Communities across the state and nation are holding events to celebrate the oldest Black holiday in the country.

Juneteenth celebrates the freedom and emancipation of enslaved Black people in America.

The name Juneteenth refers to June 19, 1865, when enslaved Black people learned about their newfound freedom from federal troops who arrived in Galveston, Texas. This was more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863.

It was Juneteenth Celebration weekend in the city of Spartanburg. A number of events were held to honor the day. Juneteenth, officially Juneteenth National Independence Day, celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. The city held a Block Party in downtown on June 14, 2024 and invited the public to get in the spirit of the Juneteenth Celebration.

Though it has long been celebrated in Black communities throughout America, Juneteenth became an official federal holiday when President Joe Biden signed a bill on June 17, 2021.

Here in the Upstate, people are celebrating the holiday in many ways. Here are the events happening across the area:

More on Juneteenth:What is June 19th, and why do we celebrate the federal holiday in South Carolina

Freedom Ride Car & Bike Show

On Wednesday, June 19, a Freedom Ride Car & Bike Show will be held at 931 Garrison Road in Simpsonville between 5 and 9 p.m. This show will feature motorcycle convoys, muscle cars, music, food trucks, games for children, and more.

Juneteenth celebration in AndersonPhotos: Juneteenth celebration at Anderson Library includes spoken word, color red artwork

Juneteenth walking parade at Swamp Rabbit Trail

The city’s third annual event will host a walking parade along the Swamp Rabbit Trail, remarks from Gail Wilson Awan of the Urban League of the Upstate, poetry, and a dance performance at Unity Park. The event begins at 9:30 a.m. on June 19.

At 10:30 a.m., a discussion panel will take place inside the Prisma Health Welcome Center at 111 Welborn St., where community and national speakers will discuss Martin Luther King Jr.’s writings. The program also includes a musical performance by Loretta Holloway and poetry from Poet Laureate Glenis Redmond. At noon, barbecue and shaved ice will be available outside the welcome center.

Spartanburg celebrates Juneteenth:Photos: Spartanburg celebrates Juneteenth with events, ‘show our freedom through unity’

Mauldin hosts first Juneteenth event

The city of Mauldin will host its first Juneteenth celebration between 2 and 6 p.m. on June 22 at the Mauldin Cultural Center amphitheater located at 101 E. Butler Road. Attendees can expect to experience spoken word by Moody Black, gospel music, dance performances and live music by DJ Yuni.

There will also be 25 market vendors, adult beverages, children’s activities, and more educational materials related to Juneteenth.

Educational race seminar in Spartanburg

Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, at 502 S. Daniel Morgan Ave., will lead a discussion on race relations and the history and impact of Juneteenth. The event is from 6 to 7:45 p.m. on June 19.

P'Asiah Sanders, 10, of Anderson, performs before the crowd with the I AM Strong Dance Company, an Interpretive Dance group, during the Anderson Area Remembrance and Reconciliation Initiative's Juneteenth event at Carolina Wren Park in downtown Anderson Saturday, June 19, 2021.

Spartanburg Juneteenth BEC Gala & Fashion Show 2024

An evening of elegance will include a red carpet, awards show and full gala experience with live music and refreshments as the BEC Gala & Fashion Show at the Chapman Cultural Center.

Located at 200 E. St. John St., in Spartanburg, this event celebrates Juneteenth and Black excellence. The event is from 6:45 until 11 p.m.

Tickets begin at $55. For more information, visit

More:Greenville Honor Tower, Gardens at Unity Park break ground, plans to open at end of 2025.

– A.J. Jackson covers the food & dining scene, along with arts, entertainment and downtown culture for The Greenville News. Contact him by email at, and follow him on X (formally Twitter) @ajhappened. This coverage is only possible with support from our readers.Sign up today for a digital subscription.