Celebrate History
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth is the only holiday that commemorates the abolition of slavery; more specifically the emancipation of enslaved Africans throughout the United States of America. Pennsylvania now permanently recognizes Juneteenth, as a state holiday. Governor Tom Wolf on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 signed legislation designating June 19 as Juneteenth National Freedom Day in Pennsylvania.

“Juneteenth is an event that has a unique cultural and historical significance, both here in Philadelphia and across the country. The City is proud to partner with the Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade and Festival.” – Mayor James F. Kenney

juneteenth philly
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is the oldest celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. It was on June 19th, 1865 (two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was in effect) that the Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. The celebration carries the an example of a thesis statement police brutality research questions connotation that until we’re all free, none of us are free.

The Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade and Festival, started by the Pennsylvania Juneteenth Initiative, is the largest annual celebration in the nation attended by thousands where we join together to have fun, embrace our history and continue the tradition of Kujichagulia (self-determination).

The first Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade and Festival took place on June 18, 2016. This event drew an audience of 5,000 people, 2 floats, 15 units and 50 vendors with the parade ending and the festival occurring at the African American Museum at 7th and Arch. And as they say “The rest is history”.

Over the past 4 years, the parade has grown to be the largest in the nation drawing over 25,000 attendees to experience a culturally festive 1.5 mile long parade with over 2,000 participants and 20+ floats. The annual celebration continues with a festival at the historic Malcolm X Park with over 250 vendors and a musical concert for the entire family to enjoy!

2019 Impact
  • More than 25,000 youth, seniors, residents, community organization & families
  • 130+ vendors and local businesses grossed more than $500,000 in revenues in a single day
  • Televised special broadcast by 6abc reached more than 55,000 area residents