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 16th and festivities continue into Monday 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 16th
Flag raising Ceremony - 12:00 pm outside City Hall
Festivities at Clinton Square - (1:00 - 10:00 p.m.)
Headliner - UAS Showgroup
Saturday, June 17th
Juneteenth Victory Parade - 11:00 am from Dunbar Association to City Hall
Festivities at Clinton Square (1:00 - 10:00 p.m.)
Miss Juneteenth Pageant
Headliner - Loose Ends
Monday, June 19th
- Ancestral Celebration – The Everson Museum Community Plaza 5:00 pm - 9:00pm
- Celebrating Syracuse Barber Shops & Beauty Salons
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.
NYS Blues Festival
Blues music takes over the NYS Fairgrounds every June, check out this one-of-a-kind festival!