Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. It commemorates the date of June 19, 1865, when the last African-American slaves held in Confederate states were finally freed by the Union army. Six months later, the Thirteenth Amendment officially made slavery illegal throughout the entire United States.
Juneteenth has been observed since 1866.
There are several Juneteenth celebrations taking place around metro Atlanta this weekend. The largest, in downtown Atlanta, has a quadricentennial theme: Acknowledging 400 Years of Survival, 1619-2019. (1619 is the first documented year that slavery took place in America.)
No matter what your ethnicity or heritage, you can participate in these FREE festivals and celebrations–and learn more about our nation’s history, including the parts we’re not proud of.
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The Apex Museum is offering FREE admission and special activities on Wednesday, June 19, 2019.
Atlanta Juneteenth Celebration: Black History Parade & Music Festival
Friday, June 14th — 2:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 15th — 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 16th — 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
This is the largest of the metro area Juneteenth celebrations, with a three-day festival, live music, parade, fireworks, family reunions, children’s activities, cultural food, an artist market, and more.
It takes place at the Home Depot Backyard, next to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta. The address is 1 Backyard Way, Atlanta, GA 30313.
Black History Parade
The parade starts on Saturday, June 15th at 10 a.m., at Mozley Park (1565 MLK Drive). It travels east on MLK Drive to the Home Depot Backyard, to the site of the Juneteenth Music Festival.
The parade includes black history floats, marching bands, youth groups, baton twirlers, dance teams, step teams, community organizations, and black-owned businesses.
The music festival takes place over three days at Home Depot Backyard, an outdoor space designed for tailgating, next to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The musical themes correspond with the dates:
- Funky Friday
- Soulful Saturday
- Spiritual Sunday
There will be fireworks after dark on Saturday and Sunday.
A 3-acre children’s activity area will include soccer and basketball, as well as inflatable bounce houses along. Games and activities will take place throughout festival hours.
Atlanta History Center: FREE admission & Juneteenth activities
Saturday, June 15th — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday, June 16th — noon to 4 p.m.
To commemorate Juneteenth and the end of slavery in America, the Atlanta History Center is offering FREE admission on these days.
There will also be family-friendly activities that include live performances, storytelling, genealogy workshops, author talks, interactive experiences, cooking demonstrations, and “Meet the Past” experiences.
The History Center is providing an in-depth exploration of what enslaved people went through to secure their freedom, and why their experiences are relevant today.
This is a free admission weekend. You are invited to enjoy the program as well as Atlanta History Center’s historic houses, gardens, and exhibitions.
Oakland Cemetery’s Juneteenth celebration
Saturday, June 15th — 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Update: The free guided tours of the cemetery’s African-American grounds are currently full, but you are welcome to explore them on your own.
Oakland Cemetery will host a performance by the Gullah Geechee Ring Shouters at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 15th.
The Gullah Geechee Ring Shouters are one of the world’s top performers within the Geechee Gullah Culture. All performers are descendants of African slaves. The group offers history-and-heritage presentations of African-American culture from slavery, in an effort to continue the traditions of their ancestors.
There will also be discounts on memberships to the Historic Oakland Foundation offered on Saturday. If you want to purchase a membership, go to the Visitors Center.
Dekalb Juneteenth Celebration at Stonecrest Mall
Saturday, June 15th — 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Dekalb County branch of the NAACP is holding a Juneteenth celebration at Stonecrest Mall. It is a family-friendly event, and will include vendors, entertainment, and workshops.
Admission is FREE.
The mall is located at 2929 Turner Hill Road in Stonecrest, GA, 30038. The celebration takes place near the former Sears Department Store (now closed).
Juneteenth Celebration on the Marietta Square
Friday, June 14th — 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday, June 15th — 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, June 16th — 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The city of Marietta and the Cobb County branch of the NAACP will co-host the annual Juneteenth celebration on the Marietta Square and in nearby Glover Park. The events are FREE and open to the pubic.
The event kicks off on Friday night, June 14, 2019 with an “Evening Under the Stars” from 6 to ll p.m.
On Saturday, June 15, there will be activities from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Sunday, June 16 there will be a Gospel Fest from 1 to 5 p.m.
The family-friendly event will include a children’s play area, food, live entertainment, vendors, music, information booths, voter registration, raffles, health screenings, and NAACP Juneteenth t-shirts and memberships — plus fun, fellowship, and networking.
Historic Marietta Square and Glover Park in downtown Marietta
50 Park Square
Marietta, GA 30060
More free and cheap fun around Atlanta:
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