Celebrate Juneteenth in Los Angeles

Neighborhood festivals to a concert at the Greek Theatre

Juneteenth 2020 at Leimert Park
Juneteenth at Leimert Park | Photo: @tazarnold, Instagram

Also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day and Emancipation Day, Juneteenth is an annual celebration that commemorates the emancipation of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865 - two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been enacted - Union soldiers rode into Galveston, Texas and General Gordon Granger announced the news that the slaves in Texas were free. Juneteenth dates to 1866 in Galveston and is now celebrated across the country.

From neighborhood festivals to a global celebration at the Greek Theatre, read on for highlights of Juneteenth events in Los Angeles. All events take place on Monday, June 19 unless otherwise noted.

CAAM Group Meditation
Photo: CAAM

Juneteenth Wellness Day - CAAM (June 18, 2023)

Celebrate Juneteenth at the California African American Museum (CAAM) with this all-ages outdoor wellness double-header.

From 10am to 11am, move through a 60-minute flow with yoga and meditation teacher Constance Hartwell. From 11am to noon, experience the healing possibilities of sound baths with Sol & Sound as they guide you through a group meditation.

No previous experience necessary, bring your own yoga mat. First-come, first-served. Free admission, RSVP at Eventbrite.

Annette Gordon-Reed "On Juneteenth"
"On Juneteenth" by Annette Gordon-Reed | Photo: Liveright

Los Angeles Public Library (June 2023)

Several branches of the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) are hosting in-person Juneteenth events. On June 17, the landmark Central Library in Downtown LA is presenting a Reading Circle featuring On Juneteenth by Pulitzer Prize winning author Annette Gordon-Reed.

CicLAvia South LA Juneteenth 2023
CicLAvia South LA Juneteenth 2023 | Photo: CicLAvia

CicLAVia South LA (June 18, 2023)

Presented by Metro, CicLAvia South LA is taking place from 9am to 4pm on Sunday, June 18. All ages are welcome to jog, ride, bike, skate, run, walk, skateboard, spectate, and enjoy the car-free streets of South LA.

The six-mile route spans Exposition Park to the north and culminates at L.A. County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell's 3rd Annual Juneteenth Celebration & Resource Fair, a free community event that uplifts the impact of Juneteenth and creates a space for redefining what freedom means today. This joyous event includes live performances, food trucks, activities, and access to community and county services. On-site record expungement, mental health services, support with tenant protection and more, will be available. RSVP at Supervisor Mitchell's official website.

"Do the Right Thing"
"Do the Right Thing" | Photo: IMDb

Street Food Cinema: "Do the Right Thing" (June 17, 2023)

Featuring a wide range of films, gourmet food trucks and live music, Street Food Cinema presents Saturday night screenings at outdoor locations from The Autry Museum to Will Rogers State Historic Park and Verdugo Park.

On June 17, SFC presents a Juneteenth screening of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing at Los Angeles State Historic Park in Downtown LA. On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.

Featuring MC Chellz Evette, RnB and Hip Hop by DJ L-double-E, and food trucks including Belly's Sliders and Wings, Coco's Lipsmacking Cupcakes, Dilan's Caribbean Grill, District Burger, MexiBachi, Nacho Me Vegan, Reality Eatzz and more. Doors open at 5:30pm and leashed dogs are welcome!

Leimert Park Juneteenth Festival
Photo: Leimert Park Juneteenth Festival

Leimert Park Juneteenth Festival (June 19, 2023)

Taking place in the historic Leimert Park Village from noon to 9pm, the Leimert Park Juneteenth Festival features 300+ Black-owned businesses, three main stages, two DJs stages, a spoken word stage and more. Taking place from noon to 9pm, the festival is more than just a marketplace - it's a curated experience with great food, drinks, music, art and culture, networking opportunities, and the best energy.

Pies for Justice
Pies for Justice | Photo: Gather for Good

Pies for Justice (June 12-19, 2023)

Presented by Gather for Good, the 4th annual Pies for Justice is a charity bake sale featuring dozens of pastry chefs, bakers, restaurateurs and farmers.

Proceeds will be donated to Peace 4 Kids, an LA based non-profit dedicated to creating consistency, stability and trust for the needs of South LA foster kids; and Everytown, the largest gun violence prevention organization in America.

Each chef and restaurant will offer a unique pie created for the bake sale, including whole pies, hand pies, and pie slices. Others will be hosting raffles. Order directly from chefs and restaurants like Post & Beam. For the full list of participants and details on how to buy your pie(s), visit the Gather for Good website.

Juneteenth in LA 2023
Juneteenth in LA 2023 | Instagram: @juneteenthinla

Juneteenth in LA (June 18, 2023)

Juneteenth in LA presents the 4th Annual Drive-Thru Parade, featuring 200+ registered cars in a caravan through the streets of Inglewood! The parade starts at noon near La Brea & Manchester, ends at Inglewood City Hall and culminates in the Taste of Inglewood food festival.

Juneteenth: A Global Celebration of Freedom at the Greek Theatre
Juneteenth: A Global Celebration of Freedom | Photo: Greek Theatre

Juneteenth: A Global Celebration of Freedom - Greek Theatre

Produced by a team of Black creators from Live Nation Urban and Jesse Collins Entertainment, Juneteenth: A Global Celebration for Freedom marks the federal holiday with a diverse lineup featuring essential artists and sounds from the African diaspora.

The famed Greek Theatre - one of the nation’s most beloved outdoor entertainment venues - is the backdrop for this immersive musical and cultural experience. CNN returns as the broadcast partner for the second annual Juneteenth, which will feature a lineup of icons and artists spanning the entertainment and music industries - Miguel, Kirk Franklin, SWV, Davido, Coi Leray, Jodeci and more TBA. Grammy and Emmy Award-winner Adam Blackstone and The Roots co-founder and Academy® Award-winning filmmaker Questlove will be the evening’s Musical Directors.

SoulfulofNoise Juneteenth Festival
SoulfulofNoise Juneteenth Festival | Photo: Eventbrite

SoulfulofNoise Juneteenth Festival (June 17, 2023)

SoulfulofNoise is hosting the annual Juneteenth Festival at Amelia Mayberry Park from noon to 8pm. Dedicated to uplifting the entire community, the family-friendly event includes live music, barbershop/beauty salon, entrepreneur workshop, health & wellness activation, local vendors, food trucks, games and more. Free with RSVP at Eventbrite.

Juneteenth Fireworks Spectacular - Cabrillo Beach (June 19, 2023)

Presented in collaboration with Juneteenth 400, the Port of Los Angeles will host the Juneteenth fireworks spectacular at Cabrillo Beach on June 19 to honor and acknowledge emancipation of African American slaves in the U.S. on this date in 1865. The event includes tributes, education, entertainment, and culminates with fireworks over the water at 8:45pm.

Juneteenth 400 is a nonprofit organization established by San Pedro resident and community activist Joe Gatlin, who hosted an annual Juneteenth Celebration at San Pedro's Peck Park from 2000 to 2018. The “400” signifies 400 years after the first slave ship arrived in the U.S. in 1619.

Korean Bell of Friendship in San Pedro
Korean Bell of Friendship  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Juneteenth Celebration & Bell-Ringing - Korean Bell of Friendship

One of San Pedro's most famous landmarks, the Korean Bell of Friendship was presented by South Korea to the American people in 1976 to commemorate the bicentennial of the U.S. and to symbolize the friendship between the two nations.

In 2021, President Joe Biden signed a bill into law to officially designate Juneteenth as an American federal holiday, and the Korean Friendship Bell was rung for the first time on June 19 in its commemoration. In 2023, the Juneteenth Celebration will take place from 10am to noon and the Friendship Bell will ring "for Liberty and Justice for All."