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Here's where to celebrate Juneteenth in and around Austin

People watch the Juneteenth parade in East Austin on June 18.
Michael Minasi
KUT News
The Juneteenth parade travels down Chicon Street in East Austin in 2022.

Union soldiers marched into Galveston 159 years ago to read General Order No. 3, the document that informed enslaved people of their freedom — more than two years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

This day is recognized as Juneteenth.

Today, June 19 is a federal holiday, and Texans don't slack on celebrating a holiday they declared first. Below is a list of festivities to honor Juneteenth in the Austin area.

Juneteenth Jamboree, June 14

The Dove Springs Recreation Center will host a free Juneteenth Jamboree from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. There will be games, prizes, music, food and family activities.

Juneteenth Festival Round Rock, June 14 and 15

Round Rock is having a BBQ taste-off on Friday, with a competition among five pits. Tickets to be a taster cost $10. There will be a free concert, and the festival continues Saturday. You can expect to see DJ Wild Style, Kirko Bangz, Sean Ardoin and Lloyd over the weekend. Both events are at Old Settlers Park.

Why We Celebrate Juneteenth in San Marcos – Children Style, June 15

Kids will learn about the importance of Juneteenth through arts, crafts and activities at the San Marcos Public Library. The event goes from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Register to attend for free here.

Black Makers Market, June 15

Expect to see more than 40 Black-owned vendors, food trucks and DJs at this market sponsored by Huston-Tillotson. A kid’s corner with activities and learning experiences will be part the celebration. The market runs from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Juneteenth Block Party, June 15

Leander is celebrating Juneteenth with a block party at Robin Bledsoe Park. The theme is Legacy + Freedom + Celebration. The Soulful Soundz Party Band will perform, and you can expect food and craft vendors, dancing and bounce houses. There will also be a basketball tournament. Bring a book for the book drive. The party is free and goes from 5 to 9 p.m.

Central Texas Juneteenth Parade and Festival, June 15

The Central Texas Juneteenth Committee is hosting an all-day celebration. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. on MLK Jr. Boulevard by Leona Street and ends at noon. The festival will follow at Rosewood Park and ends at 9 p.m.

Bastrop Juneteenth Freedom Celebration, June 15

Bastrop will hold an all-day celebration with its annual parade beginning at 10 a.m. Expect live music, food vendors and an unveiling of a Harriet Tubman statue at the festival following the parade. The event is free.

Stay Black & Live 2024: Juneteenth Cookout and Music Festival, June 15

The George Washington Carver Museum will host a community cookout and festival to celebrate Juneteenth. Attendees can enjoy music by Scarface and Tank and the Bangas. Veteran pitmasters will provide BBQ. There will be an artist vendor market, carnival games, educational workshops and self-guided tours.

Steppteenth, June 16-18

This step dance celebration and gala offers a variety of workshops at the Wyndham Garden Austin with instructors The Phenom Drew Alexander and Garland Banks. DJ Raven, DJ Stretch and DJ Stevie Ray Production will entertain guests. Refreshments will be provided. Tickets can be bought here.

Juneteenth Free Your Mind Symposium, June 17-19

This two-day symposium is a continuation of the George Washington Carver Museum festival. Independent presidential candidate Cornel West will speak about racial justice, and Texas Poet Laureat Amanda Johnston will discuss an artist's duty on June 17. The following day, scholar Marlon Bailey will speak about Black sexual politics. Expect a poetry slam competition with local poets. More details about registration and additional activities can be found here.

The Route to Emancipation Screening, June 17

Black History Bike Ride is kicking off a Juneteenth celebration with a screening of the short documentary The Route to Emancipation at the Paramount Theatre. The Color Purple will follow. Tickets are available here. The first 100 people get in for free with the code “BHBR."

Juneteenth Social Ride and Block Party, June 19

Black History Bike Ride plans to meet at the Capitol at 6 p.m. for a bike ride tour of historical sites. Participants should bring a bike, helmet and water. A block party will follow at Rosewood Park with food by Chef Amanda Turner. Tickets are available here.

Juneteenth Comedy Show, June 19

Rozco’s Comedy Club is hosting a comedy show in celebration of Juneteenth. Expect an all-black lineup including Halima Abshir, David Womble, Ben Williams, Jay Legend and more. The show starts at 9 p.m., and tickets can be bought here.

Juneteenth Jubilee, June 21

Travis County is hosting its 35th annual Juneteenth celebration. Expect vendors, information booths, music, performances and games. The free event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Find more details on the county’s website.

Michelle was born and raised in Austin and loves the emerging Latin music scene in her city.
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