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Local Events Celebrating Juneteenth

by Carolann Verrioli

Celebrate Juneteenth: A Guide to Local Events

Juneteenth ("June Nineteenth") commemorates the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865. On this day, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed into law, federal troops occupied Galveston, Texas to ensure that all enslaved people were freed. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, and finally became an official federal holiday on June 17, 2021.
As we approach Juneteenth, here are some events happening near you to celebrate this important day.

Rochester Juneteenth Festival: A Freedom Celebration

Saturday, June 18th at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 353 Court Street, Rochester, NY 14607. 10 AM - 7 PM.

Greater Rochester Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission and Rochester City School District’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative Rochester Juneteenth Festival will be held in downtown Rochester at MLK Park from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Enjoy free events in the park, and free admission into the Strong Museum of play!

Link to Juneteenth 2022: A Freedom Celebration | Facebook

ROC Freedom Riders Annual Juneteenth Bike Ride

Saturday, June 18th, 2022 at 10 AM

Meeting place: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, 353 Court Street

10 mile route across the city of Rochester followed by celebration with music, local vendors, and more.

Sixth Annual Rochester Juneteenth 5K Event

The Sixth Annual Rochester Juneteenth 5K Event is scheduled for 1 pm on June 19, 2022 in the Genesee Valley Park. The event is organized by the CGI International Jazz Festival to honor the historic importance of Juneteenth. All proceeds from the event will be used to support the development of the Franklin D. Florence Civil Rights Heritage Park. The event will be held in-person, and virtual participation options are also available. Online registration is open for both in-person and virtual participation through June 19. 


Link to ROC Juneteenth 5K Run/Walk in Rochester, NY - Details, Registration, and Results | ITS YOUR RACE

Juneteenth Block Party

Monday, June 20th, 11:30 AM - 2 PM on Church Street

Come to Rochester City Hall for a Juneteenth celebration with Mayor Evans. The event will feature food trucks and music.


Syracuse Juneteenth Festival
The Syracuse Juneteenth Festival will be held at Syracuse City Hall, 233 E Washington St., Syracuse, NY 13202. The two day festival will kick-off at 12 PM today, June 17th, with a flag raising ceremony, and continue throughout Friday and Saturday with performances, and a Miss Juneteenth Pageant. Follow the link below to visit the event website for more information.


Goodwill of the Finger Lakes is a not-for-profit organization supporting the Rochester and Syracuse area communities. Headquartered in Rochester, NY, Goodwill of the Finger Lakes along with Goodwill Vision Enterprises (formerly ABVI) have a very long and successful history of creating job opportunities and serving the community through the Good Neighbor program, 211/LIFE LINE, and our vision services. In addition, we have several Goodwill thrift store locations offering second-hand clothing for men, women, and children as well as home goods and other accessories.