Where to Celebrate Juneteenth From Coast to Coast

We’ve compiled the ultimate list of how to get down for Juneteenth from NYC to LA.

As we mark the official start of summer, we also observe Juneteenth, a federal holiday made effective in 2021, which recognizes the date on which slaves in Texas were declared free on June 19, 1865.

While this holiday continues to become more widely commemorated, its esteem remains fundamental to the culture of people from all walks of life in the United States and beyond. 

This year’s festivities are going down from coast to coast, so there will be something for everyone. Whether you want to be in the midst of a party that feels like a backyard barbecue or just want to learn more about the history of Juneteenth, you’ll be in the company of melanated kings and queens no matter where the day leads you. 

As the holiday gives reason to celebrate, its significance illuminates this year’s election season, where voters will cast ballots for President of the United States in November. However you vote, the residual effects will resound, echoing the sacrifice of freedom from those who were enslaved and those who fought on the front lines for it.

To help you plan the dopest Juneteenth, check out our list of where you can join the party nationwide.

1. Los Angeles

One of the most buzzed-about concerts of the summer will be headlined by Compton native Kendrick Lamar, who will get the party started in Los Angeles for his “The Pop Out Ken and Friends Concert.” While tickets for this affair sold out within its announcement and then made available for skyrocketed prices, starting at nearly $400 via re-sellers, there is still a way to see it if you want to save some coins. 

Sway’s Universe reports that the concert will be live-streamed on Prime Video and the Amazon Music channel on Twitch starting at 4 p.m. PT.

2. Maryland

To celebrate Juneteenth, National Harbor in Maryland is hosting a family-friendly “Freedom Day Celebration” outfitted with a Black-owned market and live music performances from 11 a.m to 7 p.m. The event will also feature a sip and paint quarter for adults who want a little somethin’ somethin’ to make the day extra special.

Other attractions will include the Drummer Circle, aimed to foster a community of drummers and  “collaborative artmaking” during the event’s “And I Thought of Liberty” exhibit.

3. New York

Carnegie Hall in New York, New York in partnership with City Wide –an organization that provides free concerts– will be having an uplifting event led by the distinguished Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes Jr. for a night of reflection. More “notable honorees, distinguished speakers, and renowned artists” including two-time Grammy winner Gregory Porter and ballet dancers from The Black Iris Project are slated to perform. The show kicks off at 7 pm.  

This event has “Limited availability” and “All advance tickets for this free event have been distributed.” There will also be first-come, first-served walk-up tickets available.

4. Washington, D.C.

The Smithsonian (include file), credit The Smithsonian

To brush up on your Juneteenth IQ, visit the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., for a liberating exhibition of “Big Objects, Big Stories: The Paradox of the Liberty.” 

This free event includes a thought-provoking 15-minute tour that will “explore the tension between slavery and freedom—who belongs and who is excluded” as “American people to wrestle constantly with building “a more perfect Union.”’

5. Atlanta

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, GA, will honor Juneteenth with an interactive day of knowledge-based fun, including a scavenger hunt and trivia. There will also be an area for Juneteenth Flag Making and a spirited performance by Giwayen Mata, who specializes in “Grounded by movements, rhythms, and songs of the African Diaspora.”

General admission tickets for adults are $20, for youths $16, and for those 65+ are $18.

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