Juneteenth 2023 Activities and Events

BATON ROUGE, La. (THE LOUISIANA WEEKEND) - Juneteenth National Independence Day became a federal holiday in 2021 but has been celebrated since 1866. Juneteenth Commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. The holiday originates in Galveston, Texas where General Gordon Granger issued an order on June 19, 1865, proclaiming freedom for slaves in Texas.

Juneteenth has been celebrated with church centered gatherings, cookouts, baseball, fishing, and rodeos. Since becoming a federal holiday, Juneteenth celebrations have taken center stage and is being celebrated by cities and communities all over the United States.

Here in the capital region, celebrations begin on June 15, 2023 and extend through June 19, 2023. Here’s our list of ways to celebrate and commemorate Juneteenth. All of these events are free of charge.

Juneteenth Panel Discussion

When: Thursday, June 15, 2023 6:00pm with a reception at 5:00pm

Where: LSU Museum of Art, 100 Lafayette Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70801

What: People will learn how African Americans maneuvered through the country post emancipation in the two or three decades after emancipation. You will learn how African Americans established churches, HBCUs, and how they found their way through this new version of the United States of America. For more information visit HERE

Juneteenth Unity Festival: Black In Bloom

When: Friday, June 16, 2023 from 4:00pm until 8:00pm

Where: North Boulevard Town Square and Galvez Plaza downtown Baton Rouge

What: This is a “Live After Five” style event where attendees can expect live performances, food trucks, vendors, aerobics, yoga, book signings, and community discussions. This is an opportunity to support Black owned businesses and engage in meaningful discussions about how to improve life in our local communities.

Gus Young Annual Juneteenth Celebration

When: Saturday, June 17, 2023 from 12:00pm until 4:00pm

Where: Gus Young Park, 4200 Gus Young Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 70802

What: This event is presented by Representative C. Denise Marcelle. This festival is open to all ages to enjoy free food, giveaways, and more. There will also be live music from Vince Hutchinson & The Heavy Storm Band and The Bruce Wayne Band.

City of Donaldsonville Juneteenth Music Festival

When: Saturday, June 17, 2023 from 11:00am until 7:00pm

Where: Louisiana Square, 300 Railroad Avenue, Donaldsonville, LA 70346

What: 27th Annual Juneteenth Music Festival. Bring your chairs and umbrellas and enjoy food, health fair, pop-up shops and live music from The Michael Foster Project. For more information visit HERE

Old South Baton Rouge Juneteenth Art & Culture Festival

When: Monday, June 19, 2023 from 11:00am until 4:00pm

Where: 1302 Eddie Robinson Sr. Dr, Baton Rouge, LA 70802

What: Commemorate Juneteenth with art, music, and culture. There will be family friendly activities, games, live performances, food and drink vendors. For more information visit HERE

NAACP Juneteenth Freedom Fund Gala

When: Saturday, June 17, 2023 from 6:30pm until 11:30pm

Where: Crown Plaza Executive Center Baton Rouge, 4728 Constitution Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 70808

What: The NAACP Baton Rouge Branch is presenting the gala with the theme “Free At Last Yet The Work Continues”. Formal attire is required. There will be a keynote speech, live music, DJ, and an awards presentation. This celebration will highlight the NAACP Baton Rouge branch’s historical importance and will also honor five outstanding community leaders in the following four categories: the Dr. Ernest Johnson Civil Service Award, the Trailblazer Award, Amazing Woman Award, and the Aspiring Youth Award. Myra Richardson, founder of the 225 Fest is the 2023 Woman of the Year and will be presented with an award at the gala.

Cost: Tickets are $100 each and can be purchased HERE