Here’s how you can mark Juneteenth in Boston

The holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the U.S. is coming up and there are tons of ways to celebrate it in the city.

Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

Juneteenth, the annual celebration of the end of slavery in the United States, is just around the corner, and there is no shortage of events to commemorate and celebrate in Boston. 

The holiday, observed June 19 every year, marks the day federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to ensure all enslaved people were freed. It honors the end to slavery in the United States, and it officially became a federal holiday last year

The holiday falls on a Sunday this year, and the week leading up to it is full of community events, celebrations, and gatherings around the city. 


Here are just five of the many ways to celebrate Juneteenth in Boston this year:

Embrace Ideas Festival

In a week-long festival leading up to Juneteenth, King Boston is highlighting and uplifting arts, culture, and public scholarship amplifying anti-racism and a vision for a transformed Boston by 2030. There is still time to catch two days of speakers and the festival’s conclusion with a block party in Nubian Square.  (Various Locations, now through June 17)

March to Freedom

Kick off the weekend of Juneteenth with a rally and march taking attendees through Roxbury on Friday, June 17. The march promises to showcase “Black brilliance and Black resilience,” according to the event site. (120 MLK Blvd., 3 p.m. June 17)

Juneteenth Joy: Focus on Freedom

The Martini Hatch Shell on Truman Parkway will be home to a community-wide celebration of Juneteenth on June 18, complete with performances, exhibits, and vendors. Hear from speakers, participate in giveaways, and sample food in Hyde Park on Saturday. (Francis D. Martini Memorial Shell Park, 10:50 a.m. June 18)

Art on the Plaza: Celebrating Juneteenth

Make a kite that “honors a changemaker making a difference in the world today” and fly it “high for all to see” at the MassArt Art Museum’s Juneteenth celebration. The first 200 registered participants will get a kite making kit for free. (MassArt Art Museum, 12 p.m. June 18)


Evening of Rhythm, Rhymes, and Reparations!

Celebrate the holiday with a poetry slam hosted by DiDi Delgado at the Nubian Gallery in Roxbury. After eight poets compete over three rounds for prizes, there will be a dance party with music from DJ Troy Frost. (Nubian Gallery or online, 7:30 p.m. June 18)

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