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Celebrate Freedom Day at these Juneteenth Festivities

Plan your week of Juneteenth celebrations in Savannah and surrounding areas.

Observed annually on June 19, Juneteenth is a federal holiday commemorating the end of chattel slavery in the U.S. It’s a time of remembering the past, expressing gratitude for the present, and inspiring hope for the future. Join in on the freedom festivities by making your way to these local Juneteenth celebrations.

SATURDAY, JUNE 15
Daughters of Mary Magdalene Juneteenth Motorcade Parade

The Daughters of Mary Magdalene will present their second annual Juneteenth Motorcade Parade on Saturday, June 15, at 9 a.m. The Motorcade will leave the old Savannah Civic Center at 9:45 a.m. and arrive on 38th St. Park between 10:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. The SPD, the Soulful Riders, Pleasure Riders and the Rare Breed Club will lead the Juneteenth procession.

Wells Park Juneteenth Celebration

The Daughters of Mary Magdalene present their annual Juneteenth celebration at Wells Park, taking place Saturday, June 15, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. A celebration of fun, food and fellowship, this Juneteenth festival will feature live entertainment, dancing and festivities for children.

Telfair Museums Juneteenth Free Family Day

Telfair Museums will offer a free family day on Saturday, June 15, at the Jepson Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in observance of Juneteenth. Now in its 17th year, Telfair’s Juneteenth observance will feature a day of engaging activities, storytelling and performances celebrating freedom and African American heritage. Dr. Jamal Toure will open the event with a libation ceremony, followed by children’s activities, storytelling and presentations by visual and spoken word artist rEN Dillard. There will also be a special musical performance at 3 p.m. Admission to the Jepson Center is free for local residents and those from surrounding counties. Learn more at telfair.org/event/juneteenth-free-family-day-2024.

Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Center Juneteenth Commemoration

The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Center, located in the Armstrong Center at 13040 Abercorn St., will host their fourth annual Juneteenth Commemoration on Saturday, June 15, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The celebration will include African drumming and libations, Sankofa dancers, guest speaker Daniel Black, folktales by Georgia Southern’s Call Me MiSter program, Geechee Gullah Ringshouters, as well as poetry and line dancing.

Vendors and food trucks will sell items and food. Additionally, handsewn Gullah Geechee Baskets made at the workshop the day before will be showcased. These baskets are the first of their kind made by the hands of basket makers from four cultures: Sierra Leone, South Carolina, Georgia and the Bahamas.

Savannah African Art Museum Juneteenth Celebration

The Savannah African Art Museum will hold its fourth annual Juneteenth celebration Saturday, June 15, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 201 E. 37th St. 

As is tradition, the Juneteenth celebration will reflect on honoring the past while embracing the future. This year the museum’s collection of West and Central African art will be the focus of the celebration. Guests are invited to enjoy free self-guided tours with docents available to share information and answer questions about African history and culture, and its impact on African American History and beyond.


The celebration is multi-generational and family friendly. Children will receive sheets of art images to take home and color.

The Savannah African Art Museum is a non-profit institution devoted to spreading awareness and appreciation of African culture. They hold an abundant collection of objects that hail from West and Central Africa. The museum’s collection spans over 28 African countries and represents over 180 cultures. For more information about the museum and access to virtual tours, workshops, and initiatives, please visit savannahafricanartmuseum.org or follow them on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest using the handle @SavannahAfricanArtMuseum.

Savannah Juneteenth Youth Fine Arts Festival

Taking place Saturday, June 15, at 11 a.m. at Forsyth Park, the Savannah Juneteenth Youth Fine Arts Festival is a dedicated day celebrating the vibrant energy and creative spirit of our youth. From captivating performances to interactive art installations, every aspect of this festival is designed with the young generation in mind. It's a day where their voices are heard, their talents showcased, and their visions celebrated.

This festival is complete with music, dancing, performances, a college fair, community service projects, a contest, food trucks, a dedicated kids play area, youth vendors, games, sports competitions, and more. Visit
savannahjuneteenthfestival.com for more information.

Pooler Juneteenth Celebration

Pooler will host their third annual Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 15, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Tanger Outlets. The community-wide celebration will include live music, food trucks, storytellers, games and more. On the holiday, there will also be a Juneteenth Run at 7:30 a.m. at Pooler Stadium. To learn more about these events, visit poolerjuneteenth.org/.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19
The Savannah Juneteenth Walk to the River

Savannah Mayor Van R. Johnson, II invites the community to join him for the commemorative “Juneteenth Walk to the River” on Wednesday, June 19, to honor the Juneteenth National Independence Day. The community walk to celebrate freedom will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Wells Park (2299 Montgomery St.), and move north down Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., ending at the Savannah River in front of Plant Riverside.

Tybee MLK Juneteenth Celebration

Tybee MLK, the island’s human rights organization, has observed Juneteenth since 2014, long before it became a federal holiday. Each year, Tybee MLK hosts a wade-in commemorating the desegregation of the beach and a community festival complete with vendors, speakers and live performances. This year, the wade-in will take place on the holiday, Wednesday, June 19, at 9 a.m. at South Beach, including storytelling and drumming by Patt Gunn and the Saltwata Players. The festival will take place June 16–17 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Tybee’s pier and pavilion featuring Afro-centric vendors selling a variety of goods. For more information, visit tybeemlk.com.

FRIDAY, JUNE 21
Film screening: "Malcolm X"

Enjoy the first installment of "Black Culture Rewind," a summer film series presented by the Walter and Linda Evans Center for African American Studies. In celebration of Juneteenth, refamiliarize yourself with the crucial life and work of Malcolm X. Immediately following a deep dive into Awol Erizku’s exhibition "X," join the Evans Center for a screening of "Malcolm X" by award-winning director Spike Lee. See the iconic life of one of history’s most charismatic and important leaders in this dramatization of his evolution into a human rights activist. Refreshments will be provided.

Taking place Friday, June 21, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the SCAD Museum of Art, this event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, email Andreia Wardlaw, director of the Walter and Linda Evans Center for African American Studies, at [email protected]


City of Port Wentworth Juneteenth Celebration

The City of Port Wentworth is slated to host its second annual Juneteenth Celebration on Friday, June 21. The event will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Port Wentworth City Hall, 7224 GA Highway 21, Port Wentworth, Georgia 31407. This celebratory event is free and open to the public and will feature a fun-filled evening for the whole family, culminating in a special performance by the Block Party Experience at 6:30 p.m. The Block Party Experience is a young and diverse Atlanta-based party and event band.

Founder of the City of Port Wentworth’s Juneteenth celebration, Councilmen Rufus Bright commented, “It is gratifying to see the continued growth and success of our city’s Juneteenth celebration. Celebrating this significant milestone for the American people by bringing together the diverse population who choose Port Wentworth as their home demonstrates the vibrancy of our community.”

Other attractions include a scavenger hunt, African drumming and dancing, plus a children’s play area in addition to a variety of food and other vendors. Guest speakers including Senator Derrick Mallow, Representative Carl Gilliard, Retired State Representative Rahn Mayo, and Retired State Representative Melvin Everson will kick off the celebrations and reflect on the importance of Juneteenth, which was established as a federal holiday in 2020 to mark the end of slavery on June 19, 1865.

“The City of Port Wentworth is excited to present our second annual Juneteenth event to kick off the weekend on June 21,” said Gabrielle Nelson, Mayor Pro-Tem. “I encourage everyone in our community to join us to enjoy an evening of unity and celebration.”

There is still availability for vendors to participate for a $50 fee. There is no cost for food truck vendors. Vendors must register by 4 p.m. on Friday, June 14. To request a vendor packet, please call (912) 964-4379.

SATURDAY, JUNE 22
Savannah Juneteenth Fine Arts Festival

Hosted by Chosen For The Arts, the 2024 Savannah Juneteenth Fine Arts Festival will take place on Saturday, June 22, at 3 p.m. at Forsyth Park. This culturally enriching event will unite the community in a celebration of freedom and fellowship complete with an art showcase featuring talented musicians, dancers, spoken word performers, storytellers and visual artists. In addition to the performances, attendees can enjoy local vendors, food trucks and an array of family-friendly activities. Leading up to the festival, there will also be a slate of other events celebrating the richness of African American heritage and culture, including a gala, a Father’s Day Dads Dash, a youth festival, and a fireworks display. Visit savannahjuneteenthfestival.com for details about these events.

     

Chantel Britton

Chantel Britton is a compelling storyteller with an ever-growing curiosity. She's built a rewarding writing career for herself in addition to serving five years as a Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. She's an NPR nerd with a deep passion for all things travel, sustainable living and adventure. She...
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