On June 19, 1865, enslaved Africans in Galveston, Texas learned that slavery was officially over in America. This was two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.
Today, Juneteenth is the annual commemoration of the end of slavery in America. It is celebrated nationwide with historical reenactments, African-inspired programming, music and dance performances, and so much more.
Philly offers many ways to celebrate Juneteenth. And SEPTA can get you to those celebrations.
Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade & Festival At Malcolm X Park
Launched locally in 2016, the annual Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade & Festival has grown into a daylong event. This year, attendees can head to West Philadelphia for a Freedom Day March, a rally program, an exhibit and vendor fair, a self-guided culture tour and more, with complementary programming available online. (Note that the parade won’t happen in 2021 due to the pandemic.) This event will be at various locations including Malcolm X Park at 52nd & Pine. To get here on SEPTA, hop Routes 42 or 52 or the Market-Frankford Line to 52nd Street.
Wawa Welcome America at The African American Museum
For the first time ever, the City of Philadelphia’s official Fourth of July celebration — known as Wawa Welcome America — includes Juneteenth events in partnership with The African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP). The museum’s Juneteenth event features a five-hour outdoor celebration. Get here on SEPTA. It's a short walk from the 8th Street stop on the Market-Frankford Line or hop Routes 47 or 48.
Juneteenth Festival at the Johnson House Historical Site
Historic Germantown celebrates Juneteenth during its 15th annual Juneteenth Festival. Hosted by the Johnson House Historic Site, the annual (and free!) fest features a day of educational activities and entertainment on the 6300 block of Germantown Avenue, including live music, children’s activities, food trucks and historic reenactments. Note that masks are required for 2021. Get there on the SEPTA Route 23.
Free Admission at the National Constitution Center
Admission to the National Constitution Center is exactly $0 this Saturday, and guests can enjoy special tours of the Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality exhibit and other programming, in recognition of Juneteenth. So easy to get here on SEPTA. Hop the Market-Frankford Line to 5th Street/Independence Hall or Routes 17, 33, 38, 44, 48 or 57.
These are just some of the events happening this weekend. For a full list of events - click here!
And when you ride - remember masks are still required on all SEPTA vehicles.