Arts

What’s happening in Philly: 25+ events to celebrate Juneteenth

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Juneteenth celebrations will be taking over the city over the next few days and weeks. The holiday falls on Saturday, June 19 this year. Known as Freedom Day, Liberation Day, Emancipation Day, and Jubilee Day, it remains the oldest nationally celebrated holiday commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. The day highlights June 19, 1965, when federal troops entered Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, which was passed two years previous.

This day of freedom will be honored at several museums, neighborhoods, institutions, festivals, and more in the city.

1. Juneteenth Lighting

(Philadelphia Parks & Recreation)

Where: Various locations
When: Runs through Saturday, June 19

Thanks to the Garvey Lights Project,  Philadelphia skyscrapers, buildings, and landmarks will be lit up with the liberation colors of red, black, and green this week. Look for the commemorating color display at Boat House Row, the Ben Franklin Bridge, the Philadelphia Airport Tower, Parx Casino, Rivers Casino, Live! Casinos, Independence Blue Cross, PECO Crown Lights, North Broad Street Lights, Cira Centre, the FMC Tower, Liberty Place One and Two, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the Philadelphia Art Museum, Lincoln Financial Field, the Wells Fargo Center, Citizens Bank Park, and more.

For more information, click here.

2. Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade & Festival

Where: March begins at 52nd St and Haverford Ave; Festival is at Malcolm X Park
When: Saturday, June 19 | 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

This year’s annual Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade & Festival takes place this Saturday. Entering its sixth year, this weekend’s festivities include a freedom march (9 a.m. – 10 a.m.), rally (10 a.m. – 11 a.m.), and a blowout festival and concludes with a blowout festival (12 p.m. – 3 p.m.) There will be art exhibits, vendors, online programming, and more.

For more information, click here.

3. Juneteenth Discussion at the AAMP

Where: The African American Museum in Philadelphia |  701 Arch St.
When: Thursday, June 15 |  12:30 p.m.

The African American Museum in Philadelphia’s ArtBreak this week will feature an outdoor conversation with professor and author Gabrielle Foreman. The talk will be on the history and significance of Juneteenth on the historical and cultural importance of both Juneteenth and the Fourth of July. The works of noted visual artist Glenn Ligon will also be on display.

For more information, click here.

4. Stenton Juneteenth Festival

Where: Stenton Park | 4600 N. 16 St
When: Saturday, June 19 | 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Head over to Historic Germantown and the Stenton Museum for theatrical reenactments, storytelling, performances by the Universal African Dance & Drum Ensemble and the Women’s Sekere Ensemble, and more. You’ll also get access to the Stenton historic house for free during the festivities.

For more information, click here.

5. Juneteenth in Historic Germantown

( Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

Where: Johnson Historic House | 6306 Germantown Ave
When: Saturday, June 19 | 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

After leaving the Stenton Juneteenth celebrations, head over to the Johnson Historic House for its 15th annual Juneteenth Festival. The free festival will include live music, reenactments, entertainment, children’s games, food trucks, and more.

For more information, click here.

6. Juneteenth at Franklin Square

Where: Franklin Square | 200 N. 6 St
When: Saturday, June 19 | 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Franklin Square, with the help of the AAMP and Keepers of the Culture, is celebrating Black culture with Griot Tale Saturdays. Listen to tremendous storytelling and learn about griots — oral historians pass down their culture and traditions. Children ages 5 to 12 can learn about the sense of freedom that comes with Juneteenth. The park will be open for all the fun and games as well including mini-golf, rides, the carousel, and more.

For more information, click here.

7. Willow Grove Juneteeth Excitement

(Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers // NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Where: Spans from 60 N. York Rd to 34 Old York Rd
When: Saturday, June 19 | 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Saw Visions presents a fantastic Juneteenth celebration in Willow Grove. There will be food trucks, prizes and giveaways, vendors, a DJ, live entertainment, storytellers, and more. The event requires registration.

For more information, click here.

8. Chestnut Hill Jazz Night

(Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

Where: Woodmere Art Museum | 9201 Germantown Ave
When: Saturday, June 19 | 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Chestnut Hill will be rocking this Saturday night with a Juneteenth-themed jazz night. In partnership with The African American Museum in Philadelphia, Woodmere’s recurring event series will include multiple shows (one at 5 p.m. and one at 7 p.m.) The Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble will be wowing the crowd. Black author and lyricist Nina “Lyrispect” Ball will also be performing.

For more information, click here.

9. Chester County Juneteenth Festival

Where: Various locations
When: Runs through Saturday, July 5

Chester County’s Voices Underground Juneteenth Festival has been celebrating since Saturday, June 12. With over 40 events running through Saturday, July 5, you can enjoy a musical performance, lectures and Q&As, amazing dinners, gatherings, art, and more.

For more information, click here.

10. Lansdale Juneteenth Celebrations

Where: Memorial Park | 300 E. Main St
When: Saturday, June 19 | 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Lansdale’s Memorial Park will be full of music, art, food, and entertainment this weekend. Presented by the Lansdale Black Business Association, be prepared for discussions and more with this year’s special guest speaker, Indigenous cosmologist Pawahtuun Xi Amaru.

For more information, click here.

11. Please Touch Museum Attractions

Where: Please Touch Museum |  4231 Avenue of the Republic
When: Saturday, June 19 |  9 a.m. – 12 p.m. & 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The Please Touch Museum is excited to open its doors for this amazing slate of programming this weekend.  Guests will have to make a reservation for this year’s Juneteenth festivities.  There will be storytime, a 30-minute minute makes workshop, Freedom Quilts crafts, music, a discussion on Juneteenth, and a fun celebration of food.

For more information, click here.

12. Juneteenth at the National Constitution Center

Where: National Constitution Center | 525 Arch St
When: Saturday, June 19 | programming begins 11 a.m.

Don’t miss your chance to commemorate Juneteenth with the National Constitution Center. On Saturday, June 19, the museum will be free to enter. The programming will explore the story of slavery, includes a “Four Harriets” production, will feature special tours of the Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality exhibit, and more. There will also be a live virtual tour on Friday, June 18.

For more information, click here.

13. Juneteenth at the Museum of the American Revolution

Where: Museum of the American Revolution | 101 S. 3rd St
When: Thursday, June 17-Monday, June 21

The Museum of the American Revolution will be hosting amazing five-day Juneteenth celebrations. The attractions will be both in-person and virtual. The Old City institution will have replica objects from Harry Washington to view. Washington was enslaved by the Washingtons and received his freedom through his service in the British Army. There will also be a virtual walking tour of Mother Bethel AME,  historical reenactors portraying Ona Judge and Elizabeth Freeman, and more.

For more information, click here.

14. A Virtual Gathering with the National Museum of Jewish History

Where: Digital event
When: Friday, June 18 | 5 p.m.

The National Museum of American Jewish History hosts a Juneteenth-themed Kabbalat Shabbat. Featuring Rabbi Sandra Lawson, the virtual gathering will also include Cantor Sabrina SojournerIsaiah RothsteinRebecca S’Manga Frank, and Robin Washington. The unifying program is set to highlight the significance of the day and more.

For more information, click here.

15. Betsy Ross House

(Betsy Ross House // Historic Philadelphia)

Where: Betsy Ross House | 239 Arch St
When: Saturday, June 19 | 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The final day of Betsy Ross House’s Flag Fest is this Saturday. The day will feature the raising of the Juneteenth flag by the United States Colored Troops. There will also be a visit from Bishop Richard Allen, who founded Philly’s Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in 1794. The first 100 guests who enter will have free admission.

For more information, click here.

16. Juneteenth at Hatfield House

(Fairmount Park Conservancy)

Where: Hatfield House | 3201 W. Girard Ave.
When: Saturday, June 19 | 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Hatfield House in East Fairmount Park will be hosting an incredible Juneteenth celebration this Saturday. There will be food and drinks, vendors, a DJ, family-friendly games and activities, face painting, prizes, giveaways (t-shirts, books, and school supplies), and more.

For more information, click here.

17. William Still at 200

Where: Digital event
When: Thursday, June 17 | 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

In celebration of the bicentennial of the birth abolitionist and hero of the Underground Railroad, William Still, Charles L. Blockson will be hosting a free virtual event.  Helmed by former WNBA player Valerie Still (a relative of William Still), the discussion will highlight the importance of Still, the Blockson family, and their connection to Harriet Tubman.

For more information, click here.

18. Juneteenth Guided Discussions with Philadelphia Magic Gardens

Where:  Alder Street Alley (between 10th and 11th Sts)
When: Saturday, June 19 | 1:45, 2:45, 3:45, and 4:45

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens will be hosting guided talks of the three-story brick firehouse Engine 11. Home to Philadelphia’s first Black firefighters, the tour will include a discussion not the challenges of the community in the 1940s and more.

For more information, click here.

19. On Juneteenth

Where: Digital event
When: Friday, June 18 | 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

The American Philosophical Society will host a discussion with author Annette Gordon-Reed. The talk will center on her new book, On Juneteenth. The text outlines the history of slavery in Texas and the tireless work it took to make Juneteenth a nationally recognized holiday.

For more information, click here.

20. They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South

Where: Digital event
When: Thursday, June 17 | 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Author Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers is set to discuss her book,  They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South, during this virtual Juneteenth event. Presented by The Library Company of Philadelphia, New York City by poet David Mills will also be performing at literary and artistic showcases.

For more information, click here.

21. Longwood Gardens

(Longwood Gardens // Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

Where: Longwood Gardens | 1001  Longwood Rd | Kennet Square, PA
When: Friday, June 18, Saturday, June 19, Thursday, July 22, & Friday, August 27

Head over to Longwood Gardens for their Freedom special programming. Now through Friday, August 27, the Longwood Gardens fountain nighttime light show will include music from Sam Cooke, Andra Day, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Beyoncé, Aretha Franklin, and more.

For more information, click here.

22. Buy Local, Buy Black! Pop Up Shop!

Where: 5226 Ridge Ave
When: Saturday, June 19 | 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

What better way to commemorate Juneteeth than shopping and buying Black? This vendor festival will include several Black-owned businesses in the area. There will be sales by clothing boutiques, jewelry, food, self-care and wellness booths, and more.

For more information, click here.

23. Wawa Welcome to America Events

Where: Various locations
When: Saturday, June 19

Wawa Welcome America celebrations will include Juneteenth events this year in partnership with The African American Museum in Philadelphia. The AAMP will be hosting a Juneteenth event this Saturday. There will be live performances, vendors, and plenty of attractions.  You can also get a look at exhibits Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia, 1776-1876, and the new exhibit from Anna Russell Jones, The Art of Design. Go 4th & Learn, will feature craft making and guests will get a free book courtesy of Books in Homes USA.

24. Juneteenth with Thee Phantom & The Illharmonic Orchestra

Where: Digital event
When: Saturday, June 19

Thee Phantom & The Illharmonic Orchestra will be doing a Juneteenth-themed concert this Saturday. The streaming performance will include their signature strings, horns, hip-hop beats, a DJ, and phenomenal vocals.

For more information, click here.

25. Juneteenth Fashion Show

Where: Vernon Park | 5818 Germantown Ave
When: Saturday, June 19 & Sunday, June 20 | Begins 10 a.m.

Head over to Germantown’s Vernon Park for this two-day Juneteenth Fashion Show event. There will be a fun bounce house, a DJ, a drumline, a gaming truck, food and drinks, and multiple 30-minute fashion shows during the festivities.

For more information, click here.

26. Juneteenth and Father’s Day Comedy Show

Where: The Grand Yesha Ballroom | 2308 Snyder Ave
When: Saturday, June 19 | 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

It’s Ok 2 Laugh presents a Juneteenth & Father’s Day Clean Comedy & Fashion Show. The lineup includes Philly’s own Tommy Too Smoov, Timmy Hall, Stilletto, and Weight Ball. Radio personality Dezzie will be hosting. There will also be performances by singer Chocolate Gurl April Williams and by DjPraze

For more information, click here.

27. The Tulsa Race Massacre

(Photo by Jona // On Uplash)

Where: PFS Drive-In at The Navy Yard | Admiral Peary Way & League Island Blvd
When: Monday, June 21 | 9 p.m. – 11:10 p.m.

This Monday, the PFs Drive-In at The Navy Yard will be showing the new documentary, Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten. The African American Museum in Philadelphia and WHYY will host the event as part of Wawa Welcome America’s Philly at the Movies programming. The documentary illustrates The Tulsa Race Massacre — a deplorable event of mass racial violence in this country.

For more information, click here.

Map


You can follow Candis McLean on Twitter (@CandisRMcLean) and e-mail her at candis.mclean@gmail.com.

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