Pittsburgh Celebrates Juneteenth Freedom Day

Pittsburgh Embraces Juneteenth – the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

Pittsburgh will celebrate the Western Pennsylvania Juneteenth Homecoming Celebration June 16-19, 2023, in Point State Park and Market Square! This free, family-friendly event is a Celebration of all Cities and Boroughs in Allegheny County and will feature African American Culture Education, speakers, live music and local vendors! 

2023 Juneteenth Homecoming Celebration | Point State Park

2023 Performance Schedule 

TBA

Four women attending the Juneteenth Celebration in Pittsburgh, PA, pose for a photo at the event.

2023 Juneteenth-Voting Rights Parade

WPA Juneteenth will conduct the Juneteenth-Voting Rights Parade on Saturday, June 17, 2023.

The Juneteenth-Voting Rights Parade is a reenactment of the 1870 Jubilee of Freemen Parade and Pittsburgh's 1914 Women's Suffrage Parade.

2023 Juneteenth In-The-Square | Market Square

2023 Performance Schedule 

TBA

Continue the celebration a few weeks later at the 2023 Pittsburgh Black Music Festival, July 13-17. Also hosted at Point State Park and Market Square in Downtown Pittsburgh, the five-day festival features live jazz, gospel, hip-hop, RnB, funk, blues and soul performances.


History of Juneteenth

On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, Union General Gordon Granger led thousands of federal troops to Galveston, Texas, to announce that the Civil War had ended, and slaves had been freed. 

“Juneteenth” serves as a way to celebrate and commemorate the news shared on June 19, 1865. Early celebrations included reassurance among descendants, praying and gathering of remaining family members. In fact, many of the activities present at the first Juneteenth celebrations, including fishing, barbecuing and baseball, are still present today. Most importantly, the day is a time for education and self-improvement. 

On June 19, 2019, Pennsylvania officially designated June 19 a state holiday – “Juneteenth National Freedom Day.” In August 2020, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto declared that Juneteenth will become a City holiday in 2021; and in October, Allegheny County Council made Juneteenth a county holiday beginning in 2021. 

For more information on the 2023 Western Pennsylvania Juneteenth Celebration & Black Music Festival, please visit their website.