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Juneteenth Memorial Monument behind Carver Museum in East Austin
Jennifer Rangubpha, Creative Commons license

Where to celebrate Juneteenth in Austin

The parade, the party, and more

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Juneteenth Memorial Monument behind Carver Museum in East Austin
| Jennifer Rangubpha, Creative Commons license

The celebration of Juneteenth is bittersweet. The holiday marks the day that Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were free: June 19, 1865—two and a half years after President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, which had become official on January 1, 1863. It's certainly a time of celebration—and one of contemplation, education, and remembrance. Here is what we hope is a mix of those things in our guide map of places and ways to observe Juneteenth in and around Austin.

If you’re inspired to explore more African-American history in Austin, take a look at our map guide to some related local landmarks.

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1. Juneteenth Music Festival/Austin ISD Performing Arts Center

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1500 Barbara Jordan
Austin, TX

This is the sixth year of AISD's Juneteenth Music Festival, which replaced the Alvin Patterson Battle of the Bands after the latter’s demise. The fest starts at 6pm Friday and will feature the Austin All-Star Band, Black and Gold Dancers, Reagan High School Soul Mates, Reagan High School Cheerleaders, and the A-Train Drumline, along with special Courtney Santana.

2. Skylark Lounge

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2039 Airport Blvd
Austin, TX 78722
(512) 730-0759
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If you haven't already checked out the Skylark, Juneteenth is a good time to do so. Some call it a dive bar, but it's really just a comfortable, welcoming place that hosts great blues, soul, and roots acts in its cozy, dimly lit confines.

3. Pre-Juneteenth Health and Wellness Fair

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2005 Salina St
Austin, TX 78722
(512) 972-5790
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This is the 21st year of the Pre-Juneteenth Health and Wellness Fair, which will take place at the Blackland Neighborhood Center Friday starting at 7:30 p.m. Sponsored by the United Way, it celebrates, educates, and informs the community with the event that includes vendors, music, children’s activities, and food.

4. Juneteenth 2K Freedom Run/Walk

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Comal Street and East Martin Luther King Boulevard
Austin, TX 78702 USA

This is where the official fun starts, with a 5K run/walk at 9:30 a.m. The starting line is at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard and Comal Street. The finish line is at Rosewood Avenue and Chesntut Street. You can register at the Central Texas Juneteenth site.

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5. Juneteenth Park Festival

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2300 Rosewood Ave
Austin, TX 78702

The Juneteenth Freedom Parade ends at Rosewood Park, whereupon a celebration from commences, with food, speakers, music, kids activities, and more. The party will also extend across Rosewood Avenue to Boggy Creek Greenbelt.

6. George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center

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1165 Angelina St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 974-4926
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The Carver is both Austin's first library and an emblem of its segregated past, and it’s especially significant on Juneteenth. It is home to a permanent exhibit on the subject as well as to the moving Juneteenth Memorial Sculpture Monument and Freedom Plaza. There are also current exhibitions by contemporary artists. There will be celebration of Juneteenth co-presented by the library and the cultural center Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

A plaque with Juneteenth proclamation in front of rounded museum building Jennifer Rangubpha, Creative Commons license

7. Juneteenth Historical Parade

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2209 Rosewood Ave
Austin, TX 78702

The annual Juneteenth Historical Parade features drumlines, full bands, dancers, and other folks marching, with more on the sidewalks waving. Like the Freedom Run, the parade at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard and Comal Street and ends at Rosewood and Chestnut avenues. Unlike the run, the parade starts at 10 a.m. and runs to noon Saturday.

8. Been Living Color: Juneteenth Edition

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616 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701
(616) 676-7209
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“Been Living Color” describes its Saturday show at Fallout Theater as “an all POC showcase featuring stand-up, stories, and sketches from those who live life in the margins.” The event is hosted by Jasmine Ellis and begins at 10 p.m. (doors 9:30 p.m.).

9. Austin Revitalization Authority Juneteenth Artist Celebration

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1154 Lydia St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 469-1705
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David Thomas, Sedria Stevenson, and Keidra Hamilton are the artists celebrated at this year’s annual ARA Juneteenth Art Exhibition. The opening reception Thursday will celebrate the artists and the exhibit and highlights the East Austin community. Spoken-word artist Evan Blache will perform at the event, which is free and open to the public.

10. Kenny Dorham's Backyard/Victory Grill

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1106 E 11th St
Austin, TX
(512) 477-9438

Live blues and soul music are nothing new at Kenny Dorham's Backyard, an outdoor venue (with food trucks!) next to the historic Victory Grill.

1. Juneteenth Music Festival/Austin ISD Performing Arts Center

1500 Barbara Jordan, Austin, TX

This is the sixth year of AISD's Juneteenth Music Festival, which replaced the Alvin Patterson Battle of the Bands after the latter’s demise. The fest starts at 6pm Friday and will feature the Austin All-Star Band, Black and Gold Dancers, Reagan High School Soul Mates, Reagan High School Cheerleaders, and the A-Train Drumline, along with special Courtney Santana.

1500 Barbara Jordan
Austin, TX

2. Skylark Lounge

2039 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78722

If you haven't already checked out the Skylark, Juneteenth is a good time to do so. Some call it a dive bar, but it's really just a comfortable, welcoming place that hosts great blues, soul, and roots acts in its cozy, dimly lit confines.

2039 Airport Blvd
Austin, TX 78722

3. Pre-Juneteenth Health and Wellness Fair

2005 Salina St, Austin, TX 78722

This is the 21st year of the Pre-Juneteenth Health and Wellness Fair, which will take place at the Blackland Neighborhood Center Friday starting at 7:30 p.m. Sponsored by the United Way, it celebrates, educates, and informs the community with the event that includes vendors, music, children’s activities, and food.

2005 Salina St
Austin, TX 78722

4. Juneteenth 2K Freedom Run/Walk

Comal Street and East Martin Luther King Boulevard, Austin, TX 78702 USA
Getty Images/iStockphoto

This is where the official fun starts, with a 5K run/walk at 9:30 a.m. The starting line is at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard and Comal Street. The finish line is at Rosewood Avenue and Chesntut Street. You can register at the Central Texas Juneteenth site.

Comal Street and East Martin Luther King Boulevard
Austin, TX 78702 USA

5. Juneteenth Park Festival

2300 Rosewood Ave, Austin, TX 78702

The Juneteenth Freedom Parade ends at Rosewood Park, whereupon a celebration from commences, with food, speakers, music, kids activities, and more. The party will also extend across Rosewood Avenue to Boggy Creek Greenbelt.

2300 Rosewood Ave
Austin, TX 78702

6. George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center

1165 Angelina St, Austin, TX 78702
A plaque with Juneteenth proclamation in front of rounded museum building Jennifer Rangubpha, Creative Commons license

The Carver is both Austin's first library and an emblem of its segregated past, and it’s especially significant on Juneteenth. It is home to a permanent exhibit on the subject as well as to the moving Juneteenth Memorial Sculpture Monument and Freedom Plaza. There are also current exhibitions by contemporary artists. There will be celebration of Juneteenth co-presented by the library and the cultural center Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

1165 Angelina St
Austin, TX 78702

7. Juneteenth Historical Parade

2209 Rosewood Ave, Austin, TX 78702

The annual Juneteenth Historical Parade features drumlines, full bands, dancers, and other folks marching, with more on the sidewalks waving. Like the Freedom Run, the parade at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard and Comal Street and ends at Rosewood and Chestnut avenues. Unlike the run, the parade starts at 10 a.m. and runs to noon Saturday.

2209 Rosewood Ave
Austin, TX 78702

8. Been Living Color: Juneteenth Edition

616 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701

“Been Living Color” describes its Saturday show at Fallout Theater as “an all POC showcase featuring stand-up, stories, and sketches from those who live life in the margins.” The event is hosted by Jasmine Ellis and begins at 10 p.m. (doors 9:30 p.m.).

616 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701

9. Austin Revitalization Authority Juneteenth Artist Celebration

1154 Lydia St, Austin, TX 78702

David Thomas, Sedria Stevenson, and Keidra Hamilton are the artists celebrated at this year’s annual ARA Juneteenth Art Exhibition. The opening reception Thursday will celebrate the artists and the exhibit and highlights the East Austin community. Spoken-word artist Evan Blache will perform at the event, which is free and open to the public.

1154 Lydia St
Austin, TX 78702

10. Kenny Dorham's Backyard/Victory Grill

1106 E 11th St, Austin, TX

Live blues and soul music are nothing new at Kenny Dorham's Backyard, an outdoor venue (with food trucks!) next to the historic Victory Grill.

1106 E 11th St
Austin, TX