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Get Ready to Celebrate Juneteenth, Brooklyn!

Brooklyn is turning it on with a range of events starting this weekend for Juneteenth!
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We Outside Juneteenth celebration in 2023.

On Wednesday, June 19, the nation will celebrate Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the emancipation of more than 250,000 slaves at the close of the Civil War.

Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day for African Americans, Juneteenth was first designated as a state holiday in 2020, and became a national holiday in 2021.

To honor and pay tribute to the importance of the day, there are many organizations in Brooklyn that are holding a range of celebrations and events, and it all starts this weekend!

Saturday, June 15

Saddles and Soul: A Juneteenth Black Western Celebration at Brooklyn Museum

Honor the legacy of Juneteenth as a Texas holiday and the long history of Black Western culture. The all day event includes line dancing to sets by local DJs, photo activations, art-making and Juneteenth eats. Plus, enjoy special after-hours access to Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys. The events are 12pm to 8pm throughout the museum. 

KowTeff's 14th Annual Juneteenth Celebration at Restoration Plaza 

The all-day event, from 12pm to 8pm, has something for everyone: dance and fitness classes, sip and paint, face painting, health screenings and an African marketplace at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza. The free, live performance starts at 3pm. 

We Outside! A Brooklyn Juneteenth, Vol. II

Curated by 651 ARTS, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and The Soapbox Presents, there will be numerous dance and musical performances at The Plaza, 300 Ashland Pl. in Downtown Brooklyn from 2pm to 8pm. One highlight is "The Soapbox Presents: Stoop Sessions, Freedom Songs,” a journey through Black protest music to a party of radical joy to be led by bassist Endea Owens and featuring J. Hoard. From Jim Crow to systemic oppression, freedom songs have always historically been part of Black identity as a constant throughline in the fight for justice and equality and Stoop Sessions pays tribute to that integral piece of the Black experience. 

There will also be marching bands, majorette squads, a step show, dance workshops and a Black artisan market featuring contemporary fashion, accessories, home goods, beauty and wellness products and handmade jewelry. 

The event is free but you can reserve your tickets here. 

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We Outside: A Brooklyn Juneteenth celebration in 2023. Photo: Supplied/651 ARTS, Alex Bershaw Photography

Brooklyn Juneteenth Food Festival at Weeksville Heritage Center

From 11am to 8pm, the third annual Weeksville Heritage Center & Jummy’s Picks by Black-Owned Brooklyn Juneteenth Food Festival will bring together 42 food vendors and artisans for a vibrant celebration of Black food and culture at the Weeksville Heritage Center in Crown Heights. 

The festival will offer cuisine from the American South alongside flavors from the Caribbean, Africa and Latin America. Guests can expect classics like South Carolina barbecue, fried chicken biscuits and Chesapeake Bay crab, plus innovations like soul empanadas and vegan soul food dishes with a Puerto Rican twist. Other diasporic offerings include Senegalese thiebou jen and Jamaican jerk chicken tacos, as well as sweet treats from Southern red velvet cake to Caribbean ice cream. Abundant vegan options will be available across multiple vendors.

The day's programming lineup features Soul Summit DJ crew; awe-inspiring performances by Brownsville’s champion double dutch team the Jazzy Jumpers; dance workshops led by Haus of Glitter, a queer BIPOC art collective; and a food demo and craft activity hosted by Alliah L. Agostini and Chef Taffy Elrod, co-authors of The Juneteenth Cookbook: Recipes and Activities for Kids and Families to Celebrate.

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Brooklyn Juneteenth Food Festival at Weeksville Heritage Center. Photo: Supplied/Curt Saunders for Black-Owned Brooklyn

Community Day Festival at Linden Park/Gershwin Park

The nonprofit Juneteenth NY is planning a host of events, including this outdoor festival from 8:30am to 6pm. The event will have over 60 vendors and activities for the whole family, including a parade and a fashion show.

Wykoff House Museum Family Day

A community celebration featuring storytelling and crafts for all ages will be held at the Wykoff House Museum from 11am to 3pm. Tours of the Wykoff House start at 12pm, while Juneteenth storytelling and craft activity begins at 1pm, suitable for kids ages 4-10.

Juneteenth Family Day at Green-Wood Cemetery

Walk around historic Green-Wood Cemetery for a self-guided Black history tour. Maps and biographies of featured burial sites will be available when you enter the Cemetery, and the trolley will run on a loop to all sites so folks can hop on and off as they please. 

Sunday, June 16

The Layout's Fifth Annual Juneteenth Celebration in Fort Greene Park

This popular all-day festival is expected to attract thousands of people to Fort Greene Park, from 10am to 6pm. There will be basketball and tennis clinics, a community flower mural, over 40 Black-owned businesses selling their wares and a plethora of music to enjoy. 

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The Lay Out Presents the 2024 Juneteenth Celebration, The Five On It Edition. Photo: Supplied/The Lay Out via Instagram

Monday, June 17 

Juneteenth and Eid al Adha Celebration with the Brooklyn Heights Library

Teens can join librarians for a holiday celebration in the Juneteenth Grove at Cadman Park Plaza at 4pm. The library will supply colorful lanyards for Juneteenth bracelet making, and Henna to celebrate Eid al Adha.

Wednesday, June 19

Juneteenth UNITYFEST at Prospect Park Bandshell

From 6pm to 10:30pm, BRIC and Robert Randolph Foundation hosts an evening to celebrate achievements, address challenges and collaborate for lasting economic impact in African American communities. DJ Spinna, known for his genre-defying mastery and electrifying sets that traverse Hip-Hop, soul, R&B, jazz, funk and house, will headline. Peven Everett, Merlin Bobb, Monique Bingham, Voices of a People’s History and others will join to nurture a deeper conversation on unity by honoring the voices, stories and traditions that lend themselves to the rich and diverse tapestry that is American history and culture. 

Juneteenth in Brower Park: Books of Liberation

Various Crown Heights community organizations and the Brooklyn Children's Museum will host Juneteenth in Brower Park: Books of Liberation, a special commemoration to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday in Brower Park from 11am to 3pm. The day will feature live music, dance, workshops, performances and art projects.

There will be a performance by Brooklyn United Marching Band, a presentation by author Alliah Agostini, a story time lead by Laleña Garcia, and a musical performance by Tahira Clayton. Food from CG’s Fish and Chips will be available for purchase on site.

Brooklyn and the Abolitionist Movement Walking Tour

Join the city Department of Parks and Recreation Urban Park Rangers for a walking tour discussing Brooklyn's significant history to the abolitionist movement in the United States. Meet at the corner of Furman and Old Fulton Streets in Brooklyn Bridge Park at 11am.