Juneteenth, also known as “Freedom Day,” is a holiday that celebrates the abolition of slavery in Texas. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was made effective in 1863, some states under Confederate jurisdiction did not implement it until years later. It wasn’t until June 19, 1865 that Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, and Union General Gordon Granger announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in the state were free by executive decree.

This holiday marks our second independence day and is the oldest nationally celebrated remembrance of the ending of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth brought a new era for people to shape identities independent of racial character, promote ethnic pride, and create economic prosperity for generations to come.

Check out the events below for places to celebrate Juneteenth in Austin with your friends and family this year.

Juneteenth Events in Austin

H-E-B Free First Sunday: Juneteenth
Bullock Texas State History Museum
The June installment of the Bullock’s Free First Sunday series is focused on all things Juneteenth. Bring the whole family and enjoy storytelling by Oba William King, a Juneteenth documentary in the Spirit Theater and crafts with Galleries at Black Studios.

High Noon Talk: Juneteenth Rodeo
Bullock Texas State History Museum
Stop by for the Bullock's lunchtime talk series and learn about the legacy of Juneteenth rodeos in Texas. Discover the history of these non-mainstream rodeos and the individuals who competed in them through the photographic journey captured by 1970s photojournalist Sarah Bird.

Freedom + Juneteenth: A Night of Jubilation
Pease Park
Stop by Pease Park on June 8th to partake in a fun-filled celebration in honor of Juneteenth. This event will feature a panel about community building, a performance by Ballet Afrique, activities like a sip and paint station and haiku workshop, food and local DJs.

Central Texas Juneteenth Parade & Festival
Rosewood Park & Historic East Austin
This annual event is always a grand celebration. Starting at the corner of E Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. & Salina St., traveling down Chicon St., and ending at the corner of Chestnut Ave. and Pleasant Valley Rd. this parade is altogether a great time for friends and families to join in the celebration outside. Continue the party after the parade with a Juneteenth festival at Rosewood Park.

Stay Black and Live: Juneteenth Festival
George Washington Carver Museum, Library & Genealogy Center
Celebrate Juneteenth with a community festival featuring a stunning lineup of local Black speakers and musicians, along with a cookout and live music.

Black Makers Market: Juneteenth
African American Cultural and Heritage Facility
Support black makers and vendors this Juneteenth at the Black Makers Market celebration. Hosted at the African American Cultural and Heritage Facility, the event will feature vendors, food trucks, giveaways, kid-friendly activities and the city's top DJs.

19th Fest
Waterloo Park
Celebrate the 11th federal holiday with a community festival at Waterloo Park. 19th Fest will feature live music from THE TON3S, 50+ artisan craft and retail vendors, delicious local food vendors and more.

Black Heritage & Black Freedom: A Juneteenth Celebration
Join the Thinkery as they celebrate Juneteenth with black leaders, community organizations and Thinkery staff hosting hands-on activities and special storytimes throughout the museum. 

Juneteenth Celebration
Neill-Cochran House Museum
The Neill-Cochran House Museum invites you to celebrate Juneteenth with the opening of the museum's latest exhibit, A Juneteenth Rodeo. Stop by anytime between noon and 5 p.m. and enjoy lunch, guided tours of the Slave Quarters, Gospel choir and the opening reception for the exhibit.

Juneteenth Celebrations Near Austin

Juneteenth Block Party
Robin Bledsoe Park (Leander)
Visit a fun block party featuring live music by Soulful Soundz Party Band, food trucks and a vendor market. The event will also have kid-friendly activities, like a splashpad and carnival rides.

Round Rock Juneteenth Festival
Old Settlers Park (Round Rock)
This free, family friendly event features specialty food and retail vendors as well as live music from the winner of the Junetunes Showdown competition.   

To learn more about Black-owned businesses to support and Austin’s Black cultural history check out our Guide to Black-Owned Austin.