Celebrate Juneteenth 2024 at these events in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston and announced that enslaved people in the United States were free.

The celebrations started in Galveston, and in 1980, Juneteenth became a Texas state holiday. With the help of Opal Lee, the “grandmother of Juneteenth,” June 19 became a federal holiday in 2021.

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In the Alamo City, the San Antonio Juneteenth Commission was created in 1996 to honor and celebrate the emancipation of enslaved people in Texas.

>> The history behind Juneteenth you might not have known

The commission and several other organizations, churches and museums will host several events this month to celebrate Juneteenth.

Some of the events taking place around San Antonio are (descriptions provided by event organizers):

June 7

  • SAAACAM’s Black History Film Series screens “The League”: “The League” is a contemporary documentary based on the journey of the Negro baseball League. 6:30-9 p.m., Little Carver Auditorium, 226 N. Hackberry St., website.

June 8

  • Juneteenth Prayer Breakfast: This annual event presented by the San Antonio Juneteenth Commission combines prayer, good food and a history lesson. This year’s focus is civil rights and social justice. Tickets start at $55. 9-11:30 a.m., The Witte Museum, 3801 Broadway, website.

June 10

  • A Night of Soul in the Village: Join SAAACAM and the tenants of La Villita to celebrate the opening of “The Soul of San Antonio” exhibit at SAAACAM and kick off the civic season with Juneteenth. Entertainers will grace the Arneson River Theater stage, Plaza Juarez and Plaza Nacional. Artists, artisans, vendors and food trucks will be on hand for the celebration. Guests will also enjoy a river parade. This event is free. 6-9 p.m., La Villita Historic Arts Village. 418 Villita St., website.

June 11

  • Juneteenth Block Party & Fair Mixer: This electrifying event brings together the community, Juneteenth sponsors, and small businesses for an evening of networking and collaboration. Cost is $14.99. 6-8 p.m., Restore Education, 4603 E. Houston St., website.

June 12

  • Knowledge2Action Empowering Health Transformation: Neighbors Helping Neighbors: This event is free to all attendees, offering an opportunity to engage with health experts, community leaders, and like-minded individuals committed to fostering a healthier tomorrow. 5:30-8 p.m., Texas Kidney Foundation at the Maestro Center, 1811 South Laredo St.

June 13

  • Juneteenth Small Business Development Classes: These classes are for aspiring and established entrepreneurs ready to elevate their business game. Classes range from free to $13.99. 1-6 p.m., San Antonio College – Victory Center, 1819 North Main Ave., website.

June 14

  • The Art of Four Present Juneteenth Soul Food Brunch @ The Spire: Evita Tezeno, an esteemed artist and Guggenheim fellow, will speak at this year’s luncheon. The Art of Four is a vibrant hub for local artists, art enthusiasts and collectors alike. Tickets are $65. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., The Spire, 230 Center St., website.

June 15

  • True Vision Church (TVC) Juneteenth 5K Run/Walk: This inaugural 5K is $25 per participant. 7-10 a.m., Camargo Park, 5738 Castroville Road, website.
  • 25th annual Juneteenth Freedom Parade: The parade route starts at Sam Houston High School, 4635 E. Houston St., and ends at Comanche Park #2, 2600 Rigsby Ave. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Juneteenth Festival: The parade leads to the Juneteenth Festival at Comanche Park #2. The festival includes a health fair, children’s activities, food booths, and local musicians and DJs, including the 12 Eleven Band and Heatwave. The event is free. 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Comanche Park #2, 2600 Rigsby Ave.
  • SAAACAM’s “Community Curation Project”: The event is from The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Community Curation Department. The “Community Curation Program” is an innovative, digital-first initiative bridging the generational digital divide. Admission and parking are free, but registration is required. 1-4 p.m., Sutton Learning Center Building at St. Philip’s College, 1801 Martin Luther King Drive, website.
  • SA Juneteenth Block Party & Fair: This annual fundraiser, hosted by Dream Big Scholarship Fund Inc., was created to help close the education, health and wealth disparity gaps in the San Antonio African American community. It features local small businesses, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and community partners. The event is free. 3-9 p.m., Crockett Park, 1300 N. Main Ave.
  • The Art of Four Presents Heavy is the Hair: Majestie Varnardo’s presentation is an insightful journey through the history of Black hair, from the 18th Century to today. This presentation, crafted during her tenure at The Library of Congress, promises to be a profound homage to heritage. Tickets are $12. 2-5 p.m., St. Paul Historic Square, 123 Heiman St., website.

June 16

  • True Vision Church (TVC) Juneteenth Worship Celebration Sunday: Each year, True Vision Church honors a person connected to Juneteenth during the worship service. For 2024, the honoree is Pastor S. Clifton Byrd. 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m., True Vision Church, 2826 Ackerman Road.
  • The Art of Four Art Initiative in Collaboration with Black Gold Resourcing & GVL Farms Present Continual Cultural Legacies: This event includes workshops, break-out sessions and discussions. There will also be a tour of a historic cemetery. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Noon-2 p.m., Harris Family Estate, 5400 Gander Slough Road, Kingsbury.
  • Celebrate Father’s Day and Juneteenth!: There will be a screening of “gOD-Talk” (PG-13) and a Father’s Day meal of fish, shrimp, and grits. Tickets are $15. 2-5 p.m., St. Philip’s College – Sutton Learning Center, 1801 Martin Luther King Drive, website.

June 17

  • Handling Holy Things: Black Religious Preservation and Stewardship: This multi-faith workshop invites faith leaders to explore the history of Black religion in America and the work of the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C. Admission is free but registration is required. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., St. Philip’s College – Sutton Learning Center Building, 1801 Martin Luther King Drive, website.
  • Juneteenth Vendor Market: Hosted by the CNP Foundation, this event celebrates Black-owned businesses, historically Black colleges and universities, and Black organizations in San Antonio. The cost is free. 6-8 p.m., Chicken N Pickle, 5215 UTSA Blvd., website.

June 18

  • Freedom!: SAAACAM, in partnership with Bexar County and the Tobin Center, culminates Juneteenth 2024 with a celebration of contemporary choral music. SAAACAM is collaborating with the Classical Music Institute and the San Antonio Gospel Heritage Choir and friends to present “Seven Last Words of the Unarmed,” by composer Joel Thompson, finishing with a classic by Richard Smallwood. This event also features an original work by Billy Ray Sheppard and V. Michael McKay with the Houston Gospel Legends. The price ranges from $10-$30. 5:30-10 p.m., Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle, website.
  • Juneteenth Celebration at Frost: The Frost on WW White Road will have live music and sweet treats. The event is free and open to the public. 2-4 p.m., 1739 S WW White Road, website.

June 19

  • Juneteenth Golf Tournament: Tee up for the annual Juneteenth golf tournament hosted by Byron Miller’s Juneteenth Commission. Green fees are $175 per player. 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Hyatt Hill Country Golf Club, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, website.
  • Juneteenth All Day National Celebration: This event includes food and craft vendors, all genres of music and entertainment, children’s activities and more. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Second Baptist Church, 3310 E. Commerce St.
  • True Vision Church (TVC) Juneteenth Festival and Fireworks Display: This festival celebrates Juneteenth with food trucks, on-stage entertainment and more. The night will end with a huge fireworks display. 7-9 p.m., True Vision Church, 2826 Ackerman Road, website.
  • Wine and Cheese: Time of Hope: Professor Mario Marcel Salas, a civil rights leader, author, and politician from San Antonio, will review James M. Smallwood’s book, “Time of Hope, Time of Despair: Black Texans During Reconstruction.” The event is free. 5:30-7:15 p.m., University of the Incarnate Word – SEC Ballroom, 4301 Broadway, website.
  • Juneteenth Farmers Market: The event includes activities, cultural performances and soulful music. This event is free. 6-9 p.m., Gardopia Gardens, 619 North New Braunfels Ave., website.

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