Juneteenth Events to Attend in Philadelphia in 2021Jun 12, 2021 09:00AM ● By Nana Ama Addo
Juneteenth is upon us. For Black Americans, Juneteenth not only signifies emancipation from American slavery, but it is also a symbol of our survival and a new beginning.
During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st, 1863, and directed Union troops to free enslaved communities in Union territory. After 2 years had passed, on June 19th, 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, and alerted enslaved populations that they were free from the shackles of slavery. The newly freed Africans celebrated the day and coined the term Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, and Juneteenth.
This year, Juneteenth falls on a Saturday, and Philly will host a plethora of events for you to attend. If you are looking to celebrate this year’s Juneteenth, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Juneteenth Philly is hosting the 2021 Juneteenth Parade & Festival on Saturday, June 19th, including the Freedom March on 52nd and Haverford Street, starting at 9 am, and the 'Art in the Park Exhibit' at Malcolm X Park at 12 pm. The organizers are offering $1000 to a winning contestant who participates in the Juneteenth Floathouse Contest. The four categories of design are:
1. Single home design
2. Business design
3. Nonprofit design
4. Block design
Check out the schedule here.
City Athletics Philly is hosting a Juneteenth Festival on June 19th, from 11 am-5 pm, on West Tioga Street, between 19th and 20th Street. This event is free and will feature food, games, music, and fun. Learn more about their event here.
Everybody Eats Philly, Philadelphia’s premier food pantry, is hosting a One Year Anniversary Juneteenth Event. This free event will commence on June 19th at Malcolm X Park and will provide community members with food and essentials. Learn more about how to help or donate here.
On June 21st at 9:10 pm, the Philadelphia Film Society, the African American Museum of Philadelphia, and WHYY are hosting the Philly @ the Drive-In: Tulsa: the Fire and the Forgotten outdoor screening event at the Navy Yard. Pre-register for this event here.
The Johnson House Historic Site will host its 15th Annual Juneteenth Parade at 6300 Germantown on June 19th from 1 pm to 5 pm. This former Underground Railroad Site has been a pillar in the community since the Antebellum period. Learn more about this event here.
On July 17th, from 12pm to 1:30pm, the African American Museum of Philadelphia will launch their Juneteenth series with ‘ArtBreak’, an outdoor conversation at the museum, on 701 Arch Street, featuring talks on the significance of the Fourth of July and Juneteenth by Gabrielle Foreman, author and University of Delaware educator. Learn more about this free event here.
The Museum of the American Revolution is hosting a five-day Juneteenth series, including in-person events for the vaccinated, and virtual events for those who are still social distancing. Learn more about their programs, like the virtual Mother Bethel Walking Tour and Natassia Parker’s “Freedom on the Fire’ performance, here.
On July 21st at 6:00 pm, the African American Museum of Philadelphia is hosting the Black Gotham Experience, an evening experience curated by Kamau Ware of the Black Gotham Experience. Register for this event here.
The African American Museum of Philadelphia is partnering with the Franklin Square to host a Juneteenth-themed Griot Tale Saturdays featuring Keepers of the Culture with the theme Freedom -- Liberty. Learn more about this event here.
Calling all the Shotz LLC is hosting a Juneteenth Cookout on June 19th from 3 pm to 6 pm at Fernhill Park Pavillion 1, located on 4560 Morris Street. This event will include free food and free drinks, free snow cones, music, giveaways, and your favorite Black vendors. Learn more about this event here:
On June 19th at 10:00 am, on the final day of Flag Fest 2021 outside of the Betsy Ross House, the US Colored Troops will raise the Juneteenth Flag on the last day of Flag Fest 2021 outside of the Betsey Ross House. Learn more about this event here.
Black Men Run Philadelphia is hosting a Black Independence Day 10k Run on June 19th. Participants will meet at 7:30 am and run from the Please Touch Museum at 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia, Pa 19131. Learn more about this gathering here.
The Chester County Historic Preservation Society, the Chester County Planning Commission, Voices Underground, and the Chester County History Center are hosting the series Chester Country Juneteenth Festival: Journeying Towards Freedom, with community events from June 5th to June 11th. The keynote events will be held from June 18th to June 20th. Learn more about their programs here.
Fort Mifflin is hosting ‘Jeffersonian Picnic: All Men Created Equal?’ on Friday, June 18th, at 5:30 pm at the Fort Mifflin site on 6400 Hog Island Road. This event is part of Fort Mifflin’s Jeffersonian Picnic Series and includes a BYOB picnic, musket and cannon demonstrations, and presentations about the hypocrisy of racism exhibited by leaders like Thomas Jefferson. Learn more about this affordable and thought-provoking event here.
October Gallery is hosting the Juneteenth Weekend 36th Annual Philadelphia Art Show & Sale on June 18th, 19th and 20th, from 12pm to 7pm each day, at the Hyatt Centric Hotel at 1620 Chancellor Street and 17th and Walnut Street Philly. Learn more about this free event here.
The Memory Bank of Philadelphia Inc. is hosting A Day to Remember on June 19th at 12pm, at Harrowgate Park on 3455 Kensington Avenue. This event will feature food giveaways, raffles, horseback riding, games and more. Check out this free event here.
Other Events Across the US
The Tennessee-based African American Heritage Society of Williamson County is hosting Juneteenth, ‘United We Stand’, One Historic Celebration, Two Historic Locations!’ in Pinkerton Park in Franklin, Tennessee, on June 19th from 12pm to 3pm. Activities include games, giveaways, a cake-walk and more! Learn more about this event here.
Do you know of a Juneteenth event in Philly happening this year? Comment below!
Nana Ama Addo is a writer, multimedia strategist, film director and storytelling artist. She graduated with a BA in Africana Studies from the College of Wooster, and has studied at the University of Ghana and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Nana Ama tells stories of entrepreneurship and Ghana repatriation at her brand, Asiedua’s Imprint ( www.asieduasimprint.blog ).
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