Ways to celebrate Juneteenth in Philadelphia in 2024

Juneteenth Philadelphia 2024
Museum of the American Revolution

The official Juneteenth holiday is observed Wednesday, June 19—but, there are some Philly spots that are celebrating all weekend long with events, specials and other activations to commemorate Juneteenth in Philadelphia.

The African American Museum in Philadelphia

The AAMP’s line-up for Juneteenth in the city kicks off at noon on Wednesday, June 19. The Block Party and Free Museum Day (aka free admission) will feature live performances including headliners Kid ‘n Play, a vendor village, food trucks, art-making, and interactive activities until 7 p.m. on the same date. 

Set during the 45th anniversary of Black Music Month, this year’s theme, “Rhythms of Liberation: Celebrating Juneteenth Through Music,” will highlight Black musicians and artists’ powerful impact on our nation’s culture and history, a release notes. WURD Radio personalities, Tiffany Bacon and Andrea Lawful-Sanders, will serve as hosts and emcees for the daylong event, and Wawa will also distribute free smoothies from its Community Care vehicle from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Juneteenth Philadelphia 2024
The African American Museum in Philadelphia is pictured.WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

 701 Arch St., aampmuseum.org

Penn Museum

This Saturday, June 15, locals can head to the Museum for its inaugural Juneteenth Festival in collaboration with Forum Philly. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., admission will be free for everyone and themed activities and workshops will be in full swing.

Highlights include workshops (like African drumming and quilt-making), inspirational storytelling sessions, a community marketplace spotlighting Black-owned businesses, live performances (including from the West Powelton Steppers and Drum Squad), food trucks and much more.

And as a release notes, the Forum Philly’s Juneteenth Honors Program will finish the day off from 2 to 4 p.m. in Harrison Auditorium. The program will illuminate the contributions of K-12 students and educators from across the region who have participated in Juneteenth-related programming and projects, such as essays, visual arts, dance, and poetry. 

3260 South St., penn.museum

Museum of the American Revolution

On Wednesday, June 19, the MoAR will be offering in-person and virtual offerings for Juneteenth in Philadelphia—including in-gallery talks and highlights tours, discovery carts, and first-person theatrical performances.

On top of the activities, as a release notes, the Museum will also delve into the lesser-known stories of Black men and women of the Revolutionary era such as Elizabeth Freeman, Phillis Wheatley, and Harry Washington, plus highlight the people of African descent who played roles in the history and preservation of George Washington’s war tent. A full schedule of events is available online.

101 S 3rd St., amrevmuseum.org

Intercultural Journeys

On June 20, 21 and 22, local organization Intercultural Journeys will debut ‘The Re-Emancipation of Social Dance’, an interactive dance party throughout five “living rooms.”

The experience will take place at Neighborhood House in Old City and in each room, a dancer will share testimonials and movement grounded in their relationship to social dance and community. As a release notes, the focus celebrates the ways Black Philadelphians have choreographed freedom, community, and culture through dance parties in homes, clubs, and other gathering places. 

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. each night, and tickets ($20) are available on Eventbrite.

Juneteenth Philadelphia 2024
Intercultural JourneysCourtesy Raja Feather Kelly

20 N. American St., 4th floor, interculturaljourneys.org

African American Children’s Book Project

This Saturday, June 15, the African American Children’s Book Project will be presenting Juneteenth— Celebrating Literary and Artistic Freedom. The program, moderated by AACBP founder Vanesse J. Lloyd-Sgambati will feature award-winning author Olugbumisola Rhuday-Perkovich and documentary producer Donna Limerick, who will team up to explore the literary and artistic accomplishments of Black Americans since the Emancipation Proclamation.

As a release notes, youth attendees will receive a free book (one per family while supplies last) and the program will also include a youth book fair and a book signing. The celebration will begin at 1 p.m. at The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, registration is available online.  

219 S 6th St., philaathenaeum.org

Awbury Arboretum

To celebrate Juneteenth in Philadelphia, Awbury Arboretum will host its annual dinner activation in Northwest Philadelphia featuring dishes inspired by Black culture, crafted by local Germantown chef, Gail Jones-Hinson. The meal will also feature a panel discussion with Gwen Ragsdale from Lest We Forget Slave Museum, Cornelia Swinson from Johnson House Historic Site Juneteenth Festival and Philly journalist Cassie Owens, and live music will also finish out the evening.

Awbury Arboretum’s Juneteenth Dinner kicks off at 5 p.m. on June 19th at the Francis Cope House. Tickets ($55) can be purchased online.

 1 Awbury Road, awbury.org