June 17, 2021: DC Region Event, Festival & Exhibition Guide

The DC region is set to commemorate Juneteenth – also known as Emancipation Day – with a series of events, festivals and exhibits this year.

The DC region is set to commemorate Juneteenth – also known as Emancipation Day – with a series of events, festivals and exhibits this year. And with the relaxation of coronavirus health restrictions, many scheduled events will be live and in person.

June 19 marks the date – June 19, 1865 – when the last enslaved black Americans learned they were free under the Emancipation Proclamation, which came into effect in 1863.

Confederate soldiers surrendered to Union forces in April 1865, but news did not reach Texas until June 19.

On Wednesday, Congress voted to make June 12 the 12th federal holiday. The bill goes to President Joe Biden’s office to be signed. When the bill is enacted, the federal holiday would be called Juneteenth National Independence Day.

See below for a list of Juneteenth events in the DC area.


  • What is the black art exhibition: Works by 19 black artists from around the world will be on display. The exhibition seeks to investigate and spark dialogue on the issue contained in the name of the event.
    • Time: The premiere event begins at 7:30 p.m. on June 25 and the exhibit runs through July 9.
    • Site: Eaton DC, 1201 K St. NO
    • Cost: $ 20
  • Juneteenth series from the National Museum of African American History and Culture: The museum will host a series of online events throughout the day, including African Americans and United States Barbecue, Genealogy & Records of Intrigue, Tales of Slavery and Beyond, Connecting the Historic to the Now and A Conversation with Amythyst Kiah.
    • Time: Events start at 10 a.m. and run until 7 p.m. on June 19
    • Site: In line
    • Cost: To free
  • ONE DC Juneteenth at DC 2021: This event will feature the grand reopening of the Black Workers & Wellness Center and will include building tours, live go-go music, food vendors and community outreach booths.
    • Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 19
    • Site: ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center, 2500 Martin Luther King Junior Ave. SE
    • Cost: $ 0-20
  • Run & Ride of June 17, 2021: The second annual Juneteenth race features a half marathon and 10k race on Saturday, June 19, and bike rides on Sunday, June 20, ranging from 6.19, 18 and 65 miles.
    • Time: 6:19 a.m. June 19 and 6:30 a.m. June 20
    • Site: 1820 Erie Street SE
    • Cost: To free
  • Jubilee of June 17, 2021: This march is an event for black conservative candidates and their supporters. Registration is compulsory.
    • Time: 12 p.m. on June 20
    • Site: Freedom Plaza, 1455 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
    • Cost: To free
  • Spotlight on June 17 for freedom and justice: In the days leading up to June 17, the west facade of the National Cathedral will be lit in honor of the emancipation of slaves.
    • Time: 9 p.m. until sunrise from June 15 to June 19
    • Site: The National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW
    • Cost: To free
  • Moechella Juneteenth Weekend and Unity Fest: Throughout the weekend of June, Moechella – a group that preserves the district’s go-go musical heritage and dark history – will host a party and music festival. On Friday, Audi Field will host a Rock the Block Party with workouts for go-go music. And on Saturday, Gateway Pavilion will host Moechella’s Unity Fest – a music festival featuring Junkyard, EU with Bear, Ambition, TOB, ABM and MTM. Vendors and food trucks will also be at the rendezvous.
    • Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday for Rock the Block Party; noon to 8 p.m. Sunday for Moechella’s Unity Fest
    • Pitches: Audi Field for Rock the Block Party; Gateway pavilion for Moechella Unity Fest.
    • Cost: To free


  • Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition (BACC) June 10 Celebration: The march and rally will feature live hip-hop performances and dozens of speakers. The BACC is a coalition of activists working to preserve the graveyard of black Americans and prevent a further desecration of the Moses African Cemetery of the historic Macedonian Baptist Church.
    • Time: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on June 19
    • Site: Macedonian Baptist Church, 5119 River Road, Bethesda
    • Cost: To free
  • Celebration of the city of Laurel Juneteenth: Mayor Craig Moe and Laurel City Council will host an afternoon of speeches and performances. The event can also be viewed virtually on the city’s YouTube page.
    • Time: noon on June 19
    • Site: Laurel Municipal Center, 8103 Sandy Spring Road, Laurel
    • Cost: To free
  • Prince George County Hybrid Festival Weekend: The Department of Parks and Recreation is organizing a number of virtual and in-person events for the June 15 vacation. Online events include an art exhibit, a panel discussion on trauma and the experience of blacks, and a DJ battle. In-person events include a collection of children’s art supplies and mini Juneteenth celebrations. Registration is required for some events.
    • Time: June 14 to June 19
    • Pitches: Various places
    • Cost: To free
  • Sandy Spring Slave Museums Juneteenth Festival: The museum will hold its annual celebration on June 15 which will include food, vendors, music and an open house.
    • Time: June 19
    • Pitches: 18524 ​​Brooke Road, Sandy Spring, Maryland

Northern virginia

  • Alexandria Juneteenth Musical Celebration: This music festival features performances by composers Margaret Bonds and Adolphus Hailstork, as well as narrated readings by Langston Hughes and Martin Luther King Jr. The concert is open-air and socially distanced.
    • Time: 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. June 17
    • Site: The Rectory on Princess Street, 711 Princess St., Alexandria
    • Cost: $ 42
  • Carlyle House Tell Me Your Name Tour: The tour focuses on the experiences of the enslaved community at Carlyle House, a former plantation. Reservations are required and places are limited.
    • Time: 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on June 18
    • Site: Carlyle House, 121 North Fairfax St., Alexandria
    • Cost: $ 10 (Tickets are sold out, but there is a waiting list)

More coverage from Juneteenth:

Willie J. Johnson

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