On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston to announce the freedom of enslaved people in the South. The news came two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation and two months after the end of the Civil War.
Juneteenth has been celebrated in African American communities for over a century and on June 19, 2021, Juneteenth became a federal holiday and is now celebrated across the U.S., thanks to the efforts of many and the “Grandmother of Juneteenth,” a Texan woman named Opal Lee. Here are ways to appropriately celebrate and honor this holiday in San Antonio.
Events happening here in San Antonio
The Texas Freedom Day Celebration is traditionally the largest celebration of Juneteenth, and lasts all weekend long. The free event kicks off Friday at Comanche Park #2. The parade detailed below also ends at the park on Saturday. Gospel music follows in the park on Sunday.
The Juneteenth Freedom Coalition of San Antonio holds its 42nd annual Juneteenth parade this weekend. More than 100 participants have signed up for the parade, including elected officials, clergy, and nonprofits.
The parade begins Saturday, June 18, at 8 a.m. at Sam Houston High School and continues to Comanche Park #2 on Rigsby. The park will host live music and food vendors following the parade.
The Juneteenth Family Festival runs from 8 .m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday at the Real Life Amphitheater in Selma. There’s a walk and run, carnival rides, and a 7 p.m. concert with multiple national recording artists. Carnival ride tickets are $33 and concert tickets range from $33 to $103.
Alamo Beer is hosting the San Antonio Block Party on its premises on Saturday with a kids play area, food, and live music. Reserve tickets in advance for the festival or the block party.
The San Antonio Missions play a benefit game against the Amarillo Sod Poodles for the San Antonio African American Community Archive & Museum and the Texas Kidney Foundation. The $75 admission includes an all you can eat buffet.
This famer’s market features local vendors, music and a food produce distribution. Gardopia Gardens is a nonprofit on San Antonio’s near East Side that aims to address food equity and accessibility.
The San Antonio African American Community Archive & Museum on Sunday will host a Juneteenth Festival at Legacy Park from 6 p.m.to 10 p.m. There will be art exhibits and music. Admission is free.
City offices that will be closed Monday
Most of the City of San Antonio’s municipal offices will be closed Monday, June 20, to observe Juneteenth.
- SAPD’s Administration and Records Section
- SAFD Administrative Offices
- San Antonio Municipal Court
- All Metro Health clinics and offices will be closed. Including Mayor’s Fitness Council and CREC
- The COVID-19 Hotline
- Housing Assistance Hotline (210-207-5910)
- Homeless Connections Hotline (210-207-1799)
- Senior/Adult Comprehensive Centers and Senior Nutrition Sites (Alicia Trevino Lopez and Doris Griffin Senior Centers will be open)
- Willie Velasquez, Claude Black and Frank Garrett community centers
- Child Care Services administrative offices
- Head Start administrative offices and school district sites
- Pre-K 4 SA Centers, CEO and corporate office
- The Darner Headquarters and Park Reservations Office
- City of San Antonio Community Centers, Adult and Senior Centers, the Natatorium, Fairchild and McFarlin Tennis Centers and the Barrera Community Fitness Center
- Summer Youth Program will be closed
- Limited Fitness and Park classes will be held. Please check the schedule
- Office of the City Clerk, Passports, Vital Records and Municipal Archives and Records
- Alamodome Offices and Box Office
- Dead animal collection crews will be off duty
- Bulky waste collection centers and household hazardous waste sites (Frio City Rd., Rigsby and Culebra) are always closed on Mondays
- Development Services Department
- Office of Historic Preservation
- Planning Department
- Neighborhood and Housing Services
- The Carver Community Cultural Center
- Spanish Governor’s Palace (regularly closed Mondays)
- La Villita and Market Square Administrative Offices
- Centro de Artes Gallery at Market Square
- Culture Commons Gallery at Plaza de Armas
- Police will be on duty
- SAPD’s detention center and the magistrate court will remain open
- Fire and EMS personnel will be on duty
- 3-1-1 Call Center will be operational from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., press 1 for urgent animal concerns and traffic signal malfunctions until 11 p.m.
- Animal Care Officers will be on duty
- Animal Care Services Lobby and Adoption Center will be open from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. (normal hours)
- Code Enforcement Officers will be available for inspections and emergency coverage
- City-operated garages and lots
- Downtown parking visitors will enjoy an on-street parking meter holiday (this does not apply to off-street City-operated garages and lots)
- La Villita and Market Square shops
- City Parks and Trails
- Pre-Season Pools will be open from 1 – 7 p.m. on Monday, June 20, 2022 and include: Cassiano, Concepcion, Dellview, Elmendorf, Fairchild, Heritage, Kingsborough, Lady Bird Johnson, Southside Lions, Springtime, Westwood and Ward
- There is no change to recycling, organics recycling and garbage for Monday, June 20
- Bitters and Nelson Gardens Brush Recycling (Nelson location is operated by Atlas Organics)
- Alicia Trevino Lopez and Doris Griffin Senior Centers
- Central Library and all branch libraries will be open on Monday, June 20 (all library locations will be closed on Sunday, June 19)