Juneteenth commemorates the true end of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth, Emancipation Day, Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, Liberation Day—whatever you refer; it’s time to celebrate fellowship, food, and most importantly, freedom. Come join in on all the action. Here are 5 cities with some of the best Juneteenth celebrations.
Everything is bigger in Texas, including Juneteenth celebrations, especially considering Texas is the birthplace of the historic holiday. In 1873, as freed slaves began settling in Dallas “deep on Elm Street,” (a phrase that morphed into “Deep Ellum”) arose a neighborhood that has now become cultural hub for music, commerce, and entertainment. William Sidney Pittman — Texas’s first African-American architect, civil rights advocate and son-in-law of Booker T. Washington — designed what is now the Kimpton Pittman Hotel as a temple for the fraternal order of the Knights of Pythias 1916. Between world wars, the temple became a social, commercial and cultural nexus for the surrounding community. And what is culture without music? Jazz and blues legends like “Blind Lemon” Jefferson and Sam “Lightnin’” Hopkins performed in the grand fourth-floor ballroom of the temple. This Juneteenth, the Kimpton Pittman will celebrate the deep rooted history of the building through music, hosting a local musician, Covenant Olatunde.
Where to Stay: Kimpton Pittman Hotel
As the mecca of the Civil Rights Movement, Atlanta is a city all about Black liberation and the celebration of Black history. The Atlanta Juneteenth celebrations are back in 2022 and chock full of free concerts, festivals, tours, art, and the annual Juneteenth parade! Kick off the weekend with the Atlanta Juneteenth Music Festival, the largest of the Atlanta metro area Juneteenth celebrations. You’ll find over 300 Black-owned vendors, two music stages, historical re-enactments, food trucks, and children’s activities. You can even lace up your sneakers and hit the pavement on a 5K Freedom Run.
Where to stay: Kimpton Sylvan Hotel
Juneteenth in Philadelphia is a prime example of the Instagram trend, “How it started vs. how it’s going.” The inaugural 2016 Juneteenth event started with just two floats, 50 vendors, and 5,000 attendees. Less than a decade later, the Juneteenth event in Philadelphia features over 20 floats, over 250 vendors, and over 25,000 attendees. The annual parade will take place on June 19th at 52nd and Parkside, and there will be a festival at Malcolm X Park with a lot of fun and educational experiences for all the family.
Where to stay: Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia
Denver’s Juneteenth celebrations date back to the 1950s, and this year, Denver’s annual Juneteenth Music Festival returns to the Five Points neighborhood. This will be a two-day event starting at Levitt Pavilion with an R&B Summer Kick Off. On Juneteenth you can attend the Juneteenth Parade, one of Denver’s longest running parades. The two-day street fest is not to be missed, nor the Five Points of Culture—a Juneteenth pop-up museum.
Where to stay: Kimpton Hotel Born
The nation’s capital is honoring Juneteenth, Black history, and freedom through a multitude of in-person and virtual events. On the virtual front, you can attend the two-day Freedom Festival where panels will discuss initiatives in the Black community as well as criminal justice reform, education, equity, and more. Or you can learn some choreographed moves inspired by the Black experience with Step Afrika! dance company. In-person events include a Moechella Rock-the-Block Party with live performances, food trucks, and vendors. Support Black businesses at the Juneteenth Community Day while being immersed in a world of music and artistry.
Where to stay: Kimpton Banneker Hotel
This blog post was commissioned in partnership with the Black Travel Alliance.