Juneteenth in Tampa Bay: Your weekend guide
On June 19th, 1865, enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas were set free, officially ending slavery in the U.S. The first Juneteenth was celebrated in Texas a year later.
This Sunday marks Juneteenth, or what some call “Freedom Day,” “Black Independence Day,” or the country’s “second Independence Day.”
The holiday celebrates the freedom of enslaved people at the end of the U.S. Civil War. It was officially recognized as a federal holiday last year.
On June 19, 1865, enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas were set free, officially ending slavery in America. The first celebration of Juneteenth took place in Texas on June 19 one year later.
While the public holiday will be marked on Monday, Tampa Bay area residents have a host of events to choose from over the next few days.
Friday, June 17
City of Tampa Juneteenth Flag Raising Ceremony & Festival
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor will lead a flag ceremony alongside members of the Tampa Bay Juneteenth Coalition. At 10:30 a.m. Friday, watch the Juneteenth flag being raised over Old City Hall, 315 E. Kennedy Blvd., while the official city proclamation is read. This 3rd annual event will include a cultural vendor festival, music, and other activities highlighting the importance of this nationally celebrated occasion. The festival will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday along Franklin St. next to City Hall.
USF St. Petersburg Juneteenth Event
The Office of Multicultural Affairs at the USF St. Petersburg campus will hold a celebration and education experience through live performances, food, music and a panel discussion. The free event will be hybrid with both an in-person and virtual option. It runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday.
The Mountaintop Juneteenth Celebration
The West Coast Players will present "The Mountaintop" by Katori Hall the weekend of Juneteenth, on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Great Live Theatre in Clearwater. The play reimagines the events the night before the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tickets cost $23.
Saturday, June 18
Juneteenth in Gulfport
The 2nd annual Gulfport official Juneteenth celebration is coming to the waterfront by the Gulfport Recreation Center. Attendees are invited to shop local vendors, enjoy live music and meet some of the players on the Buccaneers and Tampa Bay Rays. The free event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Gulfport Recreation Center.
Juneteenth Business Expo
The 3rd annual Juneteenth Business Expo will bring more than 150 African American businesses to network, sell and showcase local and global brands. The free event begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and ends at 4 p.m. It will take place outdoors at the corner of 9th Ave S (Fairfield Ave S) and 22nd St S in St. Petersburg.
2022 Juneteenth Community Festival
The 13th Avenue Dream Center in Bradenton will host a celebration with music, food, shopping, arts and entertainment. The 2022 Juneteenth Community Festival is a free event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday that will feature the Beatdown Band of Tampa, as well as other local artists.
Sankofa Juneteenth Freedom Festival
The Sankofa Juneteenth Freedom Festival will host African & urban apparel, drumming, arts and craft, face painting, music, food and more. The free event will be held at Rebirth Park at 1924 East Comanche Avenue, Tampa, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday with door prizes and free raffles.
Film Tampa Bay Presents: Paper Line (2022)
Film Tampa Bay will celebrate the Juneteenth holiday weekend with the first look at “Paper Line,” a locally produced, live-action short film about a secret fraternity of black martial artists at a prestigious HBCU in Florida. The movie starts Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Tampa Theatre. Admission is free.
R.O.C. the Block Tampa Bay Juneteenth Celebration and Festival
R.O.C. the Block Festivals will present a celebration that includes small business popups, a job fair, health clinic and kids play zone at Raymond James Stadium. The 2nd annual event runs from 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday with tickets starting at $10.
City of Dunedin Juneteenth Celebration
The city of Dunedin celebrates Juneteenth with live music and dance performances, craft and food vendors, poetry and more. The free event will start at 5 p.m. Saturday and end at 8 p.m. at John R. Lawrence Pioneer Park.
Juneteenth Silent Auction Gala
The Florida CANE Distillery is hosting a Juneteenth Gala and silent auction, with all proceeds benefiting the Urban League of Hillsborough County. The 21+ event runs from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Florida CANE Distillery in Tampa. Tickets, which cost $30, include an open bar and cocktail attire is requested.
Sunday, June 19
Tampa Museum of Art Juneteenth Cultural Celebration
The Tampa Museum of Art and Moffitt Cancer Center invite the community to commemorate Juneteenth at the Museum. The first annual event will take place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday and includes free museum admission, art-making activities, live music and performances, family portraits, food trucks and more. CAN Community Health will provide free health screenings onsite throughout the day. This event is currently sold out, but you can add yourself to the waitlist.
Dashiki In The City
Dashiki in the City brings together BIPOC businesses and visual artists, local organizations that offer services and resources for the community, and live performances by local artists to celebrate Juneteenth. The 5th annual event is free and runs from 1 to 7 p.m. at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg.
Shades of Pride
St. Pete Pride will celebrate the history of Juneteenth while showcasing the Art and Qulture of Black and Brown LGBTQ+. They’re inviting people to learn more about the impact of Black and Brown qulture on the LGBTQ+ community. The free event runs Sunday from 2 to 9 p.m. at The Factory in St. Petersburg. It will include an educational panel, local entertainment and vendors.
Jazzy Juneteenth Jubilee
The Woodson African American Museum of Florida will hold their inaugural Jazzy Juneteenth Jubilee on the Plaza Lawn of the Mahaffey Theater. This sunset celebration will feature performing artist Nathan Mitchell, smooth jazz pianist and Grammy nominated composer, among others. A table for 10 costs $1000. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Arts Legacy Remix: Second Annual Juneteenth Commemoration
The Straz Center will hold a Juneteenth celebration featuring spoken remembrances, writings of historical importance and an original performance of music, poetry and dance created for the holiday. The event is free and will run from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Center’s Riverwalk Stage.
Juneteenth "Still We Rise!" Jokes & Notes / Father’s Day Celebration
5Chances Promotions will celebrate Juneteenth with live music, poetry, comedy, and catered food at Moore Eventful Event Hall in Clearwater. The event will run from 8 p.m. to midnight. Tickets cost $18.
Monday, June 20
Juneteenth Prayer Breakfast
Connecting Cultures for Peace will host a prayer breakfast from 9 to 11 a.m. at Bible Based Fellowship Of Temple Terrace, 8718 N. 46th St. Speakers include Rev. James T. Golden from Mt. Zion AME Church in Port Tampa and Imam Askia Mohammed Askil from the Collective Empowerment Group of Tampa Bay Area. Reservations are required by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 813-736-2284.
#Myvoteismyweapon Community Forum
Faith in Florida hosts a community forum on voting at New Direction Ministry in Tampa, located at 6912 E. Sligh Ave., Monday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event is free to attend and will include food and music.
Saturday, June 25
Juneteenth in Clearwater
The Saturday Morning Shoppe, Clearwater's local marketplace, will celebrate Juneteenth Saturday, June 25, from 3 to 8 p.m. at Walter C Campbell Park. The Shoppe is an outdoor event catering to small businesses. Vendors will be selling products like clothing, jewelry and food.