June 19 will always remain an important historical day for this country — as Juneteenth, it commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement in Texas that slavery had been abolished. Celebrate with these Austin events.
5th Annual Juneteenth Music Festival. This festive evening at the AISD Performing Arts Center will feature performances from Austin All-Star Band, A-Train All-Star Drumline, Austin Black and Gold Dancers, Reagan High School Soul Mates and the Reagan High School cheerleaders. Plus, there will be a special guest artist: CJ Edwards & The Funk Fellowship. It kicks off at 6 p.m. today, with a $5 admission fee.
Round Rock Juneteenth Rhythm and Ribs at Old Settlers Park. The free two-day, family-friendly shindig includes music, games, clowns and a barbecue contest. Beatbox pioneer and early rap standout Doug E. Fresh headlines the Friday night party, and boy band Next Town Down leads a Saturday bill that includes a variety of gospel groups and jazz artist Don Diego. Gates open at 7:45 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday. 3300 E Palm Valley Blvd. — Deborah Sengupta Stith
Central Texas Juneteenth. The biggest Juneteenth celebration in Austin, produced by the Greater East Austin Youth Association, features a parade with floats, cars, bands and more through the east side of town starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. The parade will end up at Rosewood Park, where a festival will keep the fun going into the afternoon, starting at 12 p.m., with live music, a variety of vendors, food, exhibits and more. For a map of the parade route, visit this link.
Bastrop Juneteenth. There are multiple festivities happening in Bastrop to commemorate the historical day, starting with a parade at 10 a.m. Saturday. Follow that up with a special Emancipation Program at 11:30 a.m. and return in the evening for the Street Dance and Cruise In, a two-fold event. The entertainment, by Mz. Dre & 2ONESOUL, will help you rock the night away with friends and family, and you can also expect to see a bunch of cool cars and hot rods from participants of the Blue Flame Car Show.
Let It Ring! Annual Juneteenth Celebration. The George Washington Carver Museum’s yearly Juneteenth celebration will feature live music, crafts and activities for kids, food, a marketplace with vendors, character interpretations and more. It runs from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the museum, 1165 Angelina St.
"Juneteenth Chronicles." Spectrum Theatre Company presents a staged reading of a new play by Abena Edwards that will inspire, enlighten and forever alter audiences’ views of Juneteenth. The local playwright collected passages from more than 250 interview with former slaves and combined them for a poignant tale of hardship and triumph. It runs two performances only, on 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, at the AISD Performing Arts Center at 1500 Barbara Jordan Blvd. There’s a $10 suggested donation.
Georgetown’s 66th Annual Juneteenth Celebration. The free event on June 16 at the Georgetown Community Center, 445 E. Morrow St., starts with a special program highlighting the significance of Juneteenth. The afternoon also includes craft vendors, food vendors, representatives from area nonprofits, a DJ, music from the Groovers, and games for adults and young people alike.
Juneteenth Family Fun Day. Waco is hosting another big Juneteenth event this weekend at Brazos East Park that will include live music acts Dru Hill, Bigg Robb, Lil’ Ronnie and a very special guest. You can also expect a kids’ zone, a healthy living area and more activities during the event, running from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $15. The following day is the Father’s Day Gospel Blowout.
Make It Tuesdays: Piecing Together History at the Bullock Museum. Celebrate and learn about Juneteenth on the actual day of June 19 while crafting a paper quilt, as part of the Bullock Museum’s family-friendly summer programming. The activities start at 10 a.m.; museum admission is $9-$13.
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