* This article is updated annually.

Short for “June 19th,” Juneteenth is America’s oldest celebration to commemorate the official end of slavery in the United States. 

Although the 13th Amendment legally ended slavery in 1863, slaves living in Galveston Bay, Texas did not know this until June 19, 1865, when Union troops arrived there and announced that all slaves were freed by executive decree. On June 17, 2021, Juneteenth became an official federal holiday.

Since 1866, African Americans have celebrated Juneteenth as an independence day and a time to honor black history and culture. Juneteenth-related festivities can include cookouts and gatherings serving foods and beverages representing the red, black, and green colors of the Pan-African flag, as well as liturgical ceremonies, parades, fireworks, and family-friendly festivals. 

Looking for Juneteenth festivities this year? Here’s a guide to some exciting things happening around the city this weekend.


Local Juneteenth Parades

Who doesn't love a good parade? This year you can check out multiple! Kick off Juneteenth with a parade in Covington on 6/15, followed by an Elsmere parade and the official Juneteenth Parade in downtown Cincinnati - both on 6/16. 

Cincinnati Juneteenth at Eden Park (Photo: Cincinnati Juneteenth)

Can’t-miss Juneteenth 2024 celebrations in Cincinnati 

Enjoy fun, community-based events all week long!

Golf Manor’s 3rd Annual Juneteenth Celebration (6/14)

Golf Manor Juneteenth 2024With support from the Village of Golf Manor and a partnership with Golf Manor, residents are hosting this event to observe the end of slavery, promote the rich cultural heritage of Black Americans - and unite the community. Merchants will be selling food, apparel, art, handmade jewelry, and accessories. Break out your lawn chairs and blankets so that you can enjoy performances from local musicians. 


The 5th Annual Juneteenth Block Party (6/15)

Juneteenth Block Party 2024

Paloozanaire presents the 5th Annual Juneteenth Block Party at The Banks’ Dora District. This year’s event will be hosted by comedian Desi Banks. 


Black Cincy: Yacht Day Party (6/15) 

Juneteenth Yacht ClubGet ready to kick off this Juneteenth weekend with good vibes and good people on The Destiny Yacht! Black Cincy is bringing the day party energy with sounds from DJ Hope playing Hip Hop, R&B and Afrobeats!


37th Annual Juneteenth Festival at Eden Park (6/15 - 6/16) 

Juneteenth Festival 2024Since 1988, this free two-day event has celebrated the beauty and endurance of black culture. Saturday kicks off with a parade of flags representing the African Diaspora, which refers to the millions of people from West and Central Africa dispersed throughout the Americas and the Caribbean during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The festival begins with its traditional parade of flags representing the African diaspora — the dispersion of Africans from their original homeland during the slave trade. Once the parade ends, stay to enjoy fun, family-friendly activities such as horseback riding, education pavilions, historical reenactments and more. The Juneteenth Festival will also offer food, art displays, merchandise vendors and performances from two stages.

The second stage will feature live musical performances from local artists such as Jazz Renaissance, Last Boppers, Cincy Brazil Samba and much more. 

On day two of the Cincinnati Juneteenth Festival, get ready to bring the patriarch of your family out to Eden Park's Seasongood Pavilion for the Juneteenth Father's Day Concert! Spend Sunday afternoon watching liturgical dancers and listening to inspirational music from outstanding choirs and musical groups. Enjoy performances from acts such as the Empty Vessels, James McCray Chorale, Neva Ford Nations, Praise Ekeng, Ed “Sax” Thomas and other musical guests.

Second Annual Juneteenth Celebration


Celebrate Juneteenth's rich and historic heritage with Join For Family By Family & City of Florence at their Second Annual Juneteenth Celebration on June 19 from noon to 5:30 p.m.! Get ready for a day filled with music, captivating art, mouthwatering food, engaging family activities, vibrant face painting and more. Throughout the event, indulge in delicious treats from food trucks, plus explore offerings from local businesses and organizations. Commemorate the significance of this cultural milestone by joining For Family By Family & the City of Florence in honoring freedom, unity, and resilience. Don't miss this unforgettable holiday event!

Juneteenth Jubliee at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (6/19)

Juneteenth JubileeExperience the Juneteenth Jubilee — a vibrant celebration of true independence — at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center! This event honors Juneteenth's rich legacy with festivities reminiscent of its earliest celebrations. Enjoy live music, engaging programming, delicious food trucks, and a special appearance by Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Orlando Brown, Jr. With live performances, diverse culinary delights, a Community Market and a symbolic march to the Ohio River, there's something for everyone to enjoy. 


Juneteenth Panel Discussion (6/22) and Tasting Event (6/23)

Findlay Market

Celebrate Juneteenth on Saturday and Sunday with two different special programs at the historic Findlay Market. 

First, on Saturday, enjoy a free panel discussion about the history and significance of the holiday. Four Black local community leaders will sit on the panel and speak on their personal experience with Juneteenth and what it means to them.

Then, on Sunday, celebrate the cuisines of Findlay Market’s various Black-owned businesses at a special tasting event. Tickets to this event are required and are available online for purchase.


Black-owned bars and restaurants in Cincinnati to check out

shrimp and grits at Nolia Kitchen

Shrimp and grits at Nolia

From barbecue to coffee, there’s a myriad of Black-owned businesses in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Don’t miss these three unique spots and check out the full list of Black-owned bars and restaurants. 

  • Cinema OTR: This nostalgic bar and lounge is a dedication to 90’s hip hop and R&B, black films, and black TV shows, and it is the official partner of Juneteenth on the Banks this weekend. Check out their Instagram for more information.
  • Caffe Vivace: The Walnut Hills coffeehouse comes alive at night with some of the region’s best live jazz musicians. One of this weekend’s featured acts is Cleveland’s Camille Saba Smith Smooth Quartet, and you can reserve your seats here.
  • Nolia Kitchen: Inspired by New Orleans’ cuisine, Nola Kitchen offers a high-end fusion of comfort foods from the South. The menu also features vegan and gluten-free items, such as stuffed collards with jackfruit and mushrooms.
  • Honey Uninhibited: Dive into some true southern staples at this delicious spot, located in Covington. From fried green tomatoes to deviled eggs and she crab soup - their brunch, lunch and dinner menus have something for everyone. 


For more things to do this weekend, see our full events calendar to see everything happening in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky!