2023 Juneteenth Weekend Celebrations in Houston & Galveston

An aerial view of a marketplace on the shores of Galveston with an amusement park in the background
The annual Juneteenth Festival brings a marketplace and more to the shores of Galveston | Courtesy of Visit Galveston

Discover the celebrations, concerts and special events for the 158th anniversary of Juneteenth taking place this weekend in Houston and Galveston in June 2023.

This year marks the 158th anniversary of the date that news of the Emancipation Proclamation first reached Texas and was read aloud in Galveston on June 19, 1865—two years after it had become U.S. law.

In celebration of that day, the Greater Houston and Galveston areas host a number of festivals, events, and commemorations that we’ve gathered in this guide to plan your 2023 Juneteenth weekend.

People peruse over goods at a pop-up vendor's booth
Shop local Black-owned businesses at BLCK Market pop-ups for Juneteenth | Courtesy of BLCK Market

2023 Juneteenth Weekend Events in Houston

  • Crawfish Boil: Celebrating Juneteenth at Frost Bank Third Ward | Friday, June 16 | FREE – The Frost Bank outpost on the edge of the University of Houston campus will serve up crawfish, shaved ice and live tunes for free to the public, in celebration of Juneteenth. 2pm to 4pm.
  • Juneteenth at Miller: The Musical Journey Continues at Miller Outdoor Theatre | Friday, June 16 & Saturday, June 17 | FREE – Split into two parts performed across back-to-back nights, this musical journey takes attendees through the outstanding musical artists of our time, including the songs of Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Prince, legends of H-Town hip-hop, and more. 8pm.
  • Mayor Turner’s Annual Juneteenth Parade in Acres Homes | Saturday, June 17 | FREE – With dignitaries on hand, this annual Juneteenth parade leaves from the Acres Homes Multi-Service Center to the Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church, with crowds along West Montgomery to take in the view. 10am to noon.
  • A Juneteenth Celebration at Bayou Bend Collection & Gardens | Saturday, June 17 | FREE – The American decorative arts museum commemorates Juneteenth with a family-centered program focusing on Black history. Learn about early African American businesses and the legacy of Black cowboys, plus you can take in a poetic performance and art-making workshop. 10am to 3pm.
  • Black is Beautiful Cultural Celebration at Post Houston | Saturday, June 17 | FREE – The Downtown destination hosts this celebration by Juneteenth HBCU Alliance, featuring live performances, arts and crafts, pop-up vendors, games, a children’s book fair, and more. 10am to 5pm.
A marching band parades through the streets as part of a Juneteenth celebration
Mayor Turner’s 10th Annual Juneteenth Parade comes to Acres Homes | Courtesy of Mayor’s Office of Special Events
An outdoor concert scene with crowds watching musicians on stage
Heavy-hitters of R&B take the stage for the annual Juneteenth Celebration at Emancipation Park | Courtesy of Emancipation Park Conservancy
  • Juneteenth Music Festival, with Lakeside, The SOS Band at Emancipation Park | Saturday, June 17 | FREE – Held in Third Ward’s historic Emancipation Park, this annual free concert offers a full day of jubilee with gospel artist V. Michael McKay, zydeco from Step Rideau, and legendary R&B performers Lakeside and the SOS Band. While there, explore local vendors, crafts, merch and fantastic food trucks. 3pm to 10pm.
  • Juneteenth Weekend Celebration at Bicentennial Park in Baytown | Saturday, June 17 | FREE – Houston rap legends head to Baytown for a free community concert in celebration of Juneteenth. Catch Slim Thug, Lil Keke, Big Pokey and a slate of other musicians and live DJs, capped off with a fireworks spectacular. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs or blankets. 5pm to midnight.
  • Juneteenth Jubilee at Club Sienna | Saturday, June 17 | FREE – The Missouri City neighborhood hosts its Juneteenth Jubilee, complete with live music, games, kids’ activities, and a vendor market. 7pm to 10pm.
  • Black is Celebrated Juneteenth Soiree at Post Houston | Saturday, June 17 – This social mixer at Post encourages guests to dress up in their cream and canary best to celebrate the contributions of HBCU alumni and Black professionals from across the country. Guests can enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres and bar offerings, as well as live DJs and a headlining performance from Kevin Ross. $18.95 and up. 8:30pm to 1:30am.
  • Juneteenth Celebration at Children’s Museum Houston | Saturday, June 17 to Juneteenth, Monday, June 19 – Gather in the Museum District throughout Juneteenth Weekend for family-friendly celebrations that include a live show from Express Children’s Theatre, djembe drumming performances, and appearances by Ensemble Theatre actors. $17 for ages 1 and up. 10am to 6pm; Sunday noon to 5pm.
  • LetsDoThisHouston: Juneteenth Night Light Bike Ride at 3rd Ward Tours | Sunday, June 18 – Take a scenic route through several of Houston’s iconic neighborhoods and must-see spots as you vibe out to a playlist of artists that liberate, celebrate and uplift Black culture. $13 and up; bike rentals available. 6pm to 8:30pm.
  • Wine Walk to Remember: Celebrating Juneteenth at Houston Botanic Garden | Sunday, June 18 – Sip through wines of the Pur Noire portfolio as you enjoy live music, painting demonstrations and a celebration of Juneteenth in the South Houston gardens. $40. 6:19pm to 8pm.
A detail of a wall mural that celebrates the signing of General Order No. 3
A detail of “Absolute Equality” | Courtesy of The Juneteenth Legacy Project

2023 Juneteenth Weekend Events in Galveston

  • Juneteenth Celebrations, Tributes & Events Around Galveston: The Birthplace of Juneteenth | Daily – While the biggest events happen the weekend of Juneteenth itself—Monday, June 19, 2023—the month of June is filled with special Juneteenth events and activities, not to mention many permanent tributes and installations on the island. Dates and times vary.
  • More Things to Do for Juneteenth in Galveston | Daily – In addition to many of the events you see here, Galveston Island is dotted with murals and other installations that are worth checking out for Juneteenth Weekend.
  • Juneteenth Emancipation Celebration at the Grand 1894 Opera House | Friday, June 16 – Galveston’s historic opera house hosts the second annual concert, featuring Grammy-winning gospel artist Reverend Smokie Norful, Zacardi Cortez and Sunday’s Best gospel diva Amber Bulluck. $20 and up. 7pm.
  • Juneteenth Parade & Picnic in Galveston | Saturday, June 17 | FREE – Traveling 15 blocks down Avenue H, the annual Legacy of Juneteenth Parade will again work through Downtown Galveston, before ending at Wright Cuney Park for a 2pm community picnic. 1pm to 5pm.
  • Juneteenth Festival 2023 at McGuire Dent Recreational Center | Saturday, June 17 | FREE – Along Seawall Boulevard, this family-friendly fest will be packed with a local vendor market, food and performances, just steps from the shores of the Gulf. 1pm to 8pm.
  • Juneteenth Civic Season Event: A Slice of History at Rosenberg Library | Saturday, June 17 | FREE – In the heart of Downtown Galveston, students ages 13 to 17 are welcome at this library event co-sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute that will discuss historical impact and lessons we can take away for civic life. 3pm to 6pm.
  • Juneteenth Comedy Fest at Galveston Island Convention Center | Saturday, June 17 – Ahead of Juneteenth, the Galveston convention center hosts an all-star lineup of touring Texas comedians, including Billy D. Washington, Rodney Bigham, Dave Lawson and more. $20 and up. 7pm.
  • The Galveston Symphony Celebrates Juneteenth at the Grand 1894 Opera House | Sunday, June 18 | FREE – More than 50 musician performers come together between the Symphony and Galveston Heritage Chorale for an epic concert celebrating Juneteenth at the birthplace of the holiday, with a night of historical African American music. 4pm.
  • Juneteenth Sneaker Ball at Moody Gardens | Sunday, June 18 – The Galveston Council of Greeks hosts this first-ever Sneaker Ball, where patrons will cap off their black tie and gala attire with fashionable sneakers for this signature celebration taking place at Moody Gardens. $85 and up. 8pm to 1am.
  • 44th Annual Al Edwards Juneteenth Celebration at 1859 Ashton Villa | Juneteenth, Monday, June 19 | FREE – Take in a live reading of General Order No. 3, which declared freedom for enslaved people, at the island’s official Juneteenth historic monument at the 1859 Ashton Villa. 10am to 11am.
  • Juneteenth Family Fun Day at Reedy Chapel AME | Juneteenth, Monday, June 19 | FREE – The historic Reedy Chapel AME church hosts a free community block party with food, games, prizes and more for families and those celebrating Juneteenth. Then, cap off the 158th Juneteenth by taking part in a historic reenactment of the emancipation march from the Chapel to the Galveston Courthouse to hear General Order No. 3, declaring “all slaves are free!” Block party from 1pm to 6pm; march event from 6pm to 8pm.
People walk through the streets with American and Juneteenth flags
Embark on an Emancipation March with Reedy Chapel on Juneteenth | Courtesy of Visit Galveston

Find More Things to Do in Houston All Year Long

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A longtime Houstonian, Justin Jerkins always keeps an eye out for what's ahead on Houston's horizon while serving as Editor-in-Chief of 365 Things to Do in Houston. When he's not passing along the latest events, destinations and hidden treasures in H-Town, he loves diving into the city's food scene, shopping local and learning about Houston's rich history.