Juneteenth Independence Day, the annual celebration of the acknowledged abolishment of slavery within the United States of America, is on Wednesday, June 19, but metro Atlanta will have a number of free concerts, festivals, parades and family-friendly activities over the weekend of the June 14-16 in celebration of the holiday.
Juneteenth Atlanta Parade and Music Festival
The three-day holiday extravaganza that is the annual Juneteenth Atlanta parade and musical festival includes musical performances, food, shopping and will kick off on Friday, June 14 at the Home Depot Backyard from 2-9 p.m. The remainder of the festival over the weekend will take place at Mozley Park, is free of charge to enter and will be from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
The parade will begin on Saturday morning and take a route up MLK, Jr. Drive through the late Civil Rights activist’s childhood neighborhood.
Mozley Park is located at 1565 MLK, Jr. Drive, NW.
Juneteenth Concert and Festival at Marietta Square
Hosted by the Cobb County NAACP branch since 2005, the Juneteenth Concert and Festival will take place at the Glover Park at Marietta Square on Saturday, June 15 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
“We look forward to an epic weekend,” said Cobb NAACP President Deane Bonner.
The 14-year old festival will have food, music, arts and crafts for kids of all ages and live entertainment.
Gospel music superstar Dottie Peoples will be the special guest during the Soul Sunday performance as part of a accompanying Father’s Day celebration.
Glover Park is located at East Park Square in Marietta.
Juneteenth at Atlanta History Center
Juneteenth is all about history and there will be plenty of opportunities to surround yourself with the stories behind the annual family program at the Atlanta History Center on Saturday, June 15 from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. and on Sunday, June 16 from noon – 4 p.m.
On both days the Juneteenth observance, in its sixth year at the center, is free and will include a genealogy workshop and museum theater performances, highlighted by ‘The Order of Freedom’ stage play.
“If you only have 40 minutes to visit, this is what I recommend you see,” said Director of Author and Family Programming Joanna Potter of the seasonal performance. ‘Order’ explorers of events that took place on June 19, 1865, in particular General Order no. 3, that freed slaves in the state of Texas.
Potter also recommends ‘Freedom Jubilee and Uncertainty’, a shorter but equally as important, play on Juneteenth and the time following the Emancipation Proclamation.
There will also be an author appearance by bestselling, James Beard Award winner and culinary historian Michael Twitty and Q&A sessions with museum interpreters as well as full access to the entire history center.
“The program acknowledges that the history of slavery and the reconstruction period is messy,” Potter said. “The biggest challenge is that there’s so much going on, that’s why we have two days to do it.”
The Atlanta History Center is located at 130 West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead.