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Juneteenth Celebrations Around the Main Line

Start a Juneteenth tradition in your family! Celebrate freedom and honor this important date in American history at one of these local events.

Juneteenth commemorates the date when the last enslaved Black people in Texas were freed by Union soldiers on June 19, 1865. Although it’s only been a federal holiday since 2021, people have celebrated Juneteenth since the end of slavery. Many people, especially Black Americans, consider the date our second “independence day” and celebrate accordingly! The holiday is marked with parades, festivals, performances, storytelling, and Black cultural programming. And since the official recognition of the holiday, you’ll find more and more ways to celebrate Juneteenth.

Juneteenth Tours

June 15–18, 2023, Multiple tour times
Chester County History Center, 225 North High Street, West Chester

In partnership with Voices Underground and the West Chester Juneteenth Planning Partners, CCHC is offering two outdoor tours, which require Eventbrite registration: Underground Railroad and Uptown West Chester. Tickets are $10 for adults. Students and seniors are only $5, thanks to the generous support of Voices Underground, TD Charitable Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Abolition Society. Each tour will start at the History Center and cover about one mile, over a one-hour period. In addition to today, these tours will be offered throughout the weekend.

African American Quilt Art Show and Reception

Thursday, June 15, 2023, 5:30–7:30 pm
Chester County Art Association, 100 North Bradford Avenue, West Chester

Join the celebration as the Cultural Alliance of Chester County kicks off Juneteenth in West Chester with an African American Quilting Art Show and Reception. African American quilts are significant artistic pieces of both the past and present history for black Americans. They tell stories of slavery and segregation, giving viewers valuable history lessons while also representing beacons of hope. They are symbols of culture, community, and freedom.

Visitors view beautiful quilt creations, learn about the history of Juneteenth and the Underground Railroad, and can meet the talented quilters at this opening reception.

Elmwood Park Zoo Juneteenth Family Resource Day

Saturday, June 17, 2023, 10 am–1 pm
Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown

Come to the zoo for the Greater Norristown NAACP Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 17 from 10 am to 1 pm. This family-friendly event will feature live music, kid activities, animal meet and greets, and keeper chats. Guests will also have the the opportunity to connect with local organizations in the community. This event is free to attend with zoo admission. Norristown Borough residents (19401) can visit the zoo on June 17 for free by pre-registering here!

Juneteenth Tours at Peter Wentz Farmstead

Saturday, June 17, 2023, 10 am–4 pm and Sunday June 18, 2023, 1–4 pm
Peter Wentz Farmstead, 2030 Shearer Road, Lansdale

Join the Peter Wentz Farmstead in observation of Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the emancipation of Black enslaved people in America. They will be offering special tours throughout the weekend focusing on the lives of the enslaved people owned by the Wentz family and how their stories connect to the larger history of slavery in early Pennsylvania.

Learn about Jack, a freedom seeker owned by Peter Wentz who escaped twice from the farmstead. Hear the stories of Hannah Till and William Lee, enslaved people who were brought here with General George Washington during the Philadelphia Campaign. Immerse yourself in the 18th century as you discover the complicated and rarely told history of slavery in Pennsylvania. The Peter Wentz Farmstead is a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site.

Tours will run every half hour throughout the weekend. Space is limited. Tickets are free, but register here to reserve your spot on a timed tour.

Juneteenth Freedom Day

Saturday, June 17, 2023, 11–4 pm
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, 5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, DE

Performers who will be part of Juneteenth Freedom Day

Celebrate Juneteenth Freedom Day with the Wilmington Ballet at Winterthur! Storytellers, musicians, and dancers will fill Enchanted Woods with performances enriched by and deeply rooted in African American arts and culture. The day will also include a World Marketplace in Enchanted Woods. Juneteenth performances included with general admission; members are free. Purchase tickets for Juneteenth.

Also part of the Juneteenth Freedom Day, the Whitney Project will be performing “A Celebration of Black Joy” by the Wilmington Ballet’s frequent collaborator Jonathan Whitney. Performances take place at 11 am and 3 pm in Copeland Lecture Hall. There is a separate fee for “A Celebration of Black Joy” performance: $15, adults; $10 students (ages 13–17); $5 children (12 and under); free for children 2 and under. General admission is not included.

The 17th Annual Philadelphia Juneteenth Festival

Saturday, June 17, 2023, 12–7 pm
Johnson House Historic Site, 6306 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia

Photo from the 2019 Juneteenth Festival by Tieshka Smith for the Johnson House Historic Site, Philadelphia.

This year, the Johnson House Historic Site in Germantown celebrates its 17th Annual Philadelphia Juneteenth Festival (PJF). PJF elevates the significance of Juneteenth by educating the community while shining a light on the anti-slavery and abolitionist movements of yesterday and today. What’s more, attendees engage in a host of family focused activities designed to bring history to life. Features include African drumming, a children’s village, historical re-enactments, a historical and cultural marketplace, tours, resource information, food trucks, music, artistic performances, panel discussions, and more.

Juneteenth Celebration at the Hatfield House

Saturday, June 17, 2023, 1–5 pm
Hatfield House, 3201 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia

The historic Hatfield House in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park

Come out to the historic Hatfield House in Philly’s Fairmount Park for a free Juneteeth celebration! It’s the big white house at 33rd and Girard. Bring your lawn chair or picnic blanket and enjoy live jazz music, a DJ, kid-friendly activities and games, and prize giveaways. While there, enjoy refreshments including pretzels and water ice. Plus, step inside the house to see a new photo exhibit from We Walk PHLIn Color Birding Club, and GirlTrek: “Healing Through the Land: Black Faces in Green Spaces.”

Juneteenth Storytime with Harriet Tubman

Saturday, June 17, 2023, 2–3 pm
Christ Church, 20 North American Street Philadelphia

Be transported by Dr. Daisy Century of the American Historical Theatre as Harriet Tubman.

Come celebrate Juneteenth with a special storytime with Dr. Daisy Century of the American Historical Theatre as Harriet Tubman! Dr. Century will be outside of Christ Church in the South Churchyard. This event is perfect for kids and adults alike! Tickets are not required but are appreciated.

Juneteenth Celebration: The Storytelling Art of Jerry Pinkney

Saturday, June 17, 2023, 4–5:15 pm
Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia

In honor of Juneteenth, celebrate the legacy of Philadelphia native and one of the most revered children’s book illustrators in America, Jerry Pinkney (1939–2021). Growing up in Germantown in a time of segregation, Jerry could not imagine a career in art was possible. His pursuit of art, exploration with the complexities of history, and deep belief in the resilience of the human spirit will be commemorated with live music, and storytelling. Outside, weather permitting. This free activity is part of Woodmere’s Family Happenings program, where families discover the adventure and fun of the Museum’s interactive programs.

Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade & Festival

Sunday, June 18, 2023, 10 am–7 pm
52nd Street, Philadelphia

Juneteenth parade on Philadelphia street featuring a woman holding a Black culture flag draped on her shoulders
The Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade and Festival is the largest annual celebration in the nation!

The Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade and Festival has grown to be the largest in the nation drawing over 25,000 attendees to experience a culturally festive 1.5 mile long parade with over 2,000 participants and 20+ floats. The day’s festivities begin with the Marketplace in the historic Malcolm X Park at 10 am. Later, the parade will commence at 52nd and Jefferson Streets at 12 pm and will make its way to Malcolm X Park. The annual celebration continues with a festival at Malcolm X Park with over 250 vendors and a musical concert for the entire family to enjoy! Additionally, there will be a Children’s Village with a carnival, games, face painting, photo booths and more.

2nd Annual Juneteenth at The Mercer

Sunday, June 18, 2023, 10:30 am–4 pm
84 S. Pine Street, Doylestown

Photo from 2022 Juneteenth celebration at the Mercer Museum & Fonthill Castle

Join the Juneteenth celebration in the heart of the Doylestown Cultural District. This event commemorates the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when the last enslaved people in the United States learned that they had been freed. We will celebrate this occasion with speakers, live performances, musicians, a DJ, food trucks, vendors and artisans, family-friendly crafts and activities, and free admission to the Mercer Museum. This event is free to the public and will be held rain or shine.

Juneteenth Celebration on Phoenixville’s Bridge Street

Sunday, June 18, 2023, 2–6 pm
200 Block of Bridge Street, Phoenixville

Come together through celebration! Orion Communities, along with Diversity In Action, Black Light Projects, Forever Changes, The Colonial Theatre, the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation, and Trellis for Tomorrow will host an open-air, Juneteenth Celebration on Phoenixville’s Bridge Street. This fun-filled afternoon will feature African drumming and dancing and other entertainment, inspiring words, art exhibits, colorful re-enactments, storytelling, and more.

Freedom Festival

Monday, June 19, 2023 12–6 pm
Charles A Melton Arts & Ed Center, 501 East Miner Street, West Chester

All are welcome! Join the Cultural Alliance of Chester County as they celebrate June 19th and the end of slavery in the United States. They’ll honor the sacrifice of our ancestors and share the cultural heritage of enslaved people, and their descendants through entertainment, art, education, and an ever-present always-developing sense of community. Enjoy food, music, art, dance, games, culture, and community!

Juneteenth at the Please Touch Museum

Monday, June 19, 2023 9 am–4:30 pm
Please Touch Museum, Memorial Hall, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia

On Juneteenth, march and stomp with the West Philadelphia Drumline during the End of the Day Parade at Please Touch Museum!

On Monday, June 19th, join the Please Touch Museum in celebration of liberation and innovation. Enjoy Museum programming celebrating the Black experience, featuring celebratory art workshops, storytimes, music, activities, and performances.

Juneteenth Celebration – Independence, Freedom, and Emancipation!

Monday, June 19, 2023 12–4 pm
Cabrini University, 610 King of Prussia Road, Radnor

On Monday, June 19, from 12–4 pm, Cabrini University will hold its second annual Juneteenth celebration. Experience the captivating rhythms of the Tyehimba African Drum and Dance Ensemble, the soulful sounds of the Foundation Singers, the engaging storytelling of Keepers of the Culture, as well as an interactive capoeira performance with by Mestre Kamau. Additionally, the keynote speaker will be the dynamic professor, Cabrini University alum, and author of Sister Power, Dr. Patricia Reid Merritt. There will also be face painting and moon bouncing for the children, food by BBQ Clubhouse, line dancing, and lots of fun!

Delco’s 2nd Annual Junenteenth Celebration

Monday, June 19, 2023, beginning at 4 pm
Rose Tree Park, 1671 N Providence Road, Media

This free, family-friendly event gives the community an opportunity to celebrate an important milestone in history. The celebration will also showcase some of Delaware County’s local business owners selling artwork, jewelry, crafts and more, food trucks, and resources from local organizations across the county. The festival begins with food and vendors at 4 pm. The band, Philly Gumbo headlines the event and will take the stage at 7:30 pm. The event is free for residents of all ages and will be held rain or shine.

Lead photo courtesy of The Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade and Festival.

Main Line Parent Writer & Calendar Editor. Email beth@familyfocus.org.