A Guide To New York City’s Juneteenth Events And Celebrations

Juneteenth, the 19th day of June that celebrates the end of slavery, is now a national holiday, after President Joe Biden signed bill S. 475 into law Thursday.

This means federal employees will observe Juneteenth on Friday as June 19th falls on a Saturday this year. Even though Mayor Bill de Blasio recognized Juneteenth as a city holiday last year, city employees do not have a paid day off on Friday this year and students will have to wait until next June to celebrate the day. Companies are also starting to incorporate Juneteenth as a holiday in their calendars

Across the city, a long list of celebrations and events are being held on Saturday the 19th, which marks the 156th anniversary of the day that Black Texans were informed of their freedom, more than two and a half years after emancipation.

The city’s parades, musical performances, and educational events are thus billed as opportunities to both celebrate Black joy and excellence, and as moments for all New Yorkers to reflect on the ongoing effort to fight racism here and across the country.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of Juneteenth events happening this weekend:

BROOKLYN

Official Juneteenth NYC in Prospect Park

Friday, June 18th — Sunday, June 20th

Join for community service on Friday at 5:00 p.m., a cookout on the Long Meadow on Saturday at noon, and skate night at the LeFrak Center at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday. Some events require paid tickets.

RSVP here.

12th Annual Juneteenth NYC Festival

Friday, June 18th—Sunday, June 20th

A mix of virtual and in-person events are taking place at Herbert Von King Park and Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration. There’s an online health and wellness event on Saturday; a festival with music, dance, poetry, skits, vendors, and more on Saturday, at Herbert Von King Park; and a presentation from young people who have gone through a social entrepreneurial program .

Free, register here.

Drums in the Garden: a Juneteenth Celebration of Black Joy and Freedom

People’s Garden, 1237-1241 Greene Avenue

Saturday, June 19th

5:00 p..m. — 9:00 p.m.

Live drummers, dancing, and an artist cypher are on the bill for the People’s Garden’s 2nd annual Juneteenth celebration.

RSVP here.

Juneteenth: A Black Parade

Saturday, June 19th

11:00 a.m. — 4:00 p.m.

Families are encouraged to gather at 95 Prospect Park SW for a parade, along with music, painting and other activities for children, and tournament-style games.

RSVP here.

Honoring Juneteenth at the Brooklyn Museum

Saturday, June 19th

11 a.m., and 7:00 — 8:00 p.m.

In the morning, hear local community leaders speak before the Good Company Bike Club leads a daylong Freedom Ride tour of historic Brooklyn locations and landmarks relevant to the Black community. At night, the museum is hosting live music, food vendors, and mindfulness at sunset. All events are free.

RSVP here.

MANHATTAN

A Juneteenth Freedom Fest Block Party In Harlem

Saturday, June 19th

12 p.m.—6 p.m.

Music, live performances, food, vendors, games, face painting, bounce houses, and more will fill 129th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues in Harlem. The festival’s partners include NYC’s Community Affairs Unit, NYCHA, and Harlem Children’s Zone for a family-friendly event.

Free, register here.

Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth

Saturday, June 19th

12 p.m.—1:30 p.m.

A 90-minute musical performance, with cast members from shows including Girl from the North Country, The Lion King, Moulin RougeThe Phantom of the OperaTina: The Tina Turner Musical, and Thoughts of a Colored Man, and special appearances from Lillias White and Ben Vereen, will be held in Times Square on Broadway between 43rd and 44th Streets.

Free, more details here.

Juneteenth In the Park

Saturday, June 19th

12 p.m.—7 p.m.

Guided meditation, live music, performances, and more will be held at the 135th Street lawn in St. Nicholas Park.
Free, more details here.

Black Joy Is Revolutionary

Saturday, June 19th

Riverbank State Park

12 p.m.—10 p.m.

Music, vendors, and more are promised at The Strategy for Black Lives’ event; they say, “[W]e will be unapologetically Black; providing the community a vibe free of cost! This is our way of giving back and promoting Black excellence and joy. Come one, come all, for an experience you won’t forget!”

Free, more details here.

A Juneteenth Celebration With Joe’s Pub

Astor Place

Saturday, June 19th

4:30 p.m.

See free musical performances by Celisse, Ché Buford and mal sounds, and the Juneteenth Legacy Project.

More info here.

I Dream a Dream That Dreams Back at Me: A Juneteenth Celebration

Lincoln Center

7 p.m.

A site-specific work, conceived and curated by poet Carl Hanock Rux, with music by Vernon Reid and Nona Hendryxand lyrics by Lynn Nottage, will move across Lincoln Center’s campus. According to the press release, “The performers wear paper dress creations crafted by designer Dianne Smith while standing in the Paul Milstein Pool, symbolizing the river journey taken by abolitionist Harriet Tubman while leading enslaved Americans to freedom.” Tickets have been distributed already, but there is a stand-by line.

Stand-by details here.

Open Call: Troy Anthony

The Shed

Saturday, June 19th

8:00 p.m.

The Revival: It Is Our Duty, is a musical event “performed through ritual to activate individual and collective liberation in celebration of Juneteenth.” Tickets are free; the event will also stream live online.

RSVP here.

THE BRONX

Juneteenth Family Day at Pelham Bay Park

Saturday, June 19th

12:00 p.m. — 5:00 p.m.

Free activities include face painting, yoga, zumba, live performances, poetry, and more.

RSVP here.

Juneteenth Walk/Run Barbecue at High Bridge Park

Saturday, June 19th

12:00 pm. — 6:00 p.m.

Join for a solidarity run/walk 5K through Highbridge, Jackie Robinson, Saint. Nicholas, and Morningside Parks from The Heights to Harlem.  

Register here.

Juneteenth Day of Love at Joyce Kilmer Park

Saturday, June 19th

12:00 p.m. — 5:00 p.m.

The group No Voice Unheard is organizing guest speakers and families to come together to commemorate youth lost to gun, gang, and street violence.

RSVP here.

STATEN ISLAND

Juneteenth Celebration at Alice Austen House

Saturday, June 19th

1:00 p.m.– 4:00 p.m.

Poets Pamela Sneed and andriniki mattis, musical group OJ in The Yams, and singer-songwriter Chanese Elifé, will all perform in a free show outdoors, with social distancing guidelines in place.

RSVP here.

Juneteenth Freedom Festival at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden

Saturday, June 19th

11:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m.

More than 50 Staten Island-based organizations are coming together for a free outdoor festival that will include historical reenactments of the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, musical performances, health and wellness screenings, personal empowerment workshops, and more.

Register here.

QUEENS

Juneteenth In Queens 2021 at Roy Wilkins Park

Saturday, June 19th

10:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m.

Assemblymember Alicia Hyndman, who introduced the bill that led to Juneteenth being recognized as a state holiday, is hosting a full day of events in the park.

Register here.

Juneteenth Celebration in St. Alban’s Park

Saturday, June 19th

12:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m.

The all-day event will feature a DJ, an open mic, a luxury car show, and a variety of vendors.

More info here.

LIVESTREAMING

Pity These Ashes: Tulsa 1921-2021

The Greene Space

Saturday, June 19th

7:00 p.m. — 8:30 p.m.

Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, The Greene Space in partnership with The Harlem Chamber Players, Harlem Stage and the Harlem School of the Arts presents Pity These Ashes: Tulsa 1921-2021. This Juneteenth streamed concert will feature the world premiere of Adolphus Hailstork’s Tulsa 1921 (Pity These Ashes, Pity This Dust), as well as compositions by Jessie Montgomery, Alice Coltrane, and Trevor Weston.

RSVP here.

Music for Juneteenth: A Celebration of Black Classical Artistry

WQXR

Saturday, June 19th

midnight to midnight

WQXR is presenting a 24-hour marathon of composers and performers of African descent, including a historic Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Aida starring legendary singers Leontyne Price and Grace Bumbry, recorded live at the Met in 1967.

More info here.

Source