This year marks the 158th anniversary of Juneteenth, a special holiday that celebrates the emancipation and symbolic end of slavery of African Americans in the United States. Although Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, the last slaves in the United States were finally freed in Texas on June 19, 1865. The blend of both words “June” and “nineteenth” is what led to the term “Juneteenth.”
Celebrations of Juneteenth often include parades, music, food, dance, and reflection. The Palm Beaches celebrates this momentous occasion throughout the destination and offers festivals and celebrations to recognize the holiday. Whether you’re looking to enjoy an event outdoors, or enjoy live music inside, Florida’s Cultural Capital offers it all! Let’s take a look at what events you can enjoy in celebration of Juneteenth in 2023.
Juneteenth Community Day at Norton Museum of Art
Bring your family and friends to the Juneteenth Community Day at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach! This intergenerational event celebrates freedom and spotlights the African American experience with live musical performances, gallery talks, storytelling, and art-making activities all day on Saturday, June 17 from 12 to 5 p.m.
A special highlight of the day—a one-of-a-kind dance class led by Natural Movers Foundation founder/choreographer Ericka Squire as she teaches visitors about Umfundalai (African) dance, followed by a drum workshop led by Abasi Hanif.
Boynton Beach Hosts a Celebration of Freedom
If you’re looking for family fun in the sun, head over to Boynton Beach for a free Juneteenth event. Juneteenth Festival: A Celebration of Freedom will be filled with food trucks and entertainment from local artists and a “Who’s Bad” BBQ Cookoff. This year, the City of Boynton Beach will feature live music and entertainment, including the Valerie Tyson Band (pictured here) and the J-Sharp Band and more! The event will also have activities for all ages including games, face painting and an educational lesson on the history of Juneteenth. The celebration will be located at Sara Sims Park in Boynton Beach on Monday, June 19 from 12 to 5 p.m.
Unity x Black Excellence Festival in West Palm Beach
Come celebrate The Palm Beaches’ 3rd Annual Juneteenth: Unity x Black Excellence Festival this year, hosted by the Juneteenth of Palm Beach County organization. The event represents the Black community and culture in The Palm Beaches and seeks to raise awareness of the history and current issues facing the community.
This year, you can enjoy the festival at the Meyer Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach. The entire event will be filled with Afrocentric vibes, delicious food, spectacular views, live music, and an array of products offered by local, Black-owned businesses. This free event will occur on Saturday, June 17 from 3 to 9 p.m.: register soon!
Heart of the Arts in Lake Worth Beach
Heart of the Arts is a new Juneteenth music & arts festival created in partnership with Synergy Network Conference, Arms of Hope Community, Inc., Flamingo Clay Studio, and Rudy’s Pub happening in Downtown Lake Worth Beach. Join in for a fun-filled day featuring soul-stirring performances, interactive art installations, multicultural cuisine, and a celebration of shared heritage! This event is free and open to the public on Monday, June 19 from 4 to 8 p.m., located at 15 South J St. in Lake Worth Beach.
Juneteenth Celebration in West Palm Beach
Spend the evening with Rohi’s Readery at The Square in West Palm Beach to honor Black culture and history. This Juneteenth Celebration includes storytime and activity for kids, a cultural cooking class with Project Flourish for all ages, meaningful conversations on Community and Ancestry Connection with Blanche Williams for Adults, and a conversation led by Brian Knowles on Black joy and the history of Juneteenth.
Celebrate the two-year anniversary of Rohi’s Readery honoring Juneteenth and our community of Black Excellence. This free event will be held on June 17th from 4:30 to 7p.m.
We hope you join in and celebrate Juneteenth in The Palm Beaches!
Looking to spend your summer in Florida’s Cultural Capital? Browse through our online events calendar to start scheduling fun and exciting arts events today!