Juneteenth is a national holiday that started in 2021. As a country, we observe Juneteenth commemorating June 19, 1865, when the last enslaved African Americans were finally freed.
Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation more than two years before. However, Union troops had to march to Galveston, Texas, to enforce the Proclamation and free the remaining enslaved people.
As noted by the Maryland Office of Tourism Development, “Juneteenth, our newest national holiday, commemorates the final emancipation of the last enslaved people in Galveston, Texas. We celebrate this day with parades, festivals, and a spirit of unity and equity, with events all across Maryland.”
A few of the events happening throughout Maryland around Juneteenth are (please check events for specific dates):
Run Up to Juneteenth 5k – The 5k run/1 mile walk will take place in and around Baltimore raising money for the SEED College Transition & Success Program.
Juneteenth Celebration Parade & Festival – FREE annual parade and festival in Annapolis.
Juneteenth Festival at Watkins Regional Park – FREE event in Upper Marlboro. Includes: Live entertainment, visual arts exhibition, art activities, history activities, food and merchandise vendors, and more.
Juneteenth: Freedom at the Rock – FREE event at the Blackwater Center for the Arts. Includes dances, films, art exhibits, paint and sips, book talks, concerts, and more.
Juneteenth: Freedom Day Celebration – Located at the National Harbor. Visit the Freedom Day Black-Owned Marketplace in the Capital Canopy, along with several performances.
Juneteenth Celebration At The Free LakeFest Weekend – Columbia is hosting their LakeFest events, including Juneteenth celebrations.
Eastern Shore Juneteenth Parade and Festival – Eastern Shore Juneteenth notes, ” intends to bring the community together to celebrate Black culture and achievement; to provide community education on Black history and the ongoing struggle for civil rights; and to create a safe space for Black creativity and expression.”
Jazz On the Rails – Juneteenth Celebration – Performing arts, history, and heritage. Their goal is to inspire and connect rail and transit to the history of jazz and its composers.
Juneteenth Freedom Day Festival – FREE event located in Waldorf. The festival offers live music, African cultural drumming, food, art, poetry, and more.
Upper Bay Juneteenth Festival – Hosted by the historic Hosanna School Museum.
Juneteenth In Carroll County – Live performances, storytellers, panel discussions, vendors, food trucks, kids’ activities, and more.
Allegany County NAACP Juneteenth Celebration – The county is hosting all-day festivities, including a remembrance ceremony, March for Justice, and a Festival at Canal Place.
Cheverly African American Community Organization Juneteenth Celebration – Flag raising ceremony with the Buffalo Soldiers, food and shopping vendors, basketball tournament, raffles, and live performances.
Triumph and The African American Experience Art Show & Exhibition – Multiday reception and exhibits.
Juneteenth Celebration at Lexington Manor Park – Located in the park, enjoy jazz music, food, artisans, speakers, and more.
Freedom Fest: A Celebration of Juneteenth – Live music, craft vendors, fashion, and interactive family fun.
Juneteenth: Honoring Food, Traditions, and Histories – The Walter’s Art Museum notes, “Local chefs, David and Tonya Thomas, team up to discuss the culinary history of African American cuisine and food traditions associated with Juneteenth.”
Doleman Black Heritage Museum Hosts the Third Annual 2023 Juneteenth Celebration – Nonprofit organization hosting a socks and underwear drive for needy children. Food and craft vendors, nonprofit outreach, and more will also be there.
There are many events going on throughout Maryland for Juneteenth. Please see Visit Maryland, Maryland Office of Tourism Development, for full details and information.
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