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
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!
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
In the interest of public safety, the 2020 Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade & Festival is canceled.
Festivities will return on Saturday, June 19, 2021.
We recognize the Juneteenth holiday and its public commemoration is more important now than ever. Juneteenth represents an historic triumph of the human spirit. With the corona virus weighing heavily on everyone’s spirits, the world should know that we’ve been here before. And just as our spirit was not defeated by slavery, it will not be defeated by this pandemic. Philadelphia needs the uplift that the Juneteenth Parade has delivered for the past 4 years.
We will skip 2020, but we’ve already started planning for 2021! It will be bigger and better than ever!