Juneteenth, which remembers when slavery ended in all of America in June 1865, is also about food, music and families and friends coming together to celebrate the African American community’s perseverance through challenging times.
Observed annually around June 19, originally in the American Southeast in backyards, on neighborhood blocks or at public parks, Juneteenth has a number of traditions associated with the observance.
Here is a guide to the Lehigh Valley region’s Juneteenth celebrations and events:
A Celebration of Liberty, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. June 18, SteelStacks, Bethlehem. Theatrical presentation, a variety of musical bands (Soul, R&B, Jazz, and Reggae), ethnic food trucks and vendors, children’s activities (creative storytelling and arts and crafts), relevant cinema viewing with a panel discussion, historical menu tasting, a fine arts display, and more.
Easton Farmers Market commemorates African American freedom and celebrating our African American brothers and sisters during Juneteenth celebration, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. June 18.
20th Annual Juneteenth Freedom Festival, 2-6:30 p.m. June 18, Courthouse Square, Stroudsburg. Entertainment including 2nd Street Players, The Contact Collective, Rico Anthony — Pump Yuh Flag, Gynesis Radio, 40 Double Dutch Club, Eleve Dance Theater and William Abbott Puppeteer, information and networking, vendors and food. https://shermantheater.com/event/juneteenth-freedom-festival/
Juneteenth “Together in History” Talk: 1 p.m. June 18, Pottsgrove Manor, 100 W King Street, Pottstown. Professor Emeritus from Shippensburg University, Robert Hewitt talks on the importance of incorporating Black History into our shared narrative, in the lecture, “Together in History.” Deepen your understanding of the past and how labor of exploited people is a part of our shared historic narrative.
Lansdale Black Business Association Juneteenth Event, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 18, Memorial Park, 300 E. Main St., Landsdale.
Juneteenth, a Celebration in Stenton Park, will be held 1-3 p.m. June 18. The event will feature, music, poetry, and more. The park is located at 4600 N. 16th St., Philadelphia.
“Praise in the Park,” 5-8 p.m. June 18, Crestmont Park, 2595 Rubicam Ave., Willow Grove. The concert will feature gospel artists from Montgomery County
Peter Wentz Farmstead, 2030 Shearer Road, Lansdale, will offer special tours June 18 and 19. The tours will focus on the lives of the enslaved people owned by the Wentz family and how their stories connect to the larger history of slavery in early Pennsylvania. The Peter Wentz Farmstead is a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site. Tours will run every half-hour throughout the weekend and space is limited. For tour times and information, go to pwfjuneteenthtours.eventbrite.com to reserve a timed ticket.
Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown, will hold the Greater Norristown NAACP Juneteenth Celebration 1-4 p.m. June 18 and 19. This family-friendly event will feature live music, animal meet and greets, keeper chats and the opportunity to connect with local organizations in the community.
American Legion Band of Bethlehem, 7 p.m. June 19, Bethlehem Rose Garden, Eighth Avenue and Union Boulevard, Bethlehem. The band celebrates Juneteenth with blues, ragtime, and spirituals.
Juneteenth Concert at Godfrey Daniels in Bethlehem featuring Crys Matthews, 7 p.m. June 19. Matthews is a powerful lyricist whose songs of compassionate dissent reflect her lived experience as what she lightheartedly calls “the poster-child for intersectionality,” Matthews is made for these times, and her new, hope-fueled, love-filled social justice album “Changemakers” is a resounding affirmation of that fact. Tickets and info: godfreydaniels.org
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Juneteenth with the Sigal Museum, noon-4 p.m. June 19. The Sigal Museum offers free admission to the permanent exhibits as well the temporary exhibition, “Another American’s Autobiography: Selections from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art.” The selected works explore American patriotism and identity as it relates to the Black American experience. and addresses the challenges of Black patriotism and the circumstances that complicate the relationship between Black Americans and this country. Sigal Museum, 342 Northampton St., Easton.
Juneteenth 2022: Celebration of The Family, noon-4:30 p.m. June 19, Freedom Memorial — Martin Luther King Drive and Fourth Street, Allentown. Music, food, games, face painting, ice cream truck, bubble contest, arts and crafts, more. Presented by Martin Luther & Coretta Scott King, Promise Neighborhood of the Lehigh Valley, Resurrected Community Children’s Academy-PreK Counts, and Resurrected Community Development Corporation.
Juneteenth Celebration June 19 at Cedar Beach Park, Allentown, 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Soul food, vendors, entertainment, basketball, football, flick & float, fireworks. 610-437-7750
Allentown Band concert celebrating Juneteenth 3 p.m. June 19 at Christ Lutheran Church, 1245 Hamilton St., Allentown. The program features soloists Evelyn Stewart, soprano; Chet Brown, baritone; DeVaughn Roberts, trumpet/fluegelhorn; Clarence Weber, euphonium; Michael Krentz, organ and Emile Guida narrating Freedom, and Grace Adele Hochella narrating A Lincoln Portrait. Concert will be livestreamed at https://youtu.be/LhRutpJ2TmY
African-American History Walk: 3-5 p.m. June 19. In honor of Juneteenth, join the D&L for a guided walking tour along the Delaware Canal to learn about black history in the region, the Underground Railroad, and stories of black canal workers. Walk starts and ends at Tinicum Park, Erwinna and will cover approx. 2.7 miles of flat terrain at a leisurely pace. Rain date: June 26th. Cost: $10; $5 members. Reservations: https://canals.org/product/african-american-history-walk/
African American Museum Juneteenth Block Party, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. June 19, African American Museum, 701 Arch St, Philadelphia. Outdoor festival, featuring live performances from international and local artists, a community marketplace featuring Black-owned businesses, vendors, community partners, food trucks, and hands-on activities including art-making and line dancing. Free admission to the museum with online registration. https://www.aampmuseum.org/
Please Touch Museum celebrates Juneteenth 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. June 19 with special musical and dance performances. Activities include story time with Gail Ramos, author of “Hooray! It’s Juneteenth Day!” (11:30 a.m.-noon), traditions of Juneteenth with performance artist Thembi Palmer, (1 and 1:30 p.m.), West Philadelphia High School Marching Band and Majorette dancers (2 p.m.). Admission is $19 and reservations are required. The museum is at 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia. https://www.pleasetouchmuseum.org/