Courtesy of ARTECHOUSE

While the celebration originated in the Southern United States, New York City has been celebrating Juneteenth long before it became a national holiday. The Brooklyn Juneteenth Arts Festival, one of the longest-running Juneteenth celebrations in New York, began in 2001 and has expanded tremendously. Historically set in Fort Greene’s Cuyler Gore Park, the festival sees hundreds of New Yorkers strolling past the tents of artists, musicians, and poets. 

Today, the city offers more opportunities than ever to celebrate Juneteenth, which marks the day the last enslaved people in Galveston Bay, Texas learned they were free. 

Courtesy of Kolin Mendez via The Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Juneteenth Arts Festival
June 15-19
Sista’s Place, Brooklyn, NY

The iconic festival took place in Bed-Stuy on June 15, but the celebrations continue through Juneteenth itself. On June 19, festivities will continue on Nostrand Avenue in front of Sista’s Place, a jazz club, in partnership between the club and the Cooperative Culture Collective. The celebration will include a marketplace, visual artists, authors, speakers including elected officials, and more. 

Courtesy of Marc J. Franklin via timessquarenyc.org

Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth
June 19, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
TSq Plaza, NY

Broadway is bringing back a free outdoor concert open to all community members, featuring Black Broadway artists performing songs, dances, and spoken word. The Music Performance Trust fund will provide live music, and guest speakers will make appearances throughout the event, in addition to the multitude of Broadway stars in attendance. Performers include actors from Aladdin, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Lion King, MJ, Water for Elephants, and more shows. 

Courtesy of Layla Mmatullah Barrayn via NYC Tourism

The 15th Annual Juneteenth NY Festival
June 13-19
Gershwin Park, Brooklyn, NY

Another Brooklyn event, the Juneteenth NY Festival unites thousands of attendees in is a celebration of culture through music, dance, sports, history, and vendors. This year’s events are themed “Unveiled: Understanding the Journey From Our Roots,” which encourages people to explore the history and ongoing journey of the Black community. Attendees can expect an awards ceremony, a restaurant crawl, a free festival with vendors a fashion show, a parade, and a raffle, among other festivities. 

Courtesy of Black Restaurant Week

Black Restaurant Week
June 19-30
New York and New Jersey

Back for a fifth year, Black Restaurant Week celebrates African American, African, and Caribbean cuisine at participating restaurants. Up to 80 venue will be participating in the restaurant week, throughout the five boroughs and New Jersey, bringing visitors budget-friendly menu selections. Venues include Red Rooster Harlem, Brooklyn Blend, Collective Fare, Cascade Jerk, and Viola Afrique. 

Courtesy of ARTECHOUSE

June 19
Chelsea, NY

Dive into Afrocentricity and Afrofuturism at the “Aṣẹ: Afro Frequencies” immersive exhibit. The exhit runs all summer, but visitors can see it for free on Juneteenth. The artwork presents a “vibrant reflection upon the past, present, and future of the Black experience” by the London Afro-surrealist artist Vince Fraser. Visitors can also try a Sorrel Punch cocktail, which is inspired by the tradition of celebrating Juneteenth with red food and drinks.

Courtesy of Daian Gan via Pexels

Paint Faire Juneteenth Paint Party
June 19, 7-10 p.m.
Williamsburg, NY

Head to Sweet Science BKLYN for discounted cocktails and the chance to celebrate the richness of Black history through painting, sponsored by Paint Faire. Sweet Science, a local Brooklyn eatery, is relaxed with a large bar space and plenty of fun cocktails. 

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