Juneteenth started in Texas to commemorate the day that the slaves of Texas were told they had been emancipated. That day was June 18, 1865 in Galveston. Every year after that, many gathered to celebrate the announcement. Despite Jim Crow laws and turbulent times of the 20th century, celebrations continued. Texas became the first state to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday in 1980. Even though the emancipation announcement happened on different days across the South, many states honor the emancipation on the same date as Texas. All throughout June have fun at these local Juneteenth festivities.
Grambling Juneteenth Heritage Festival
Friday, June 7 – Wednesday, June 19
Enjoy 14 events spread out over 12 days around Grambling. Watch a parade at 10:00 am on Saturday, June 15. Some of the other events include a poetry contest, a health walk, genealogy seminar, prayer meeting and a fish fry. To see a full list of events, click here.
Location – Grambling, La.
9th Annual Juneteenth Festival
Saturday, June 15
The Benito Glosson Foundation presents this festival. A professional football camp for kids will start at 8:00 am. Many more festivities for the whole family kick off at noon. For more info, follow the event on Facebook.
Location – Mattocks Park in El Dorado, Ark.
Friday, June 14 – Saturday, June 22
This festival features the “Jam On” talent show on the 14th as well as a car, bike and truck show and concert on the 16th. The Juneteenth parade rolls at 7:00 pm on Friday, June 21 followed by a Kids Block Party. One of the last events is a presentation of The Battle of Poison Spring and the horrific account of the First Kansas Colored Regiment. For more info and schedule, check out the Facebook page.
Location – Camden, Ark.
33rd Annual Let the Good Times Roll Festival
Friday, June 21 – Sunday, June 23
Experience three days of African-American culture, music, art, fashion and unity. Some of the musical artists include TK Soul, Jon B and KeKe Wyatt. Proceeds from this event fund the youth mentoring program Omega Lamplighters. For the schedule of events and tickets, click here.
Location – Festival Plaza in downtown Shreveport
Saturday, June 22
Mount Pleasant, Texas plans a whole day from 8:00 am to midnight to celebrate unique traditions. Watch a re-enactment of the reading of the emancipation announcement from 1865. Listen to great gospel singing and take your place in line dancing. To see more of what’s going on, click here.
Location – Downtown Mt. Pleasant, Tex.
6th Annual Juneteenth Celebration
Friday, June 28 – Sunday, June 30
Dozens of entertainers will perform over the three days. Gated open at 6:00 pm on Friday, 8:00 am on Saturday and 5:30 pm on Sunday. Cruise the classic car show on Saturday. Have a blast listening to hip hop, zydeco, blues and gospel. To see the list of performers and more info, click here.
Let us know if there’s local Juneteenth festivities that we missed! Click here and tell us the details.