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How to Celebrate Juneteenth in Downtown Atlanta

May 30, 2024

2024 marks the fourth year of Juneteenth’s recognition as a national holiday, but Atlantans are no strangers to this special day. This year, annual events return to Downtown Atlanta and new ones kick off, giving residents and visitors several options of how they’d like to observe this important day in our country’s history.

Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of Black Americans and the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19th, 1865, the Union Army entered Galveston, Texas, and announced to Black residents, who were previously unaware, that the Emancipation Proclamation was passed over two years earlier by President Lincoln. Residents of Galveston begin celebrating the end of slavery as “Juneteenth” every year, and the holiday soon spread across the United States.

Red is the color popularly associated with Juneteenth, and foods like red velvet cake and red soda or lemonade are often made for the occasion. This association with the color is said to be tied to the Yoruba and Kongo people of West Africa who were enslaved and brought to the United States. Their descendants continued their reverence for red as a symbol of transformation and spiritual power.

Keep scrolling to learn how you can celebrate Freedom Day with these inspiring and educational events in Downtown Atlanta:

  • Truist Night Market: Juneteenth Edition Home Depot Backyard, June 13 – Head to Atlanta's Backyard to celebrate ATL culture and creators at the Truist Night Market: Juneteenth Edition. Enjoy an evening of savory food, craft cocktails, Vendor Village, cigar lounge, and live music under the stars right next to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Learn more.
  • Jubilee: A Juneteenth Celebration National Center for Civil and Human Rights, June 15 - 16, 19 – Explore the history of Juneteenth and the new traditions being created in honor of this joyous occasion. Stop by the Center to enjoy music inspired by the holiday, immerse yourself in the culture of Juneteenth through performances, and find a new piece of your tradition. Get the details
  • Juneteenth Family Festival Oakland Cemetery, June 15 – Live music, food, storytelling for children, and free tours are featured in this community event that sets the tone for future Juneteenth celebrations in the Grant Park neighborhood. Get the details
  • Juneteenth with Djoli Kelen Children's Museum of Atlanta, June 18 – Learn about the history of Juneteenth and enjoy a performance by Djoli Kelen. Members of the West African-inspired Djoli Kelen group pride themselves with an energetic and an infectious joy every time they hit the dance floor. Learn more.
  • Juneteenth Craft Beer Exchange by Crafted for Action Atlantucky Brewing, June 19 – Join the attendees of the Crafted for Action Craft Beer Conference at one of two only black owned craft breweries in the state. Crafted for Action is a hybrid, action oriented conference where robust discussions can occur and ideas can be developed into real solutions for lasting change in the beer community. Get the details.
  • Juneteenth Atlanta Black History Parade Auburn Ave to Piedmont Park, June 22 – Line the streets and follow the parade to join the Juneteenth Atlanta Music Festival at Piedmont Park!​ The parade starts near The King Center on Auburn Ave NE. Learn more.