Juneteenth is coming quickly and GoSoIN wants to help you find a celebration to commemorate this truly important American holiday.

While originating in Galveston, Texas, Juneteenth has been celebrated annually around the United States since 1865. The holiday marks the day that the final group of enslaved Black people were given their freedom. On June 19, 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation originally freed all enslaved people, this final declaration by Union army general Gordon Granger made it official in the parts of Texas where the proclamation had yet to be enforced. Even still there were some that remained enslaved in Indigenous areas that had sided with the Confederacy. These people would not be freed until 1866. This number was small but still significant when looking at the length of time it took to truly abolish chattel slavery in the United States. 

The celebrations are held in remembrance and in celebration of the present with a focus on keeping this history fresh and alive in the memories of present-day United States citizens who may have forgotten what it took to truly gain freedom. On June 5, 2021, Juneteenth became a federally recognized holiday. 

Check out these local celebrations:

Southern Indiana

Jammin' in Jeff Juneteenth Celebration

June 15 - Jammin’ in Jeff: Juneteenth Celebration
“Free Your Mind” at this special Jammin’ in Jeff performance featuring Grammy-nominated artists CHIKA and En Vogue! There will be local food trucks and signature drinks prepared by The Alcove. Jammin' in Jeff performances are free to attend. The lawn opens at 4 p.m. The show begins at 5 p.m. with exciting dance performances by Invincive Studios and electrifying beats from DJ Samosa. Bella Rae of B96.5 will emcee the evening.


Bicentennial Park Juneteenth

June 14 - Summer Concert Series at Bicentennial Park
Celebrate Juneteenth at Bicentennial Park in New Albany with FREE live music performed by The Jesse Lees with Tyrone Cotton. The show starts at 6:30 p.m.

NoCo Juneteenth Event flyer

June 14 - Juneteenth Community Block Party Celebration
Head to NoCo, Jeffersonville's art hub, for the Juneteenth Community Block Party Celebration on Friday, June 14, 2024, from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. This event features live entertainment, a Black art exhibit, food trucks, an African American cultural showcase and family-friendly activities such as bouncy houses and face painting. Highlights include an opening ceremony, a BIPOC and Black author book reading session, live DJ sets and more. Join the community in celebrating Juneteenth while honoring Black culture and creativity. Click here for more details.

Media Page Square Culbertson Mansion

June 15 - Free Admission Day to the Culbertson Mansion
In honor of Juneteenth, the Culbertson Mansion in New Albany will offer free admission from 10 a.m - 5 p.m. Visitors can take a guided tour of William Culbertson's luxurious mansion to learn about his family, life and philanthropy.


Louisville Juneteenth Festival at Lynn Family Stadium

June 15 – Louisville Juneteenth Festival at Lynn Family Stadium
Celebrate Juneteenth with the Louisville Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 15, at Lynn Family Stadium. Starting at 2 p.m. — after the noon game between Racing Louisville FC and NJ/NY Gotham FC — enjoy food, music, and activities until 11 p.m.  With over 100 minority businesses, live music and activities for all ages, this festival is not to be missed! Click here for more information.  Don't miss this celebration of freedom, culture, and community!

5th Annual Louisville Bicycle Club Juneteenth Solidarity Ride

June 15 - 5th Annual Louisville Bicycle Club Juneteenth Solidarity Ride
Get ready for the 5th Annual Juneteenth Solidarity Ride. The ride starts in Shawnee Park (4501 W Broadway, Louisville, KY 40211) and has three route options: a 13-mile loop through Willow Park, a 24-mile ride through Cherokee Park and Seneca Park, or riders can go all out with a 50-mile adventure that includes scenic views of Southwestern Parkway and the Ohio Levee Trail. This free bike ride celebrates Juneteenth, now a federal holiday, with a relaxed, no-drop family-friendly ride.

MELANnaire Marketplace Juneteenth Celebration at Fourth Street Live!

June 15 - MELANnaire Marketplace Juneteenth Celebration at Fourth Street Live!
From 12  - 6 p.m., enjoy musical and spoken word performances, along with a showcase of 25+ Black-owned businesses at Fourth Street Live! in Downtown Louisville. This event is free and open to all.


More events and exhibits to honor Juneteenth:


Carnegie Underground Railroad

Floyd County Library Cultural Arts Center Exhibit
The Floyd County Library Cultural Arts Center in New Albany features temporary exhibits throughout the year, but it is also home to permanent exhibits including "Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage: Men and Women of the Underground Railroad," which tells the story of New Albany's role in the Underground Railroad, and "Remembered: The Life of Lucy Higgs Nichols," an exhibit on one former slave who became a Civil War nurse.

Downtown Town Clock Church Drone

Town Clock Church Tours
Tours of the historic Underground Railroad Town Clock Church will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2024, each hour, on the hour, beginning at 10:00 AM with the last tour beginning at 3:00 PM. Tours last about one hour. The historic church’s antebellum congregation was involved in the Underground Railroad before, during and after the Civil War. Tour guides will provide history of the Underground Railroad movement in the metro area. The tour is free and open to the public, and donations are welcome.

Completed in 1852, Town Clock Church, now known as the Second Baptist Church, stood as a beacon of hope for freedom seekers crossing the river, connecting cities in both slave and free states. It provided a safe haven amid a hostile environment on the arduous journey to freedom. Designated an official Network to Freedom site by the National Park Service on July 5, 2017, the historical "Town Clock Church" continues its legacy, maintained with the support of the charitable organization, Friends of the Town Clock Church. For more information and tour availability, click here.

Roots 101 African-American Museum
Located in downtown Louisville, KY, Roots 101 invites visitors to learn about the journey of African Americans from slavery to freedom to the ongoing fight for social justice. Exhibits highlight African American contributions and experiences throughout history. The museum encourages exploration and healing and was named one of USA Today’s Best New Attractions of 2021.

Support Black-Owned Businesses:

Another way to celebrate Juneteenth is to visit and support Black-Owned tourism and hospitality businesses in our area. A few of these include:

Poppin’ Flavors in Jeffersonville offers snack bags and tins in fun flavors like banana pudding and birthday cake, plus classic popcorn flavors.
Wacky Nachos & Mrs. and Mr. Cotton Candy give families a fun lunch or dinner option.
Taylor’s Cereal Bowl Kitchen where you can find delicious mixed shakes and sensory-inclusive fun.
Big Ben's D & M Restaurant at the Depot is a must-stop to fill your BBQ cravings. Posters on the wall explore African American history in Clark County.