SAN ANTONIO – This year marks the 156th anniversary of Juneteenth, the day enslaved Texans were officially proclaimed free, two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.
While the announcement on June 19, 1895, in Galveston, Texas, ostensibly set free enslaved African-Americans in this state, the holiday is largely celebrated across the country as the official end of slavery in the United States.
Also known as African-American Independence Day, Juneteenth has grown in official recognition and is now recognized in nearly all 50 states, including Texas.
Here are some events in San Antonio where you can celebrate the holiday:
Juneteenth Pop-up Shop hosted by MAAT Market
Celebrate Juneteenth with a pop-up shop! This pop-up market will be a culmination of African-American culture and African-rooted activities. From African drumming, clothes, gifts, and natural care products to a reading and Juneteenth discussion, this event will have it all. This pop-up shop will be on Saturday, June 19 at “Our Place,” 3455 Martin Luther King Dr. from 12 to 5 p.m.
Night with the Missions Juneteenth Fundraiser
This fundraiser baseball game between the San Antonio Missions and NW Arkansas Naturals will celebrate African Americans in the history of baseball. VIP ticket sales for the fundraiser benefit the Texas Kidney Foundation and San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum. One VIP ticket includes food, meet-and-greet with players, The Invisible Diamond exhibit and a South Texas Negro League silent auction. To tie it all in for a finale, it ends with fireworks. The event will be Saturday, June 19 at Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium from 7 to 10 p.m.
Annual Juneteenth Festival
The official Juneteenth commissioner Byron E. Miller will host the eighth annual San Antonio Juneteenth festival Friday, June 18 through Saturday, June 19 at Comanche Park. The event will feature live music from Ruben-V and Kenne Wayne and two main events for each day. Friday’s main event will be a Flotilla Fish Fry and Saturday will be a health fair. Attendees can also look forward to open mic, gospel group performances, domino and kick ball tournaments and basketball. This Juneteenth celebration runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Black History River Cruise
Enjoy a ride along the river and learn about Black history and impactful figures in San Antonio. This event will be hosted by SAAACAM on June 18 from 7 to 9 p.m. It will start at SAAACAM La Villita and go from there. Read more about the cruise here.
Juneteenth Block Party
This event is very new. It was inspired from conversations started last year during the conflicts for racial justice. This block party and fair will focus on resources and opportunities related to education, business and health that the Black community may find useful. This block party will be at Alamo Beer on Saturday, June 19, from 3 to 9 p.m. The event is free, but tickets must be reserved on the event website.
Black Freedom Factory presents The Future is Freedom: Juneteenth Celebration at Hopscotch
This event will be at the Hopscotch museum and combine fun, health and education into one celebration. The Future is Freedom will celebrate not only the past, but the present and future of freedom as well. You will be able to enjoy live music, food, vendors, poetry and an interactive museum. There will be performances and speeches by Sacred fantasy, Shokare Nakpodia, Kimiya Denise, Alan Borris, Band Mc2 and DJ Mr.G. Food and drinks will be provided by Tony G’s Soul Food and Chef Robbie Rodgers. It all goes down at Hopscotch San Antonio on Thursday, June 17. The event will run from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Tickets range from $15 to $50.
Juneteenth at Legacy Park
Get ready for an evening of arts and performances from appearances like Buffalo Soldiers, DJ Jevonchi and Fiesta Royalty. Experience this art in Legacy Park on Saturday, June 19 from 6 to 10 p.m.
Discussion and Walk on the River Movie Screening at the Alamo
There will be a Juneteenth discussion with Dr. Carey Latimore, associate professor of history at Trinity University, followed by a screening of the movie Walk on the River: A Black History of the Alamo City in the Alamo Gardens on Friday June 18 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
We’d love to hear how you plan to celebrate and what Juneteenth means to you. Let us know here.
Read more about Juneteenth from KSAT: