The nation’s capital features a variety of activities to honor the holiday
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day or Liberation Day, marks the emancipation of Black people who had been enslaved in the United States. Not until recently did this historically significant and culturally relevant holiday begin to gain the notice that it deserves. In the nation’s capital, where Juneteenth has been recognized as an official holiday since 2004, you will find plenty of in-person and virtual ways to celebrate Black history, freedom and expression on the weekend of June 18-20.
Enjoy food from Money Muscle BBQ – June 18-20
Throughout the weekend, Money Muscle BBQ’s Chef Edward Reavis will showcase his favorite barbecue dishes from his childhood spent in a small Virginia town. Savor compressed watermelon, caprese salad, smoked and char-grilled steak, pit beef sandwiches and sweet potato pie from Money Muscle BBQ at All Set Restaurant & Bar in Silver Spring, Md. from Friday through Sunday. Brunch will be served on Sunday from 12-3 p.m. For reservations, email [email protected].
8630 Fenton Street, Plaza 5, Silver Spring, MD 20910
The Freedom Festival – June 18-19
Hosted by The Juneteenth Foundation, this two-day festival will provide a platform for unity in celebration of Juneteenth. The first day features virtual Juneteenth Reflection Panels that will focus on corporate initiatives in the Black community as well as criminal justice reform, equity, education and more. Day two offers a Virtual Career Panel and Fair, and the festival wraps up with a can’t-miss virtual Juneteenth Freedom Concert.
Moechellla DC Celebrations – June 18-20
This DC organization dedicated to equity and justice and the importance of go-go to DC's culture will host Juneteenth celebrations throughout the weekend. The free-to-attend Rock the Block Party on June 18 will feature workouts over live go-go at Audi Field, as well as a performance by the TCB Band. The Moechella Unity Fest on June 20 will take place at Gateway Pavilion from 12-8 p.m. with performances by Junkyard, EU featuring Sugar Bear, Ambition and more. There will also be a Moechella Market with local vendors, food trucks and an area for kids. Stay tuned to Moechella on Instagram for additional details.
Passages to Progress Stroll – June 19
Take a free and educational stroll through Anacostia's historic business corridor with sidewalk QR codes during this special event from the Anacostia Business Improvement District. The family-friendly excursion also offers a Juneteenth: Passage to Progress Stroll Tour Card from participating local businesse, which you can have stamped when you pay a visit or make a purchase. Tour cards can be picked up beginning Friday, June 18 - visit the event's website for more details. The first 50 people to get six stamps on their tour card and take it to the Busboys and Poets location in Anacostia will receive a limited edition 2021 Anacostia Juneteenth commemorative t-shirt designed by CreativeJunkFood!
9 a.m. - 8 p.m. | Free admission
Juneteenth Community Day – June 19
3 Stars Brewing Company will host this pop-up for Black owned businesses in honor of Juneteenth. To go along with numerous vendors, expect plenty of beers (21 and over only), food and fun, along with live music, live artwork, a live beat battle and live spoken word performances. Special guest producers and judges will be on-hand for the festivities. Reservations are recommended.
12-8 p.m. | Reserve
3 Stars Brewing Company, 6400 Chillum Place NE, Washington, DC 20012
Mic Check #Freedom at Eaton DC – June 19
Take your Juneteenth revelry to Eaton DC, where artists and activists from the Freedom Futures Collective will be on-hand to take your holiday celebration to the next level in front of Kintsugi, the hotel’s cafe. Live music and performances are on the docket from 4-6 p.m. Make sure to check out additional programming from Eaton DC.
4-6 p.m. | Free admission
Eaton DC, 1201 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
Step Afrika! Juneteenth Celebration – June 19
Spend Juneteenth with the coolest dance company in the District. Step Afrika!'s virtual celebration will honor the determination, resilience and reclamation of freedom with brand new choreographic pieces inspired by the Black experience: Trane, Little Rock Nine and The Movement. Streaming will be available on YouTube and Facebook, and if you need any more convincing, you can watch a trailer for the show. Registration and admission are free and you can donate to Step Afrika! at your convenience.
8 p.m. | Register
D.C. United vs. Inter Miami CF – June 19
Head to the state-of-the-art Audi Field for the multicultural celebration that is a D.C. United game. The stadium will be rocking for this Saturday night match against Inter Miami CF. Note that D.C. United takes safety very seriously, so health protocols will be in place for attendees. Both teams will look to get back into the playoff race as the MLS season heats up.
8 p.m. | Tickets
Audi Field, 100 Potomac Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024
Experience Black Lives Matter Plaza
Located along a two-block area of 16th Street NW in Downtown DC, this famous mural features the words “Black Lives Matter” in 50-foot-tall letters, in yellow and all caps, as well as the flag of the District. The area is open to visitors at any time of the day, allowing for reflection on the words emblazoned on the street. Many visitors take photographs of the large yellow letters that stretch down one of the nation's most iconic streets.
Visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture
The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, which recently reopened to the public, is a state-of-the-art building that addresses nearly every aspect of the African American experience, covering the arts, slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, athletics and much more. For more information regarding hours, timed entry and safety protocols, visit the museum's website. The museum also features an outstanding virtual resource on the Juneteenth holiday complete with videos, a social media toolkit, testimonials and much, much more.