Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas found out they had been freed — after the end of the Civil war, and two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

Despite that for more than a century, Juneteenth has been sacred to many Black communities, it wasn’t until 2021, that President Joe Biden proclaimed it a federal holiday.

Here are just some of the many activities planned around the tri-state area. Be sure to check with your local municipality or county for additional activities that may be taking place:

New York City

  • 15th Annual Juneteenth NY Celebration | Brooklyn | June 13 to June 19
    • This days-long celebration features a number of forums, vendors, activities, a fashion show, an awards ceremony for individuals who have had a positive impact in the community, and much more.
  • Broadway celebrates Juneteenth | Manhattan | June 19
    • This event — which will be held in Times Square rain or shine — will feature a free 90-minute concert from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. where more than 35 performers from 17 Broadway shows. Michael James Scott will be the host. 
  • Black and Queer: A Juneteenth Concert | Manhattan | June 19
    • The New York City Gay Men’s Chorus will present “Black and Queer: A Juneteenth Concert” at Christ Church NYC at 1 p.m. Although the event is free, a $30 donation is suggested.

New Jersey

  • Juneteenth Spoken Word Open Mic | June 19 (virtual)
    • This event allows participants to share their original piece live. The event will be emceed by artist Asiyahsson, featuring the work of poet and author, Brim4Peace. Individuals hoping to participate must reserve a spot.
  • Project Juneteenth: Celebrating Freedom at Branch Brook Park | Newark | June 19
    • Celebrated in Newark’s renowned Branch Brook Park, “Project: Juneteenth Celebrating Freedom” will feature movies in the park, games, sip-and-paint, food and more.