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Juneteenth National Independence Day, also known as Black Independence Day, is an annual celebration in the month of June to commemorate the ending of slavery in our nation. Considered the longest-running African American holiday and sometimes referred to as America’s Second Independence Day, the June 19 occasion make waves in the Hudson Valley this month with festivities across the region. From festivals to parades to special guest talks, join the community in celebrating black independence at these events.

9th Annual Juneteenth Celebration

Haverstraw African American Memorial Park, Haverstraw
June 14–16

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Dating back to the first celebration of its kind in 2016, the Haverstraw Juneteenth Celebration has been presented by the Haverstraw African American Connection ever since. The three-day weekend event kicks off on Friday with a flag-raising ceremony at Village Hall, followed by a parade with music, food, performers, speakers, storytelling, and a statue unveiling on Saturday. On Sunday, locals can enjoy gospel music at Haverstraw African American Memorial Park.

African Heritage Parade

Washington Park, Albany
June 15, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Presented by the Capital District YMCA, this Albany event celebrates independence and culture. Held annually over Juneteenth weekend since 2019, the heritage parade celebrates the African diaspora in the United State with a procession in Downtown Albany. After the march, the festival kicks off at Washington Park with food, music, and fun. Everyone and anyone is invited to take part in the festivities.

On Juneteenth With Jemar Tisby

Lateef Islam Auditorium at the Family Partnership Center, Poughkeepsie
June 15, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

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This morning of historical and enriching information is all about learning the context and true meaning of Juneteenth. Jemar Tisby, New York Times bestselling author, national speaker, and public historian, is “on a mission to deliver truths from the Black experience with depth and clarity.” The spirited conversation about the historical significance of Juneteenth in modern times takes place at the Family Partnership Center in Poughkeepsie, where Tisby’s books will also be available for purchase and signing.

7th Annual Juneteenth Celebration & Honoring the Ancestors Dedication

African Cultural Center, Kingston
June 15, 1-6 p.m.

Organized by Harambee Kingston, this Ulster County celebration is a jam-packed day. Join in on experiencing the opening of the new African Cultural Center in Kingston with a procession, vendors, music, historic actors, children’s activities, and inspirational speakers. Before the festival, head to the Pine Street African Burial Ground for an honoring of the ancestors at noon. The events are free and open to the public.

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Rise Up Presents: Back to My Roots Juneteenth Celebration

Yonkers Public Library, Yonkers
June 16, 1-4 p.m.

A community engagement program, this event at the Yonkers Public Library is a celebration of the rich cultural heritage of West Africa. The day will include delicious food, music, and dancing, as well as special guest Amara Turay Jalloh, an ambassador from Sierra Leon. The Westchester festivity takes place in the Riverfront Library and Riverfront Auditorium and Atrium.

PS21 Celebrates Juneteenth With the Legendary Ingramettes

PS21: Center for Contemporary Performance, Chatham
June 16, 6 p.m.

Columbia County goes all out for Juneteenth with this musically enriching performance. Experience the music of the legendary Ingramettes, Richmond’s “First Family of Gospel,” as they are known in their hometown. The Ingramettes – an all-woman group inspired by the black gospel quartets of the 1940s and ’50s – brings its roof-raising harmonies to Hudson and Chatham. Free transportation will be available from Hudson to PS21 and back for all to enjoy the event.

Beacon Juneteenth Riverfront Festival

Pete & Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park, Beacon
June 19, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Now in its second year, the Beacon Juneteenth Riverfront Festival celebrates the local black community and black culture as a whole with music, food, vendors, and more. Organized by the youth grassroots organization Beacon4BlackLives, this year’s celebration will feature the live music of Bosco & The Storm at the riverfront park. Bring the whole family along with a few lawn chairs or picnic blankets to lounge out and enjoy the day.

Related: 7 Father’s Day Events to Celebrate Dad in the Hudson Valley