juneteenth 2020

10 festive events to celebrate Juneteenth in Houston

10 festive events to celebrate Juneteenth in Houston

Juneteenth celebration Emancipation Park child kid girl ride
Celebrate Juneteenth at Emancipation Park. Photo courtesy of Emancipation Park Conservancy

Friday, June 19, is Juneteenth — or Freedom Day — when we commemorate the 1865 announcement of slaves winning their freedom all around the state. 

Many who celebrate Juneteenth will likely check out the virtual events and activities at Emancipation Park this year, as it appears many Juneteenth events will be taking the virtual route. However, if you’re the adventurous type who doesn’t mind wearing masks in public, here’s a rundown of in-person, Juneteenth-related events.

Friday

In Galveston, the 41st Annual Al Edwards Juneteenth Celebration will commemorate the day as well as pay tribute to Al Edwards, the former Houston legislator who helped make Juneteenth a holiday (he passed away in April at age 83). 10 am.

The Houston Museum of African American Culture will reopen its doors to the public on June 19 with “The Souls of Black Folk,”  which runs through August 29.  The exhibit features works by more than 40 black artists, local (think Rick Lowe and Bert Long, Jr.) and national, and makes the statement that black artists have been making for the past century; “We are here and we are resilient with our complicated souls intact.” 

The Funnel Bar will celebrate Juneteenth by having a contact-free, pop-up event. Tables and chairs will be available, socially distanced six feet apart with sanitizing stations. There’s no walk-ups, so you have to pre-order. 2-7 pm.

Bottles Wines, Spirits and Cigars on Navigation Boulevard will host a Juneteenth in-store tasting spotlighting the spirits of Uncle Nearest, the first African-American, bourbon whiskey from Nearest Green, who apparently taught Jack Daniel the ropes. 4-7 pm.

A BLM Juneteenth Bike Ride will begin at Guadalupe Park Plaza and continue on an undisclosed route for 6 to 8 miles. Speakers will be there at a midtown stop and, then, the ride will continue back at the Plaza. 7-10 pm.

Saturday

Families can swing by Children’s Museum Houston and check out Everyday People: The Art of James E. Ransome,” featuring more than 50 pieces from the award-winning, children’s book illustrator. 10 am-8 pm.

The folks at 3rd Ward Tours will have a Juneteenth Black History in the Making Bike Tour. Participants will explore Third Ward, see the area’s historic and iconic landmarks — and get a free T-shirt. 11 am-1 pm.

At the Buffalo Soldier National Museum, BLCK Market will have a special-edition market celebrating Juneteenth, as more than 50 small (and Black) businesses and entrepreneurs will be selling their wares. 1 pm-5 pm.

Taylor’s of Houston will be the location for TRZN’s two-day, Juneteenth Elevated Experience. There will be ‘round-the-clock live performances at this free event, as well as people checking temperatures. Noon (Saturday); 1 pm (Sunday).