Juneteenth not only became a federal holiday in 2021, but the Los Angeles City Council also voted last week that June 19 is an official day off for city workers. Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans, and specifically observes when the news reached Galveston, Texas, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued an executive order “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”
Throughout the Southland, cities and municipalities have celebrated Juneteenth for decades. Below is a guide on where to participate in and celebrate Juneteenth — also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day — in Los Angeles with live music, bike rides through historic Los Angeles neighborhoods, and more. Many places will offer food and drink specials from Saturday until Monday, and beyond.
Friday, June 16
Juneteenth at a cookware shop in Venice
- Our Place, the producers of the Always Pan, is hosting a Juneteenth celebration today at its Abbot Kinney retail store on June 16 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. with a lecture from Dr. Nneka Gigi, breathwork workshop by Imani Nicole, and bites from Amazeballs, A Dozen Cousins, and A Beautiful Life. RSVP to the event here.
Saturday, June 17
- The City of Hawthorne will host its Juneteenth celebration this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Holly Park: 2058 W. 120th St. in Hawthorne. It’s a family-friendly event with food trucks and music.
- Culver City’s Juneteenth Celebration and Resource Fair on June 17 includes professional dancers, drummers, and a Black business expo lined with food trucks from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Santa Monica will host its 31st annual Juneteenth Celebration in Santa Monica on Saturday at Virginia Avenue Park with live jazz, soul, blues and reggae performances with food and local vendors selling their wares from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, June 18
- The ninth annual Taste of Inglewood Juneteenth Food Festival occurs on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 pm. on Market Street in Inglewood. There’s always a solid lineup of music and food.
- Get your biking gear ready for the South LA Ciclavia and third annual Juneteenth celebration and resource fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to walk, jog, bike, or skate while navigating through Vermont Avenue from Exposition Park all the way down to Century Boulevard. Food trucks will be lined up throughout the route, but be sure to stop at a local restaurant like Uncle Daddy BBQ.
Monday, June 19
- Every year Leimert Park celebrates its Juneteenth Festival on the actual holiday. This year, it’ll run from noon to 9 p.m. in the historic Leimert Park Village. The festival will showcase 300 Black-owned businesses, three stages, two DJs stages, a spoken word stage, and food vendors stationed throughout, including the Afrocentric restaurant, Two Hommés. If taking the Metro, head to the Martin Luther King Station near Crenshaw and MLK Boulevard.