Juneteenth events 2024: What’s happening on the day of the celebration

ATLANTA — On Wednesday, Americans celebrate June 19, also called Juneteenth National Independence Day. It’s an American holiday celebrating the date when the last slaves in the United States were freed after the Civil War.

While President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation more than two years earlier, the final enforcement of the order was officially carried out two months after the end of the Civil War, on June 19, 1865.

Slaves in Galveston, Texas were the last to learn they were free when Major General Gordon Granger ordered the proclamation be enforced.

The date later became a celebration, featuring parades, festivals and cookouts across the U.S., but it wasn’t a federally recognized holiday until 2021, when President Joe Biden made it into an official federal holiday. The State of Georgia did the same, making it a state holiday in 2022.

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Here’s a list of events and service projects happening around the metro Atlanta area Wednesday for Juneteenth.

If you see an event you’d like added to the list, email the Channel 2 Action News Assignment Desk at

Atlanta Juneteenth Parade and Music Festival

The 12th Annual Juneteenth Atlanta Parade and Music Festival will be held the weekend after Juneteenth, running from Friday June 21 to Sunday June 23 at Piedmont Park. Multiple events are expected throughout the weekend.

The City of Atlanta will hold a Juneteenth Black History Parade, featuring floats, fly-over jets, dance troops and more on Saturday, June 22, starting at noon.

Juneteenth Atlanta will hold a 5K Freedom Run in honor of Juneteenth on June 23, registration is open here.

College Park Juneteenth Parade

Atlanta isn’t the only metro area city holding a parade for their Juneteenth celebrations.

College Park will hold their own parade, starting at 10 a.m. before a series of events for families, residents and more fill the afternoon and evening.

Here’s what College Park has planned:

  • Parade – 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Movie on the Lawn – 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Vendor Fair – 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Kids’ Zone – 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Music on the Lawn – 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Roswell hosts Juneteenth events at Cultural Arts Center

The City of Roswell is hosting a nearly two-month-long series of events to commemorate the occasion.

On June 19, the City of Roswell is hosting “Exploring Black Experiences in Roswell” at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the Smith Plantation, where an educational program will share the history of those who worked at the plantation as slaves and “highlighting how their labor built and maintained much of the early town, contributing to its growth and the thriving local economy.”

The exhibit itself will remain open until July 31.

Sandy Springs holds Freedom Day Juneteenth Celebration

The City of Sandy Springs is hosting a free family-friendly Juneteenth Celebration in three locations.

The festivities include a performing arts showcase, a STEAM digital art gallery, education activities, multiple food vendors and more.

At the first location, the Byers Theatre, performers will put on a “From Africa to America” show, celebrating Juneteenth. The show is choreographed and produced by local businessmen Antwant Sessions and Shervoski Moreland of Namari Dance Center and Namari Productions.

In the Byers Theatre Lobby, there will also be a LIQUID Arts and Productions immersive art exhibit and experience, which is centered on Sandy Springs and Dunwoody high school students’ creativity, according to the city.

The production in the lobby will show digital, interactive artwork and youth-produced canvas pieces that incorporate augmented reality, while students work together to finish a mural-sized artwork for display as the exhibition’s centerpiece

Outside on the City Green, there will be a full outdoor celebration, featuring food, music, games and educational exhibits.

Stockbridge to Celebrate Juneteenth with Major Concert

The City of Stockbridge plans to celebrate Juneteenth Wednesday with a concert at 5 p.m. in the Stockbridge Amphitheater.

The event will be held at the venue on North Henry Boulevard Road and will feature music, food, food trucks and regional vendors. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis until the maximum capacity is reached.

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