Cel­e­brat­ing June­teenth 2021 in Philly this weekend

4 minute read
While there's no parade this year, there's plenty to do for this year's holiday. (Photo by A. Ricketts, Visit Philadelphia.)
While there's no parade this year, there's plenty to do for this year's holiday. (Photo by A. Ricketts, Visit Philadelphia.)

Happy Juneteenth! For this weekend, I’ve curated a list of events throughout Philadelphia (and a pair in the ‘burbs) for you to celebrate. While there is no official parade this year, the Juneteenth Festival is happening in West Philly, Amalgam Comics is hosting a free outdoor event for the book and comic nerds of all ages, BlackStar looks back at its ten years, a handful of events decorate Germantown, and a new show from Alexandra Espinoza debuts.

I made sure that each event here was one that was filled with joy. Nearly all the happenings are in-person, so be sure to check out Covid restrictions and protocols before visiting. Be safe, and have a fantastic weekend!

Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade and Festival

Okay, so the title might be a misnomer since there’s no parade this year, but the Juneteenth Festival is still hosting a series of events in West Philadelphia. The Freedom Day March begins at 52nd Street and Haverford Avenue at 9am, followed by a rally that leads into the Art in the Park Exhibit and Vendors Fair at Malcolm X Park, 5100 Pine Street, through 3pm.

Amalgam’s Juneteenth Celebration

Amalgam is teaming up with the Black Child Book Fair and New Kensington CDC for a day of books, comics, music, and arts and crafts. The event is free and all are welcome to attend—masks are mandatory. Join in on Saturday at 10am-3pm at Amalgam Comics, 2578 Frankford Avenue. And consider supporting Amalgam’s grand re-opening, too.

Greenwood Collective and BlackStar Drive-In

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the BlackStar Film Festival and pay homage to the Williams’ Dreamland Theater in Tulsa, Greenwood Collective will host a drive-in showcasing a variety of films by Black and brown filmmakers, including films featured in the first ten years of the Black Star Film Festival. The series will run through June 17-19 at the Global Leadership Academy Charter School West, 4601 West Girard Avenue. Be sure to register ahead of time.

Special programming with Please Touch Museum

The Please Touch Museum is hosting special programming this weekend, including a themed storytime, educational arts activities, a creative science and engineering-inspired workshop, and more. Guests are encouraged to make a reservation ahead of time.

Juneteenth at Hatfield House

The historic Hatfield House in Fairmount Park is hosting its own celebration. Live music, kid-friendly activities, face painting, and giveaways including T-shirts, books, and school supplies are lined up for the day. Folks are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets. The event is on Saturday at 2-5pm.

Annual Festival in Historic Germantown

The Johnson House Historic Site, located at 6306 Germantown Avenue, will host its 15th annual celebration of Juneteenth. Live music, activities, food, historic reenactments, panels, and more are on deck from 1-5pm.

Vernon Park Fashion Show

There’s a two-day fashion show happening at Vernon Park, 5818 Germantown Avenue, featuring a collection of designers. Outside of the lewks, guests can enjoy live music from DJs and drum lines, snacks, a gaming truck, and kid-friendly activities. Tickets are $10.

Chester County Juneteenth Festival

The Chester County Juneteenth Festival features a handful of panels this weekend. Guests include poet, performer, and professor Dr. Joshua Bennett, writer Caroline Randall Williams, and chef Elijah Milligan. Check out the full schedule online.

Perkins Center for the Arts Juneteenth Celebration

Folks in Moorestown, New Jersey can check out a festive outdoor event featuring music, vendors, and artists at the Perkins Center for the Arts, 395 Kings Highway, on Saturday from 10am-2pm.

BlackBestFriend

On Saturday at 6:19pm (no, that’s not a typo), BlackBestFriend arrives with a story that’s part fantasia, part group therapy, and part messy revenge about a group of Black femmes who recruit an army of like-minded Black femmes who must break up with their white best friends in order to realize their personal and collective liberation. Created by Alexandra Espinoza, the Juneteenth performance is only for BIPOC viewers, with the show streaming for everyone June 20-26. The event is free with donations suggested.

Image Description: A group of Black women dressed in African print dresses is on a red and gold float outside of Independence Hall.

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