Where to Celebrate Juneteenth in Philadelphia
Jazz at the Woodmere Museum, kids' programming at the Please Touch Museum, historic re-enactments and more.
On June 19th, 1865, nearly two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to free the country’s remaining slaves. These days, we know the date as Juneteenth. Often referred to as “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day,” the holiday is marked by vibrant celebrations, games, music, and a chance to learn about African American history.
In 2020, Pennsylvania finally added official statewide observance of Juneteenth, but Philly has been celebrating long before then. Philly institutions from the historic Johnson House to the African American Museum in Philadelphia are celebrating, and the parade is coming back to West Philly. Here’s how to honor the holiday around town.
History Social at Second District Brewing
Black History Maven will lead short talk that explores the holiday’s legacy, followed by interactive activities and giveaways. Free, pre-registration required; food and drink are pay-as-you-go. Free, June 16th, 6-7:30 p.m., Second District Brewing, 1939 South Bancroft Street.
Juneteenth Dinner at Awbury Arboretum
Chef Gail Hinson shares cuisine inspired by cooks of the Reconstruction Era, along with plant-based cocktails from Debra Autrey. The evening also includes live performances by spoken-word artists, poets, re-enactors, and musicians. $45, June 16th, 6-9 p.m., Francis Cope House, 1 Awbury Road.
Laurel Hill’s Cinema in the Cemetery: Glory
Together with the Philadelphia Film Society, Laurel Hill Cemetery is bringing back its Cinema in the Cemetery series, where guests can pack a picnic and watch an outdoor movie surrounded by the historic tombs. This month, they celebrate Juneteenth with a screening of the classic Civil War drama Glory. Tickets must be purchased in advance. $10-$20, June 17th, 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Avenue.
Juneteenth Weekend at the Museum of the American Revolution
All weekend long, learn about Black soldiers of the Revolution through in-gallery talks and hands-on experiences. Visit the downstairs children’s discovery center to your own Rhode Island Regiment cap, learn about the life of Polydore Redman with a historical re-enactor, and take a walking tour of abolitionist James Forten’s Philadelphia ($10), created for their upcoming special exhibit about Forten and his descendants. Free for museum members and kids under 5; $13-$19 for general admission (add $10 for the walking tour), June 18th-20th, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Museum of the American Revolution, 101 South 3rd Street.
City Athletics Block Party in Tioga-Nicetown
This free community event will include a barbecue, live music, games, horse rides for the kids, and more entertainment. Free, June 18th 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 19th and Tioga streets.
Juneteenth Family Pride Picnic
This kid-friendly event hosted by Philadelphia Family Pride will center on and celebrate LGBTQ+ Black families, history, vendors, and artists with free food, entertainment, and resources. Free, June 18th, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Lovett Park, 6945 Germantown Avenue.
Philadelphia Juneteenth Festival at Johnson House
Held in historic Germantown, this festival — now in its 16th year — is one of Philly’s oldest Juneteenth celebrations. The Johnson House Historic Site, which also served as a vital stop on the Underground Railroad, hosts a day of events that includes tours, re-enactments, live music, food trucks and kids’ activities. The event is free and offers attendees the chance to learn about Philadelphia’s important role in African American history during the 1800s. Free; June 18th, noon-6 p.m., Johnson House Historic Site, 6300 Germantown Avenue.
Juneteenth at National Liberty Museum
The celebration kicks off with a performance by Positive Movement drumline. Then, the museum hosts a kid-friendly comic book workshop celebrating real-life Black superheroes, and a resource center featuring local Black-owned businesses and Black-led organizations. Plus, artist Zsudayka Nzinga will lead tours of her installation Afro Bohemian, featured in NLM’s current special exhibit “This is My Home.” All activities are included with museum admission. $6-$12 (free for ages 5 and under), June 18th, 1-5 p.m., National Liberty Museum, 321 Chestnut Street.
Saturday Night Jazz at Woodmere Art Museum
While Woodmere hosts Saturday-night jazz performances weekly throughout the summer, this special Juneteenth celebration will include an entire afternoon of music, dance and poetry. First, the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble will perform songs from Down by The Riverside to I Wish I Knew What it Meant to Be Free, plus excerpts from the jazz opera, Never Back Down. Then, catch performances by the Universal Drum and Dance Ensemble and poetry readings by Yahne Ndgo and Shirmina Geneva. Arpeggio will close it out with another performance. The event is free and open to the public, and you can stop by at any time. Free, June 18th, 2-5 p.m., Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Avenue.
Juneteenth Parade and Festival
The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. at 52nd and Parkside with bands, dance groups, floats, and more. Then, meet in Malcolm X Park for the festival, which includes food vendors, a marketplace, and more activities, including the Everybody Eats party. The celebration extends to Global Leadership Academy’s parking lot, where you’ll find a children’s village with a carnival, face-painting, games, and more. Free, June 19th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., begins at 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue, and ends at Malcolm X Park (52nd and Pine streets) for the festival.
Betsy Ross House’s Flag Fest celebrates Juneteenth
The Betsy Ross House joins in celebrating Juneteenth on the final day of Flag Fest. At 10 a.m., Betsy will raise both the 13-star American and Juneteenth flags, and visitors will “meet” Henry “Box” Brown — given his nickname because he escaped slavery by hiding in a box shipped to Philadelphia from Virginia. Then, at 3 p.m., there will be a Juneteenth concert with the Philadelphia Heritage Chorale. Free, June 19th, 10 a.m.-3:45 p.m., Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch Street.
Juneteenth Block Party at the African American Museum in Philadelphia
This daylong, all-ages party features live performances — including Talib Kweli, step-dancers, and griot storytellers — as well as food trucks, a community marketplace featuring Black-owned businesses, art-making, line dancing, and more. Plus, since this is also the kickoff to Wawa Welcome America, the museum will offer free admission all day (online registration required). Free, June 19th, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street.
Juneteenth at the Please Touch Museum
PTM has planned a complete day of programming that’s both educational and engaging. Children can enjoy themed crafts and activities, performances by Thembi Palmera at 1 p.m. and the West Philadelphia High School marching band at 2 p.m.; plus a storytelling session with Gail Ramos, author of Hooray! It’s Juneteenth Day! All activities are included with museum admission; online reservations required. $22 ($2 for ACCESS cardholders); June 19th, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic.
Juneteenth Celebration at Bartram’s Garden
The West Philly garden’s first-ever Juneteenth celebration will feature live DJ sets, storytelling, poetry performances, live percussion, a vendor marketplace, community resources, and a live art installation. Free, June 19th, noon-5 p.m., Bartram’s Garden, 5400 Lindbergh Boulevard.
Juneteenth at the Hatfield House
This free, family-friendly celebration includes refreshments, live DJ music, kids’ activities and games, face-painting, and giveaways. Free, June 19th, 2-5 p.m., 3201 West Girard Avenue.
Barnes on the Block
The Barnes Foundation takes it outside with art displays, family-friendly art-making, live performances, food trucks, a beer garden and more. Once the sun sets (8:30 p.m.), We Embrace Fatherhood, a coalition of West Philadelphia fathers, activists, and artists, will project an outdoor public art installation onto the facade of the Barnes Foundation. The project by West Philadelphia-based photographer Ken McFarlane is called From the Root to the Fruit: Portraits of Black Fathers and Their Children, and celebrates Black fatherhood. The museum is also offering free admission that day (online registration required). Free, June 19th, 4-9 p.m., Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
This guide contains additional research by Wyld Young.