Juneteenth celebrations around Rochester | WHEC.com

Juneteenth celebrations around Rochester

Updated: June 19, 2021 06:52 AM
Created: June 19, 2021 06:47 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC/AP) — Saturday is Juneteenth, the newest federal holiday. 

President Joe Biden signed legislation Thursday establishing a new federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas — two months after the Confederacy had surrendered. 

That was also about two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the Southern states.

This is the first year that Juneteenth is an official public holiday in New York. It was signed into law back in October

Below is a list of events and celebrations that will be taking place around the Rochester area.



  • 2nd Annual Juneteenth celebration organized by the Irondequoit E.R.A.S.E. group
    • 9 a.m. - Ribbon cutting with Town Supervisor David Seeley at the new basketball court located at Joshua Rojas Park
    • 10 a.m.- Co-ed youth basketball tournament game (6th and 7th graders followed by 11th and 12th graders)

    • 2 p.m. - There will be activities include music, live performances, food, and an opportunity to support Black-Owned businesses selling an array of products/ services including vegan desserts, handmade jewelry, waist beads, children's books, customized clothing, and more at the Irondequoit Town Hall Gazebo.


  • ROC Freedom Riders Annual Juneteenth Bike Ride starts at 10 a.m. at the Strong National Museum of Play (inside the ROC Freedom Riders Juneteenth Zone at The Strong, Howell Street lawn)

  • Juneteenth Mother and Daughter Walk starts at 10 a.m. and goes until 11:30 a.m. at the Maplewood playground (107 Bridge View Drive)

  • The Strong museum and the Greater Rochester Martin Luther King Jr. Commission have teamed up to celebrate Juneteenth by offering free admission and parking to the museum throughout the day. Guests can enjoy performances and activities starting at 10 a.m. that will promote and honor Black history and culture. 

  • Save Rochester 2nd Annual Juneteenth Poetry Slam starts at 6 p.m. at 171 Reservoir Ave (directly across the street from highland bowl). 

If we are missing an event, please email webmaster@whec.com.

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