Juneteenth is an important holiday that commemorates the day of emancipation from slavery in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, which was the last state to do so. Since then, Syracuse New York has played an important role in the State of New York in achieving and maintaining freedom, equality, and opportunity for African Americans. Central New York is home to many early abolitionists and civil rights advocates.

The Syracuse Juneteenth Festival begins on June 8thth and festivities continue into Wednesday the 19th. Kick off will take place at Syracuse City Hall for the flag raising ceremony at City Hall at 12:00 pm. This annual event shines an important light on Black food, fashion, art, stories, culture and entrepreneurs. The Syracuse Juneteenth Festival is unique in the sense that the grounds upon which the celebration takes place had once been a part of the Underground Rail Road.


Syracuse Juneteenth Celebrations

This year’s event schedule is listed below, be sure to keep up to date with Syracusejuneteenth.org as details of the event become finalized in the coming weeks.

Friday, June 8th

  • Let me Be Great Again Tournament | Barry Park

Saturday June 9th

  • Miss Juneteenth Pageant | Community Folk Art Center

Friday, June 14th

  • Flag raising Ceremony - 12:00 pm | Outside City Hall

  • Festivities at Clinton Square - (2:00 - 10:00 p.m.)

  • Local Artists

  • Celebrate Juneteenth at NBT Stadium. Syracuse Mets V, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Includes a jersey giveaway and post-game fireworks.

Saturday, June 17th

  • Juneteenth Victory Parade - 11:00 am from Dunbar Association to City Hall

  • Festivities at Clinton Square (12:00 pm - 10:00 p.m.)

  •  Headliner - Zapp

Wednesday, June 19th | Juneteenth

  • Ancestral Celebration – City Hall Atrium, 6:00 pm | $75 admission

Did You Know?

The Jerry Rescue Monument located in historic Clinton Square is a dedication to William “Jerry” Henry, a Freedom Seeker from Missouri. He was arrested in Syracuse and planned to be returned into slavery, until brave abolitionists worked to assist him to freedom to Kingston, Ontario. 

The Central New York Freedom Trail is another significant historic movement. In fact, Syracuse was known as the “Great Central Depot” of the Underground Railroad of New York State. Thousands of Freedom Seekers traveled to Syracuse by canal, road, and railway on their journey to freedom. By the 1850s, Syracuse was known and celebrated as the “Free City” and the “Canada of the United States”.


More Syracuse Juneteenth events can be added to our calendar throughout the month on Visit Syracuse’s events page

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