Here Are 14+ Events Uptown to Celebrate Juneteenth in NYC

Juneteenth weekend is packed with fun-filled celebrations across Uptown Manhattan. See our running list of free and low-cost events that honor the day. 

Janrey Serapio
June 13, 2023

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States by honoring the historic day of June 19, 1865, when Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African Americans that they were free, and the Civil War was over, two months after the war ended and two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

Ushering in a new era for the country, June 19 is celebrated today to acknowledge the truth of our past, honor the achievements of African Americans, and reaffirm our commitment to dismantling systemic injustices. 

On June 17, 2021, the U.S. Congress passed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden. This recognition solidified the day as an annual moment of commemoration and celebration. This year, Columbia University Senate passed its own resolution designating Juneteenth as an official University Holiday.

Many people in the U.S. and in Upper Manhattan have long-celebrated the historic day—and this year’s Juneteenth is no different. From museums to festivals, we’ve gathered a list of events Uptown that promise to be unforgettable.

Know of a Juneteenth event or exhibition that we should include here? Send us an email.

Juneteenth at the African Burial Ground National Monument

Date & Time: June 19, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Price: Free
Location: Outdoor Memorial on Duane St.

The African Burial Ground’s Juneteenth celebration will include a diverse array of performances ranging from a presentation by Higuayagua Taino of the Caribbean to a dance performance by Uptown Dance Academy. There will also be tables for family fun, including African Drumming Lessons, jewelry-making, and junior ranger activities!

Harlem School of the Arts Dance: Freedom Moves Concert

Date & Time: June 14, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Price: $28.52 for general admission
Location: 645 Saint Nicholas Ave., Harlem School of the Arts

In celebration of Juneteenth, Harlem School of the Arts Dance presents the Freedom Moves Concert, a 90-minute interdisciplinary performance that celebrates the spirit of liberation through dance. This year's program will feature guest artist Daphne Lee, Principal Dancer with the Dance Theater of Harlem.

Seneca Village on Juneteenth weekend

Juneteenth in Seneca Village

Date & Time: June 17, 10:00 am (Rain date: June 18)
Price: Free
Location: Seneca Village, Central Park

Seneca Village in Central Park is celebrating Juneteenth with a day of family-friendly fun focused on Black wellness. Attendees can take part in a range of activities, including dance, music, art-making, comedy, self-care, and more. Each activity taps into the longstanding power of Black wellness practices that rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit.

Juneteenth Pop-Up Shop Presented by Chase Featuring Harlem Haberdashery x Vontélle Eyewear

Date & Time: June 17, 10:00 am - 1:30 pm
Price: Free
Location: Chase Bank: 55 W. 125th St.

Chase Bank welcomes Harlem Haberdashery, Vontelle Eyewear, and a host of other fashion and lifestyle businesses to kick-off Juneteenth weekend with a pop-up shop. The afternoon will include shopping, food and beverages, and live entertainment.

Sugar Hill Children’s Museum: Malika Lee Whitney and Pickney Productions Presents “Talk to the Hand”

Date & Time: June 17, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Price: Free
Location: Sugar Hill Children’s Museum: 898 St. Nicholas Ave.

This interactive storytelling program, featuring American Sign Language, will present a dramatic reading of a popular children’s book that comes alive with unique ways of expression, accompanied by music and a demonstration by Double Dutch Dreamz in recognition of Juneteenth.

Schomburg Center Literary Festival

Date & Time: June 17, 11:00 am - 6:00 pm 
Price: Free
Location: 515 Malcolm X Blvd. & 135th St.

Join the Schomburg Center for a Literary Festival in honor of Juneteenth. This event recognizes the importance of passing down books, positive ideas about reading, and continuing to be bold in our choices at a time when the currents are pushing against the freedom to read and the invaluable service of public libraries.

30th Annual Harlem Juneteenth Parade and Street Festival

Date & Time: June 17, 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Price: Free
Location: 116th St. & Lenox Ave.

Celebrate the day with the longest-running Juneteenth parade in New York State. In its 30th year, this legendary parade and festival highlights African American history and culture with vendors, health screenings, educational presentations, youth sports, basketball tournaments, legendary live entertainment, book readings, giveaways, and more.

3rd Annual Juneteenth Freedom Fest NYC: Live In Color

Date & Time: June 17, 12:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Price: Free
Location: 163 W 125th St., Harlem State Office Building Plaza

Juneteenth Freedom Fest NYC, Inc., was founded in 2020 and launched in 2021 as a week-long, in-person and virtual cultural festival. This festival provides attendees with numerous ways to commemorate the holiday, including live performances, music, free prizes, and giveaways, raffles, trivia, and more.

Juneteenth History at the New-York Historical Society

Date & Time: June 17, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Price: Free
Location: 170 Central Park West, New-York Historical Society

At the New-York Historical Society, learn all about the origins of Juneteenth, how it has changed over time, and the many local traditions connected with the holiday. You can even learn how to make a Juneteenth flag! 

Museum of the City of New York: Juneteenth with Queen Esther

Date & Time: June 17, 2:00 pm
Price: $15 for general admission 
Location: Museum of the City of New York, 116th St. & Lenox Ave.

In this live performance by songwriter, musician, and storyteller Queen Esther, the artist will perform her work, which spans genres to celebrate the resolve of Black folk in the 19th century, as part of the “Soul of the City: Live at Museum of the City of New York” series.

Good Vibes in the Park (Juneteenth Edition)

Good Vibes in the Park

Date & Time: June 17, 2:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Price: Free 
Location: St. Nicholas Terrace and 135th St.

Good Vibes in the Park is a day-long gathering centered around mental health, and affirming safe-spaces, joy, and relaxation as an affront to injustice. Take part in a lovely park day at the gorgeous St. Nicholas Park in Harlem with meditation, performances, live music, a live painting visual artist, activations and more.

Columbia University is proud to sponsor this event.

Juneteenth Lunch and Learn with Dr. Josef Sorett Moderated by Dr. Andrea White

Date & Time: June 18, 1:00 pm
Price: Free
Location: Assembly Hall, Riverside Church 

Join this lunch and learn with special guest Dr. Josef Sorett, dean of Columbia College and vice president for Undergraduate Education at Columbia University, and professor of Religion and African American and African Diaspora Studies. Dr. Sorett will engage in a discussion around his new book Black Is a Church: Christianity and the Contours of African American Life.

4th Annual Juneteenth March 5K Run, Walk & Roll 

Date & Time: June 19, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Price: Pay what you can or $25 for standard ticket 
Location: Seneca Village, Central Park 

Join the 4th Annual Juneteenth March 5K Run, Walk & Roll. All proceeds from the Juneteenth March go towards the building fund of the Harlem Center, a 10-year effort started by a coalition of New York centered, community-based organizations (CBOs) that will increase the capacity to address unmet needs and gaps in service delivery. 

Volunteer Litter Clean-Up: Rev. T. Wendell Foster Park and Recreation Center

Date & Time: June 19, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Price: Free
Location: Rev. T. Wendell Foster Park and Recreation Center

In 2020, NYC Parks proudly announced they had renamed 10 parks in honor of the Black experience in New York City. Join the Urban Park Rangers this Juneteenth to take part in a community-service event where you can also learn about the history of this newly renamed green space and volunteer, in celebration of the historic day. 

Here are some other ways you can get involved this Juneteenth:

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