Juneteenth, also called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States in 1865, specifically when the news that the Civil War ended and that the enslaved were now free. Today, the day is celebrated with music, food and festivities that focus on self-improvement, education and honoring the history of ancestors. Celebrations are taking place across Maryland as well as virtually in 2021. Below is a list of highlights. Check back to our website for updates and additional events as the date approaches.
Virtual Juneteenth Events
Montpelier virtual Book Club: “On Juneteenth” with Annette Gordon-Reed
June 2 | In On Juneteenth, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed will share the story of Juneteenth’s importance to American history. Recounting the origins of the holiday in Texas, she continues the story by recounting the enormous hardships that African Americans have endured in the years from Reconstruction through Jim Crow and beyond. The event is free. Pre-registration required for the link. Click here to pre-register. Hosted by the National Archives and James Madison’s Montpelier.
A Conversation with Frederick Douglass: The Significance of Juneteenth
June 15 | Celebrate Juneteenth virtually with this engaging, inspiring, interactive conversation with Frederick Douglass, portrayed by Nathan Richardson. A question and answer session will follow. There will also be a celebration of the talents of local youth. 7–8:30 p.m. Free. Pre-register for link. Hosted by the The Havre de Grace Arts Collective. Click here to pre-register.
In-person Juneteenth Events
Juneteenth Music Festival
June 19 | To kick-off the festival, a parade will take place to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday featuring community-based civic organizations, marching bands, dance squads, floats, and more. The parade will begin at the Annapolis City Dock with a community prayer, opening remarks and will end at the steps of the Maryland Hall with a brief ceremony, musical performance and ringing of the freedom bells. The festival will close with a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, theatrical performance, and tribute featuring local artists and creatives. 2–9 p.m. Bates Athletic Complex, Annapolis.
Juneteenth Open Air Celebration
June 19 | Enjoy good food, fellowship, music, live entertainment, and dynamic speakers with a powerful message of the power of an education. Tour of the Great Blacks in Wax Museum throughout the event. 2:30 p.m. The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, 1601-03 East North Avenue Baltimore. Click here for more information.
Juneteenth in Chestertown
June 14-19 | The Black Union of Kent County and Chestertown Unites Against Racism have joined together this year to present several Juneteenth events including JEDI training (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.) During the week of June 14-19th you can participate in talks about Micro-Aggressions, Identity and Privilege, Anti-Racism, and Courageous Conversations. There will also be a block party on June 18th at Fountain Park with live music, food, and crafts for kids and an event on June 19th celebrating history, culture and achievements at Wilmer Park with special guests, live music, and a closing candlelight ceremony.
NAACP Calvert Juneteenth Community Day Celebration Talent Show
June 19 | Enjoy a free, high energy talent contest, classic car show, mobile health unit as well as local African American Heritage activities, including dance, music, games, bike giveaway, story-telling, food and crafts. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, St. Leonard.