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Juneteenth Events: Your Bay Area Guide to Celebrating the Holiday

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Attendees raise their fists and hold signs that say, "Am Black And I Matter" during a Juneteenth kickoff rally on the steps of San Francisco City Hall on June 17, 2021.
Attendees raise their fists during a Juneteenth kickoff rally on the steps of San Francisco City Hall on June 17, 2021. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)

With Juneteenth now a federal holiday, there’s sure to be excitement in the air all around the country this Saturday.

But in the Bay Area, Juneteenth has long been celebrated in many ways, from formally organized celebrations to casual cookouts by the lake. This year, we’ve rounded up a handful of them to plan your weekend around.

Bay Area Juneteenth Events

Second Annual Oakland Juneteenth Fest
While all of Lake Merritt is guaranteed to be one big celebration, the amphitheater hosts DJs, art installations, small local businesses, live artists, food vendors, and more. Presented by the Alena Museum, L.E.G.I.T., and Afrocentric Oakland. Lake Merritt Amphitheater. June 19, 12-8pm. Details here.

Black Liberation Walking Tour
Join the Friends of the Hoover Durant Public Library for a day of art, food, and live music celebrating the launch of the Black Liberation Walking Tour. Exploring the civil rights movement, the Great Migration, and contemporary Black liberation movements, the self-guided tour spans 100 years of history in West Oakland. June 19, 11am-4pm. Details here.

Juneteenth With MoAD
San Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora presents a day of virtual workshops and roundtable talks. The day’s conversations explore the legacies of Black women in rock music, the role of dance in the Black social experience, and the history of the Juneteenth holiday. June 19, 11am-5pm. Details here.

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‘Monumental Reckoning’ Unveiling with Dana King
The day before Juneteenth, world-renowned sculptor Dana King unveils a new work at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park of 350 ancestral sculptures. Replacing the recently removed Francis Scott Key monument, the new four-foot statues depict the African ancestors that would become America’s first enslaved people. June 18, 5-6:30pm. Details here.

Juneteenth at the Bayview Opera House
A free afternoon of live music, poetry, dance, and more on the outdoor stage at the Bayview Opera House in its first in-person event since the beginning of the pandemic. June 19, 1-3pm. Details here.

Grace Cathedral Presents Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom
San Francisco’s majestic Grace Cathedral is the setting for this Juneteenth celebration of Black music, including R&B, gospel and jazz. Led by Oakland-based DJ Nina Sol, the event streams online to kick off the day. June 19, 10am–11:30am, at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco. Details here.

Outdoor Afro and East Bay Regional Parks Juneteenth Free Parks Day
The East Bay Regional Park District joins forces with Outdoor Afro to waive park entry fees to its regional parks. With the goal of getting 50,000 people out in nature nationwide, Outdoor Afro encourages Americans to reflect on what freedom means by spending time in nature. June 19. Details here.

Sonoma County Juneteenth
Virtual event with presentations and a performance by Zakiya Hooker, daughter of blues legend John Lee Hooker. June 19, 1pm–3pm. Details here.

The Black Neighborhood Juneteenth Hike
Join the Black Neighborhood for a five-mile hike at Wildcat Canyon in El Cerrito, CA. June 19, 9am. Details here.

Bay Area Mural Program Art Clash
Celebrate Juneteenth with an afternoon mural contest complete with a $1,000 prize; audience decides the winner. Auction of murals to follow. June 19, noon-4pm. Seventh West, Oakland. Details here.

Juneteenth on the Waterfront
CUESA and MegaBlack SF celebrate Juneteenth with a farmer’s market on the waterfront, featuring a range of local Black-owned businesses at the Embarcadero Ferry Terminal Plaza. July 19, 8am-2pm. Details here.

Painters in a lot painting on canvases
The Bay Area Mural Program offers a grand prize of $1,000 at their Juneteenth event on Saturday. (Courtesy BAMP)

More Juneteenth Events

Scratching the Surface: A Hip-Hop STEM Story
An exploration of the physics of turntables and their importance in hip-hop with MacArthur Fellow Dr. Carl Haber, hip-hop artist Jahi, and DJ Miles Green.

Sneaker Museum Oakland Presents ‘Banned’
Learn how the Jordan 1 laid the groundwork for sneaker culture.

Jazz Photography of Chuck Stewart Across from SFJAZZ
From 8am-10am on Saturday, SFJAZZ installs a new collection of photos of jazz stars on the empty school building at Franklin and Fell Streets.

Soul Slice Grand Opening
Soul food on a biscuit crust, inspired by Southern ingenuity. (Read more by KQED’s Luke Tsai here.)

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