Celebrate Juneteenth in Los Angeles

Virtual celebrations, weekend festivals and more

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 virtual celebrations to weekend festivals at Leimert Park and the historic Watts Station, read on for Juneteenth events in Los Angeles. All events will take place on Saturday, June 19 unless otherwise noted.

"Lift Every Voice and Sing" Juneteenth 2021 at CAAM
Juneteenth Virtual Celebration: Lift Every Voice and Sing | Photo: CAAM

"Lift Every Voice and Sing" at CAAM (June 15)

On Tuesday, June 15 the California African American Museum (CAAM) will join nine other Black museums and historical institutions from across the country to present a virtual Juneteenth celebration inspired by the Negro National Anthem Lift Every Voice and Sing. Each museum has selected a theme for their program contribution - CAAM's theme is "Resilience" and what that means in pre- and post-COVID America. The program will also feature poetry and performances by the African American Cultural Ensemble, Balafon West African Dance, and more. Stream "Lift Every Voice and Sing" live from 9am to 11am PDT on blkfreedom.org.

"Biddy Mason Speaks Up" authors Arisa White and Laura Atkins
"Biddy Mason Speaks Up" authors Arisa White and Laura Atkins | Photo: LAPL

Los Angeles Central Public Library

The Central Library is hosting a full day of online Juneteenth events, beginning at 11am with Genealogy Garage: Finding American Slave Ancestors.

At 1pm, authors Arisa White and Laura Atkins will receive the 42nd Annual FOCAL Award and discuss their book Biddy Mason Speaks Up. The award is given annually by The Friends of Children and Literature to a distinguished children’s book highlighting California.

From 3pm to 4pm, the LAPL’s Teen’Scape department, Black Being, and DJ pastelShade present a virtual celebration for teens and their families. More info at the Los Angeles Public Library website.

Soulful Sundays at Comfort LA in DTLA
Soulful Sundays at Comfort LA | Photo: SoulfulofNoise

SoulfulofNoise Juneteenth Concert

SoulfulofNoise is hosting a Juneteenth Concert at Comfort DTLA from 2pm to 6pm. Described as "a celebration of everything Black of our Past, Present, and Future," the concert will feature performances by acclaimed independent artists and vendors for guests to shop and support Black-owned businesses. Tickets to the Juneteenth Concert are on sale at Eventbrite.

3 Black Kids performing at Juneteenth 2020 in Leimert Park
3 Black Kids performing at Juneteenth in Leimert Park | Photo: @vancorona, Instagram

Leimert Park Rising (June 19-20)

Leimert Park Rising is a collaborative effort to build a more cooperative Leimert Park Village through arts, culture and commerce. Taking place from noon to 8pm on June 19-20, the annual Juneteenth Celebration is an all-ages, family friendly event with craft vendors, food trucks, and multiple stages of live music and DJs. Free admission, more info at the Leimert Park Rising website.

Historic Watts Station in South Los Angeles
Watts Station | Photo: Ron Reiring, Flickr

Juneteenth Heritage Festival at Watts Station (June 19-20)

Presented by local nonprofits Black Arts Los Angeles and Build Plus, the Juneteenth Heritage Festival is taking place at the landmark Watts Station, located adjacent to the Metro A Line 103rd Street/Watts Towers station. The family-friendly event features live entertainment, food trucks, crafts in the Kids Corner, vendors, rides and more. Admission is free.

Built in 1904, Watts Station became a major stop for the Pacific Electric Red Car between LA and Long Beach. The station was named a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1965 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Today the Watts Station houses an LADWP Customer Service Center.

Pies for Justice 2 hosted by Gather for Good
Pies for Justice 2 | Photo: Gather for Good

Pies for Justice 2

Presented by Gather for Good, the second annual Pies for Justice is a charity bake sale featuring dozens of pastry chefs, bakers, restaurateurs and farmers. Proceeds from this year's sale will be donated to Black Lives Matter LA and SÜPRMARKT.

Each chef and restaurant will offer a unique pie created for the bake sale, including whole pies, hand pies, and pie slices. 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.

Black on the Block Juneteenth pop-up market
Black on the Block | Photo: Eventbrite

Black on the Block

Taking place at Evolve Project LA from noon to 4pm, Black on the Block is a Juneteenth pop-up market featuring more than 60 Black-owned vendors offering clothing, jewelry, accessories, artwork, skincare, haircare, tattoo artists and more. Shoppers can also enjoy food trucks (with vegan options), drinks, games, and DJs.

RSVP for your free ticket at Eventbrite. Follow @blackxtheblock on Instagram for updates and vendor spotlights.

Griffith Park 1

Juneteenth Celebration Trail Run/Hike at the Old Zoo

Rise and shine for a guided trail run/hike at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park. The hike will start at 8:30am and takes place on a marked out-and-back course that winds through Griffith Park's hidden gems and up to Hollywood Peak for stunning city views. Music and refreshments will be provided at the end of the hike, which is open to all ages and skill levels. "Bring out your double-dutch ropes, picnic blankets, and wide-brim hats! It's a celebration!"

Admission is free. Purchase a $5 Eventbrite ticket and you'll receive 10 tickets for the raffle, which includes a new pair of Salomon shoes, local race entries, and more.

"Unmasked" at The Wallis
Unmasked: A Theatrical Celebration of Black Women’s Liberation | Photo: The Wallis

"Unmasked" at The Wallis (June 19 - July 4)

In celebration of Juneteenth, The Wallis and Black Rebirth Collective present Unmasked: A Theatrical Celebration of Black Women’s Liberation. Co-directed by Kimberly Hébert and Camille Jenkins, Unmasked features one-act plays by four preeminent voices in American theater: Jezelle the Gazelle by Dominique Morisseau, White-N-Luscious by Jocelyn Bioh, G.O.A.T. by Ngozi Anyanwu, and Madness by Stacy Osei-Kuffour.

Filmed at The Wallis’ Lovelace Studio Theater, Unmasked premieres on June 19 and will be available for on-demand streaming through July 4. Pricing per household is $19 for all four plays, or $5 each for individual plays. Purchase the streaming pass at The Wallis website.

Juneteenth 2020 at Woodley Park hosted by Zawadi Cultural Collective
Juneteenth at Woodley Park | Photo: Zawadi Cultural Collective, Facebook

Juneteenth Community Rally at Woodley Park

Taking place from 3pm to 6pm at Woodley Park in Van Nuys, the annual Juneteenth Community Rally features games, giveaways, music, speakers, food vendors, and much more. Pack a picnic, bring a blanket, and enjoy an afternoon of fellowship and fun with the San Fernando Valley community. Masks are required when walking around.

The Juneteenth Community Rally is hosted by Zawadi Cultural Collective, a Valley-based organization that celebrates cultural diversity through educational programs, dance, theater, exhibitions and all forms of art.

Port of LA at Night 2021
Port of LA at Night. Courtesy of Instagram, @portofla

Juneteenth 400 at Port of Los Angeles

The first-ever Juneteenth 400 Celebration at the Port of Los Angeles is a one-of-a-kind virtual event that includes tributes, education, entertainment, and culminates with fireworks over the water. Central to Juneteenth 400 is the drive to inspire local young people to explore maritime and STEM career paths with the TopSail Youth Program at the Los Angeles Maritime Institute. More info at the Port of Los Angeles website.

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UNIFEST at the Crenshaw Y

Shop the BIPOC market, take a dance class or do some yoga at this block party in Baldwin Hills. The Crenshaw Family YMCA hosts this all-day event, including an early morning produce giveaway courtesy of Summaeverythang a 5K, yoga for kids and an artisan market from Our Piece of the Pie. Entertainment includes dancing, music, and art installations from afro-futurist superstar, Lauren Halsey.