Juneteenth Events in Virginia

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.  

In 1865 slavery was common practice in Texas even though President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation had been in effect since January 1, 1863. On June 19, 1865 Union General Gordon Granger and his 2,000 troops released Galveston, TX slaves into freedom - some of the last slaves to realize their destiny.

A range of activities were provided to entertain the masses, many of which continue in tradition today.

Celebrate Juneteenth in Virginia at these events across the state. 

Central Virginia

Henrico County’s Juneteenth Celebration 2022, June 18, 4-9:30 p.m. - Henrico

Held at Dorey Park, there will be children’s activities, food trucks, live entertainment, and an evening firework show. This is a free event open to all the public.

2nd Annual Juneteenth Block Party, June 19, 12-10 p.m. - Richmond

Hosted by the Black Village of RVA, the event will feature over 100 Black-owned businesses, live music, dance, food, spoken word, and more.

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery's Juneteenth Freedom Day, June 19, 11 a.m. - Richmond

Hosted at Hardywood’s Richmond location, festivities will include live musical performances by Mighty Joshua and The Zion #5 and JTucker & The Krewe, dance performances by the award-winning youth modern dance company City Dance Theatre, and music from DJ Adapt. Food will be available from Charles Kitchen Caribbean Cuisine, K&M Salmon Balls and Cakes, and the Hardywood Pizza Kitchen.

Film Screening of Summertime at The Historic Academy Theatre, June 18, 7:30 p.m. - Lynchburg

Part of an Artist in Residence program and Juneteenth Celebration, Nick George the Poet presents a free screening of Summertime. Highlighting social-emotional learning, entertaining, and educational, the evening will feature writing-based discussion activities directly before and following the film.

Northern Virginia

Fauquier County 2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration, June 18, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. - Warrenton

This celebration in downtown Warrenton is free and open to the public. There will be plenty of local vendors offering arts, crafts, and plenty of food. Enjoy the soothing sounds of gospel, jazz, reggae, and blues throughout the day along with African Dance, Hand Dance, Steppin Zumba, and more.                   

Juneteenth at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, June 19, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. - Alexandria

America's second Independence Day is a time to celebrate, reflect, and learn about the end of slavery in the United States. Join artists at the Art Center for a shared community space in the Grand Hall to create artistic messages with your loved ones.

Under the Same Roof: Enslaved and Free Servants at the Lee-Fendall House, June 18, 2021, 2-3:30 p.m. - Alexandria

Explore the Lee-Fendall House in Alexandria from the perspectives of the enslaved and free African Americans who lived and worked in the home as domestic servants, both before and after the Civil War. Hear the stories of how they built and shaped the Lee-Fendall House over the course of its history. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are $10 per person.

Coastal Virginia

Greater Williamsburg's Juneteenth Community Consortium Events - June 17-21

The consortium has coordinated a full slate of events scheduled across Williamsburg and James City and York counties from June 17-20. This inclusive celebration is composed of events marking Juneteenth.

"It Takes a Village" Outdoor Festival, June 18, 12-6 p.m. - Portsmouth

Located in and around High and Court Streets, Portsmouth, Virginia. Features performance by the Champagne Band along with villages for games, history, resources, children's area genealogy, and health and wellness. 

Juneteenth Event at Main Street Baptist Church, June 19, 12 p.m. - Newport News

The Smithfield Schoolhouse Museum will host an event at Main Street Baptist Church’s family life center at 517 Main Street. The Emancipation Proclamation will be read, several church choirs will perform, and local craft vendors will host exhibits. Plus, attendees will enjoy a silent auction of specialty foods.

Juneteenth 2022: Celebration at The Triangle, June 19, 3-7 p.m. - Williamsburg

Activities include an opening parade with amazing entertainment, culminating in the crowning of Little Miss and Mr. Juneteenth. Mr. Steve Prince, William & Mary’s Distinguished Artist, will lead a Community Art Project. There will be free food, vendors of all sorts, line dancing, face painting, and so much more in a block party style. The Village’s Local Black Histories Project will be collecting Oral Histories, and there will be opportunities to view “History Half Told is Untold,” “This is US”, and The Village Initiative’s Local Black Histories Project Launch Video. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs and join as The Village Initiative for Educational Equity and Williamsburg Action celebrate Freedom Day.

Shenandoah Valley

Juneteenth Celebration at Lexington’s Richardson Park, June 19, 1-6 p.m. - Lexington

Celebrate Black history, culture, and freedom in Lexington. Events include live music performances, speakers, showcase of Black-owned businesses from throughout the region, and more. There will also be a dedication of the Lylburn Downing school as a Virginia Historical Landmark.

Black Heritage Takeover Night-Juneteenth Celebration with the Salem Red Sox, June 18, 4-10 p.m. - Salem

Humble Hustle presents Black Heritage Takeover Night, Sponsored by United Way of Roanoke Valley. This evening is a collaborative dedication with the Salem Red Sox for every black baseball player that bravely paved the way for us on and off the field. Be sure to come out for an incredible night of humility, love, and celebration.

2022 Juneteenth Family Reunion, June 18, 12-4:30 p.m. - Roanoke 

Held in Eureka Park, this free and open to the public event is Roanoke’s celebration of freedom and will feature food, music, games, and vendors.

The Sedalia Center's Juneteenth Celebration, June 18, 12-7 p.m. - Bedford

This event is free and open to the public and features local gospel groups, poetry readings, theatrical performances, inspirational speakers, drum circle, Kuumba Dance Ensemble, and concludes with a concert by Apple Butter Soul.  Food, beer, and wine will be available for purchase. The event is located at the Sedalia Center, which was the sight of the Counter Ridge School originally built in 1959 as a segregated school.  Visitors may tour the Counter Ridge History Room, dedicated to those who educated and were educated here during segregation.

Explore more Juneteenth events in Virginia below.