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. More generally, it 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 16, noon—8 pm
6300 Block of Germantown Avenue (between Washington Lane and Johnson Street), Philadelphia
The celebration starts with an 11 am Freedom Walk along Germantown Avenue to the Johnson House Historic Site where there will be a free family-friendly festival all day. The festival will have live entertainment like praise dancers, historical reenactments, drumming, and more. There will also be a children’s village, a beer garden, a cultural marketplace, and tours of the historic sites.
June 22, 6 pm: 6th and Market streets, Philadelphia
June 23, noon: parade begins at 15th and JFK, goes to Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia
This two-day event honors the history, tradition, and enduring spirit of Juneteenth. On June 22, at 6 pm, there will be a wreath laying ceremony at the President’s House at 6th and Market streets, which tells stories of the slaves who lived and worked in Philadelphia. The evening will also have guest speakers and live entertainment.
On June 23, the parade kicks off at noon at 15th and JFK, and marches down Market Street to Penn’s Landing, where the celebration continues with even more music and performances, as well as a children’s village, and a cultural marketplace. You can also catch the parade on 6 ABC at 1 pm!
June 24, 11 am—5 pm
4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia
Learn about African-American quilting traditions and symbols in Freedom Quilts, 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, listen to musical performances, and more! Joy O. Ude, a mixed-media artist and designer from Philadelphia’s Fabric Workshop and Museum, will be creating a giant collaborative paper quilt that you can contribute to from 11:30 am—1 pm. And in the afternoon, Hip Hop Fundamentals will celebrate Juneteenth with an interactive performance, highlighting freedom, diversity, and togetherness through hip hop dance!
Photograph courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.