Juneteenth—a holiday that in more recent years has been acknowledged on a more popular level than ever before in its history. This year marks the 156th anniversary of this 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 19th, 1865. The blend of both words “June” and “nineteenth” birthed 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 on Juneteenth in 2021.
Jazz and Blues in Delray Beach
Delray Beach is home to the well-known Spady Cultural Heritage Museum. This landmark is a Black history museum and cultural center highlighting the contributions of people of African descent, including the Afro-Caribbean culture. Every year, the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum hosts a Juneteenth Celebration for the community.
Be sure to visit their Juneteenth Emancipation Celebration taking place Saturday, June 19th at Arts Garage in Delray Beach. The museum has partnered with Arts Garage and is hosting Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen and Dr. Joan Cartwright. Mother Blues is known for her energy and personality and is considered a true blues singer, while Dr. Joan Cartwright is a 40-year jazz and blues veteran who founded Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc. This year, the event will take place in the evening from 8 to 10 p.m., with tickets starting at $40.
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 poets. This year, the City of Boynton Beach will feature live music and entertainment, including the All Or Nothing Dance Company (pictured here), a Palm Beach-based dance troupe. The event will also have activities for all ages, including children who can tap into their artistic side with coloring and drawing or play games like Connect Four and Jenga. The celebration will be located at Sara Sims Park in Boynton Beach on June 19th from 12 to 4 p.m.
Unity x Black Excellence Festival in Riviera Beach
I’m looking forward to The Palm Beaches’ newest celebration of Juneteenth this year, hosted by the newly-founded Juneteenth of Palm Beach County organization. The group is hosting Riviera Beach’s inaugural Juneteenth: Unity x Black Excellence Festival. The event represents the Black community and culture in The Palm Beaches and awareness of the history and current issues facing Black people.
For this first year, you can enjoy the festival at the new Riviera Beach Marina Village Event Center. The entire event will be filled with Afrocentric vibes, delicious food, spectacular views, live music, and an array of local Black-owned businesses. This free event will occur on Saturday, June 19 from 1 to 8 p.m: register for the event soon!
Celebrate “Redteenth” in Wellington
One of my favorite destinations in South Florida is Wellington, a city nestled in the northwest corner of The Palm Beaches who is also joining in on the Juneteenth celebrations this year! The Sickle Cell Foundation of Palm Beach is hosting a Redteenth Cultural Festival honoring World Sickle Cell Day, which is acknowledged annually on Juneteenth.
This outdoor experience will have musical & spoken word performances, arts & crafts for children, and special guest speakers who will share their stories and bring awareness to Sickle Cell Disease. The inaugural Redteenth Cultural Festival will be held on Saturday, June 19th, from noon to 6 p.m. at the gorgeous Village of Wellington Amphitheater.
Live Music & Art in Downtown Lake Worth Beach
If you’re looking for a place to socialize, grab a drink, and listen to some great Afro beats, you have to visit Sugar Plum & The Grumbling Growler. Located in the heart of downtown Lake Worth Beach, Sugar Plum & The Grumbling Growler is Black-owned, new to the community, and the owners share a love of art, wine, and craft beer. This funky space will be hosting its first Juneteenth event on Saturday, June 19 with artists creating their work in real-time, live music, and more.
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!
Alisha L. is an award-winning lifestyle blogger and podcast host from Miami, Florida. Growing up in the melting pot of South Florida, Alisha has a strong connection with the culture, food, music, and art of diverse groups. Her mission is to inspire others to enjoy their surroundings, choose joy, and be their authentic selves. With roots in the Caribbean, Alisha enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, and a relaxing day at the beach.