Celebrate Freedom: A Weeklong Juneteenth Extravaganza in Austin, Texas


Welcome to our comprehensive guide to the weeklong Juneteenth celebration of freedom in Austin, Texas. We are thrilled to present an unforgettable series of events and activities that commemorate the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. Join us as we delve into the rich history, vibrant culture, and empowering spirit of Juneteenth.

Understanding Juneteenth

A Week of Cultural and Educational Events

Juneteenth, a significant day in African-American history, is celebrated with great enthusiasm and reverence across the United States. This year, a week-long Juneteenth Festival is set to captivate attendees with a diverse range of events aimed at honoring the contributions of African-Americans, exploring their rich cultural heritage, and fostering unity. From captivating conversations with renowned speakers to vibrant dance parties and parades, the festival promises to be a memorable experience for all. Here’s a breakdown of the festival schedule, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Event 1: Free Your Mind Conversation Series with Pamela Dawson
Date: June 12
Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Boyd Vance Theater

Grammy-Award-winning Desoto, Texas, high school music teacher Pamela Dawson will kick off the Juneteenth Festival with an interactive lecture and singalong. Utilizing negro spirituals, Dawson aims to educate attendees about the African-American contributions to the sonic art form. Join this enlightening session and be part of a captivating musical experience.

Event 2: Free Your Mind Conversation Series with Michael W. Twitty
Date: June 15
Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Boyd Vance Theater

Culinary food historian and author of The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African-American History in the Old South, Michael T. Twitty, will deliver a lecture on African-American foodways and contemporary abolitionist movements. Gain insights into the historical and cultural significance of African-American cuisine and its connection to freedom and empowerment.

Event 3: All Ages Community Dance Party and Kickback
Date: June 16
Time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Freedom Lawn

Experience a vibrant community kickback and dance party suitable for all ages. Hosted in collaboration with Creative Action, this event offers a wide array of activities, including a sensory station with glowsticks, kites, bubbles, and sparklers. High-energy sets by DJ Cysum and DJ Dontizl will keep the atmosphere lively, followed by a special edition of BodyRockATX. Don’t miss this opportunity to let loose and celebrate together.

Event 4: Historic Juneteenth Parade
Date: June 17
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: Rosewood Neighborhood

Join the annual Greater East Austin Youth Association-hosted Juneteenth Parade, a historic event that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. The parade begins on E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and concludes at Rosewood Park. Witness the vibrant displays, cultural performances, and community spirit as the procession honors this significant moment in history.

Event 5: Austin Family Reunion Cookout and Music Festival
Date: June 17
Time: 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Full Site Activation

Indulge in an afternoon of festivities at the Austin Family Reunion Cookout and Music Festival. Hosted by Lady Joy, the event features mid-day entertainment, KAZI DJs setting the vibe, and mouthwatering smoked BBQ prepared by veteran pitmasters. Explore the vendor market organized by Riches Art Gallery, engage in carnival games, attend educational workshops, enjoy film screenings, and embark on self-guided tours. The evening brings forth performances by Distinguished Soundz, Stretch Musik, DJ Kay Kali, and the iconic GAPX, an electrifying band composed of original members from “The Gap Band.”

Event 6: Free Your Mind Conversation Series with Dr. Annette Gordon-Reed
Date: June 19
Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Location: Boyd Vance Theater

On June 19, join esteemed historian, legal scholar, New York Times Bestseller, and Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Dr. Annette Gordon-Reed as she presents a captivating conversation about her book, “On Juneteenth.” Gain valuable insights into the significance of Juneteenth and its historical context through Dr. Gordon-Reed’s expert analysis and storytelling.

Event 7: Juneteenth Revival and Closing Celebration
Date: June 19
Time: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Community Garden

Concluding the week-long festivities, the Juneteenth Revival and Closing Celebration is a collaborative event with the Austin Justice Coalition. This gathering aims to honor the victims of police violence in Texas while promoting healing and unity within the community.

Join Indigenous earth-based practitioners, faith leaders, healers, and bodyworkers in a spiritual remembrance ceremony. Through song, prayer, and meditation, pay homage to the Black ancestors and draw strength to continue the work of liberation in our communities.

The Juneteenth Festival offers an incredible lineup of events that celebrate African-American culture, history, and resilience. From engaging conversations with prominent speakers to lively dance parties, parades, and music performances, each event contributes to a vibrant and inclusive celebration.

A Historical Milestone

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, holds significant historical importance. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced the end of slavery, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. This momentous occasion ignited celebrations among African Americans, and the annual observance of Juneteenth was born.

Honoring Freedom and Resilience

Juneteenth serves as a powerful reminder of the struggles, triumphs, and resilience of the African American community. It is a time to reflect on the progress made and the ongoing fight for equality and justice. Austin, Texas, embraces Juneteenth with open arms, offering an array of events that blend education, art, music, and community engagement.

The Weeklong Celebration of Juneteenth in Austin Texas

Day 1: Commemorative March and Rally

The week kicks off with a spirited commemorative march through downtown Austin. Led by community leaders, activists, and local organizations, this march symbolizes unity and solidarity in the pursuit of freedom and justice. The route follows a historic path, highlighting landmarks significant to Austin’s African American heritage. The march culminates in a lively rally featuring inspirational speakers, powerful performances, and an uplifting atmosphere.

Day 2: Interactive Exhibits and Workshops

Immerse yourself in the educational and cultural aspects of Juneteenth at the interactive exhibits and workshops held across the city. These engaging experiences provide a deeper understanding of African American history, highlighting the contributions, struggles, and achievements of the community. Explore thought-provoking exhibits, participate in enlightening workshops, and engage in meaningful conversations that foster empathy and unity.

Day 3: Artistic Expressions and Performances

Celebrate the creativity and artistic prowess of the African American community on this day dedicated to captivating performances and exhibitions. From soul-stirring music to vibrant dance routines, Austin showcases the diverse range of talents and artistic expressions that have shaped African American culture. Experience soulful melodies, energetic dance showcases, and awe-inspiring spoken word performances that honor the spirit of Juneteenth.

Day 4: Community Empowerment Initiatives

Juneteenth is not only a time for celebration but also an opportunity to uplift and empower communities. Day 4 focuses on community initiatives and volunteer efforts aimed at fostering positive change. Engage in neighborhood beautification projects, participate in workshops that promote financial literacy and entrepreneurship, and support local businesses owned by African Americans. Together, we can build a stronger, more inclusive Austin.

Day 5: Family-Friendly Festivities

Gather your loved ones and join the jubilant family-friendly festivities held throughout the city. From interactive children’s activities to exciting games and entertainment, there is something for everyone. Indulge in delicious food from local vendors, explore artisan markets showcasing African American crafts, and revel in the joyous atmosphere as families come together to commemorate the freedom that Juneteenth represents.

graph LR A[Juneteenth Celebration] B[Commemorative March and Rally] C[Interactive Exhibits and Workshops] D[Artistic Expressions and Performances] E[Community Empowerment Initiatives] F[Family-Friendly Festivities] G[Cultural Heritage Showcase] H[Juneteenth Finale Concert] A –> B A –> C A –> D A –> E A –> F A –> G A –> H

Day 6: Cultural Heritage Showcase

Experience the vibrant tapestry of African American culture at the cultural heritage showcase, featuring an array of performances, exhibits, and demonstrations. Delve into the richness of African traditions, witness captivating storytelling, and admire the intricate craftsmanship displayed in visual

arts and traditional crafts. Engage with local artists and artisans, learn about their creative processes, and gain a deeper appreciation for the cultural heritage that has shaped Austin’s diverse community.

Day 7: Juneteenth Finale Concert

The weeklong celebration culminates in a spectacular Juneteenth finale concert, where music takes center stage. Experience the soulful rhythms, powerful vocals, and infectious energy of renowned African American artists and local talents. From gospel and jazz to hip-hop and R&B, the concert showcases the diverse musical genres that have emerged from African American culture and have had a profound impact on the world of music.


As the weeklong Juneteenth celebration comes to an end, the spirit of freedom, unity, and resilience lingers in the air. Austin, Texas, embraces Juneteenth with open arms, offering a diverse range of events and activities that honor the historical significance of this momentous occasion.

From commemorative marches and educational exhibits to captivating performances and community empowerment initiatives, the weeklong celebration provides an immersive experience that fosters understanding, appreciation, and unity. Join us in celebrating freedom and the enduring legacy of Juneteenth in Austin, Texas.