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Juneteenth Celebrations In San Antonio Include Parties, Live Music And A Look At The City's Own History

Austin's Juneteenth celebration in 2014.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon
KUT News
Austin's Juneteenth celebration in 2014.

Lee esta historia en español.

Juneteenth — celebrated for more than 150 years — is now a legal public holiday.

The holiday commemorates the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas learned they had been freed under the Emancipation Proclamation, which occurred two and a half years earlier.

Though celebrated by San Antonians in the past, Juneteenth is different this year: It coincides with Fiesta.

The 2021 Texas Freedom Festival

The San Antonio Juneteenth Association will host the 2021 Texas Freedom Festival at Comanche Park on Friday and Saturday. The free event will have live music each day. On Friday, there will be a Flotilla Fish Fry, and on Saturday, there will be a health fair. In addition to the special events and music, there will also be domino and kick ball tournaments, basketball and an open mic.

Night With The Missions

The San Antonio Missions will play a fundraiser game against the NW Arkansas naturals. VIP ticket sales will benefit the Texas Kidney Foundation and the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum (SAAACAM). The VIP tickets include food, a player meet-and-greet and more. The game is at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Nelson Wolff Stadium.

Black History River Cruise

Since Juneteenth coincides with San Antonio’s postponed Fiesta celebration, the SAAACA event will allow cruise riders to learn about Black history in San Antonio while taking a ride along the river. It will be June 18 from 7-9 p.m. and will start at La Villita.

Block Party

There will be a block party at Alamo Beer on Saturday from 3-9 p.m. The fair will be focused on education, business and health. There will be live music, food trucks and vendors. Tickets are free but must be reserved.

The Future Is Freedom At Hopscotch

The Hopscotch museum will host “The Future is Freedom,” where there will be live music, food, vendors and poetry, as well as the interactive museum. The event is scheduled for Thursday, June 17, from 6:30-10 p.m. Tickets range from $15-50.

Movie Screening At The Alamo

After a Juneteenth discussion with Trinity professor of history Dr. Carey Latimore, Ph.D., a screening of the moving “Walk on the River: A Black History of the Alamo City” will show on Friday, June 18, from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Panel Discussion On The Ongoing Fight For Freedom

RAICES will be hosting a virtual panel on Thursday, June 17, to discuss the fight for Black immigrants ahead of Juneteenth. The panel will be streamed on Facebook at noon.

City Offices Closed To Observe Juneteenth

Some offices within the City of San Antonio will be closed Friday, June 18 in observance of Juneteenth on Saturday. A full list of the open and closed city offices can be found here.

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