To-do list: 16 in-person, virtual Juneteenth events in the Greater Houston area

Texans celebrate Juneteenth on June 19, 1900. (Courtesy Grace Murray, University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library via Wikimedia Commons)

Texans celebrate Juneteenth on June 19, 1900. (Courtesy Grace Murray, University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library via Wikimedia Commons)

Celebrated June 19, the Juneteenth holiday honors the day in 1865 when Union General Gordon Granger announced in Galveston the abolition of slavery in Texas, according to the National Juneteenth Register. This announcement came more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation became official in 1863.

In Texas, Juneteenth became a state holiday in 1980, according to press release from Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is co-hosting two virtual events on June 19.

Here are several virtual and in-person events celebrating Juneteenth across the Greater Houston area.

In-person events

June 19: Happy Juneteenth! At Houston Food Bank in Houston

Volunteers are encouraged to volunteer at the Houston Food Bank in honor of Juneteenth. Volunteers can wear their favorite kente cloth or dashiki. 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Free. 535 Portwall St., Houston. 713-223-3700.

June 19: Juneteenth Freedom Festival in Conroe

Good Brothers & Sisters of Montgomery County will host a festival in honor of the holiday with activities that include food, drinks, vendors and a three-on-three basketball tournament. 1-6 p.m. Free. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, 1001 Dr M.L.K. Jr. Place S., Conroe.

June 19: Gleannloch Farms Juneteenth Unity Event in Spring

A neighborhood event at Gleannloch Farms will be held to discuss race, discrimination and unity. The family-friendly event will include food, music, fellowship, games, a presentation about Juneteenth, and the opportunity to share stories and resources. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Free. Gleannloch Pines Golf Club, 19393 Champion Forest Drive, Spring.

June 19: Summerwood Unity Walk on Juneteenth in the Lake Houston area

In honor of Juneteenth, a march against racism will commence at the Summerwood Club House with speakers and a voter registration booth. Free. 6:30-7:30 p.m. 14181 Summerwood Lakes Drive, Houston.

June 19: Black Lives Matter Juneteenth Bike Ride in Houston

A 6- to 8-mile bike ride on Juneteenth will begin at Guadalupe Park Plaza, stop midway for speakers and then return to the plaza. 7-10 p.m. Free. 2311 Runnels St., Houston.

June 19: BLM Festival in The Woodlands

A festival celebrating black lives will be held at Northshore Park. Hosted by BLM The Woodlands, the event will include food, festivities and an open mic. 3-6:30 p.m. Free. 2505 Lake Woodlands Drive, The Woodlands.

June 19-20: Juneteenth Night Light Bike Ride and Juneteenth Black History in the Making Bike Tour in Houston

A 50- to 60-minute guided bike ride with music will explore Houston’s Third Ward and feature historic landmarks. 7:30-9:30 p.m. (June 19), 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 7:30-9:30 p.m. (June 20). Age 18+. $9.36-$37.89 per rider with T-shirts and bike rentals available. 281-942-4850.

Virtual events

Ongoing: Audio tour of Emancipation Park

A virtual and audio tour of Emancipation Park is available online. Community leaders raised funds to purchase 10 acres in 1872, and the Protected Landmark in Houston’s Third Ward historically hosted the city’s Juneteenth celebrations. Free. 713-527-8004.

June 19: 41st annual Al Edwards' Juneteenth Celebration livestream

This year’s event hosted in Galveston includes a memorial service for former Texas state Rep. Al Edwards, who introduced legislation that made Juneteenth a state holiday. Edwards died in April. The event will include a reading of General Order No. 3, which announced slaves’ freedom. Galveston Historical Foundation, Galveston Island and The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston are co-hosting the event. 10 a.m.-noon. Free. 409-765-7834.

June 19: Reflections on Juneteenth and America’s Racial Legacy lectures

Rice University will host a virtual lecture series discussing the legacy of slavery and race in America. The event will include several 20-minute lectures along with an hourlong conversation with Capt. Paul J. Matthews of the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 713-348-0000.

June 19: Preserve the Culture Oral History Project

The African American Library at Gregory School, a branch of the Houston Public Library, will teach attendees how to become oral historians. The project intends to document the stories and experiences of Houston’s black community. 10 a.m. Free. 832-393-1440.

June 19: 'Moving Forward, Protecting Human Rights'

To celebrate Juneteenth, Fort Bend County Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Demerchant will host a panel moderated by Fort Bend County District Attorney Brian Middleton. Panelists include Harris County Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis and civil rights attorney Roy Austin. 2-3 p.m. Free. 281-980-2235.

June 19: 'Darkness to Light, Education, Notables and Sacred Places' lecture

Authors Tommie Boudreaux and Alice Gatson will discuss Galveston’s African American history and cultural significance in an event held in conjunction with Galveston Historical Foundation and Galveston Island’s Juneteenth celebrations. 2-3 p.m. Free. 409-765-7834.


Emancipation Park Conservancy will host three virtual events to celebrate Juneteenth. At 2 p.m., We Are One Facebook Watch Party will host music and include tributes to history as well as videos from officials. At 6 p.m., Houston Black Restaurant Week will prepare dishes to serve at Juneteenth celebrations. At 7:30 p.m., Juneteenth Vibes with DJ Flash Gordon Parks will begin on Instagram Live. Free. 713-527-8004.

June 19, Juneteenth Black Family Reunion: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is hosting a livestream YouTube event to share stories and words of support. Attendees are encouraged to submit their own video sharing their experiences to the organization that may be included during the live event. There are several local chapters of NAACP in the Greater Houston area. 4-6 p.m. Free. 410-580-5777.

June 20: 27th annual Juneteenth Ally Award

Houston’s Center for the Healing of Racism will celebrate Juneteenth by awarding the 2020 Ally Award to Kevin Lock, whose Lakota name is Tokeya Inajin and who is an indigenous North American artist, dancer, musician and story teller. The event also includes a presentation on the history of the Juneteenth, blues music and a spoken-word artist performance. Noon-3 p.m. Free (preregistration required). 713-731-0316.
By Jen Para
Jen joined Community Impact Newspaper in fall 2018 as the editor of the Katy edition. She covers education, transportation, local government, business and development in the Katy area.


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