the outdoor block party, but museum admission can be reserved online.

Freedom-Liberty Celebration for Juneteenth at African American Museum of Philadelphia.

Photo by Dominique Nichole, courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.

Juneteenth at the Museum of the American Revolution

Date: June 19

The Philly institution dedicated to the American Revolution, the Museum of the American Revolution, will play host to several Juneteenth events included in your museum admission. Though the American Revolution unfolded nearly a century before the end of slavery, free and enslaved Africans played important roles in this era of history even as American soldiers fought for a “freedom” that didn’t include all. Museum docents will be on hand to give tours of the main museum galleries with an emphasis on Black history and African Americans’ connections to the American Revolution. You can learn about the likes of Harry Washington — enslaved by George Washington — as well as Phillis Wheatley, the first African American to publish a book of poetry.

Mural Arts Philadelphia Juneteenth Exhibition at Triple Bottom Brewing

Date: June 1 – 29

Throughout the month of June, you can visit Triple Bottom Brewing to view a Juneteenth exhibit of artwork created by Black artists working with Mural Arts Philadelphia. Artists are part of Mural Arts’s restorative justice program, which focuses on artistic development for justice-involved Pennsylvanians. All art is for sale!

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.8 ways to observe Juneteenth in Philadelphia8 ways to observe Juneteenth in Philadelphia

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