Open in App
WAVY News 10

Juneteenth 2023 events and celebrations

By Courtney IngallsSarah Goode,


HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – Juneteenth marks the anniversary of June 19, 1865 when thousands of enslaved people were finally emancipated. Federal forces arrived in Galveston, Texas, to enact President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation signed more than two years earlier.

On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday.

Biden signs bill making Juneteenth a national holiday

Hampton Roads Transit

HRT will be offering free fares on Juneteenth. Community members will be able to ride all buses, light rail, ferries, and transit services for free.


Juneteenth Community Cookout

On Sunday, June 18 head to Elizabeth River Park, 1400 Elizabeth River Way for the Juneteenth Community Cookout . From noon to 6 p.m. enjoy food, music, games, and community.

There will be a children’s tent courtesy of the Chesapeake Fine Arts Commission where you can find Juneteenth focused arts and activities. Shop at the black business market presented by the Chesapeake NAACP.

The event is free and open to the public. You can register for your spot at the link here .


2nd Annual Juneteenth Freedom Fest

On Sunday, June 18 visit the 2nd Annual Juneteenth Freedom Fest at Darling Stadium, 4111 Victoria Blvd. Here is a list below of special attractions at the event.

  • Juneteenth Churches Unite Worship Service at 10 a.m.
  • Cultural Arts and Entertainment
  • Health and Wellness Screenings
  • Job and Community Resource Fair
  • Book Authors Corner
  • Family and Youth Games and Activities

For more information about the event click here . The event is free and open to the public.

Juneteenth Community Unity Cookout

Celebrate Juneteenth before the holiday weekend. On Friday, June 9 from 4 to 7 p.m. visit Mill Point Park, 100 Eaton St, for the Juneteenth Community Unity Cookout . Join the community for entertainment, food, dancing, and raffles. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to sit. The event is free and open to the public.

Newport News

Juneteenth Freedom Festival

On Monday, June 19 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. the Juneteenth Freedom Festival will be at King-Lincoln Park, 600 Jefferson Ave. The festival will have food and craft vendors, live entertainment, exhibits, and children’s activities. Here is the stage schedule below.

Stage Schedule

  • 12:30 p.m. Champagne Band
  • 2 p.m.  United Souls
  • 3:15 p.m. The Unifics
  • 4:15 p.m. Bobby V

The event is free and open to the public.

3rd Annual Juneteenth Raising the Flag Ceremony

On Monday, June 12 join Newport News for the 3rd Annual Juneteenth Raising the Flag Ceremony . It will be held at City Hall, 2400 Washington Ave from 1 to 3 p.m. The community event will raise the flag of freedom for the last enslaved African American in Galveston, TX.


Juneteenth Celebration

On June 17, visit the Juneteenth Celebration at Richard A. Tucker Memorial Library. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include drum performances, dancers and more.

Juneteenth in the Park

The Festevents Juneteenth event is returning to Town Point Park along the Downtown Norfolk Waterfront. It will be Saturday, June 17, 2023 from noon until 6:30 p.m. Festevents says more information will be available soon at this link. It is free and open to the public.

Juneteenth Freedom Festival

The Juneteenth Freedom Festival will take place at Slover Library on June 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This family-friendly event has food vendors, face painting, music trivia, and more. For more information, click here .


On Monday, June 19, City Hall, library, non-emergency city offices, and school will be closed in observance of Juneteenth. Find more information on the city website here .


Juneteenth Freedom Day

On Sunday, June 18, visit High Street Landing for the Juneteenth Freedom Day . The event is hosted by the Urban League of Hampton Roads, Inc. It will take place from 1 to 9 p.m. Throughout the day enjoy vendors, food, drinks, live music, and more entertainment. The event is free and open to the public.


Juneteenth: A Celebration Of Our Stories

On Friday, June 17 from noon to 2 p.m. visit Morgan Memorial Library, 443 West Washington Street for Juneteenth: A Celebration Of Our Stories .

Suffolk says, “Come together this Juneteenth for a community conversation where we can share and celebrate our stories and reflect on what it means to be Black in our community, the United States, and our lives as a whole.”

Guests are welcome to drop in any time and no registration is required. It is free and open to the public.

Surry County

United to Empower, LLC, (UTE) will be partnering with various community entities to honor the historical event of June 19, 1865. The day of remembrance of this historical event will occur on June 17, 2023 at Surry Parks and Recreation Center, located at 205 Enos Road.

The theme for the 2023 Annual Juneteenth Festival for Surry County, Virginia is “Celebrating Our Freedom and Future”. This event is free and open to the public. The main festival activities, will begin at noon and end at 7 p.m. There will be musical entertainment, food/business vendors, local resources booths, free face painting, popcorn, cotton candy, and plenty of family fun activities. Voter registrations will also be provided.

Virginia Beach

2nd Annual Juneteenth At The Beach

Head to 24th Street Park at the oceanfront for Juneteenth At The Beach from Friday, June 17 to Sunday, June 19. Hosted by TEAM LAMB & THE LAMBS Foundation, the 3-day event will be jam packed with family friendly fun all weekend long. There will be education opportunities, live entertainment, food, culture, and time for connection.

Activities include morning yoga, Ol’ School Car Show, Black Brand Panel, poetry showcase, Poolside Cooking – Food Truck Panel, and much more!

General admission is free, but registration is required. There are Souvenir and One Day VIP Passes available. To sign up or purchase tickets, click here .


Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg is offering free admission to the Historic Area and Art Museums on June 19. Visitors can pre-register to claim complimentary tickets at the link here . Free admission gives visitors access to special programming. Visit for more information.

Juneteenth Sunrise Service

On Sunday, June 18 at 6 a.m. Colonial Williamsburg will have a Juneteenth Sunrise Service under the Compton Oak. The service will have a keynote address given by Tina Lifford, CEO of wellbeing initiative, The Inner Fitness Project . Lifford is an actress and recently finished shooting for Queen Sugar, an Oprah Winfrey Network drama series.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to

Expand All
Comments / 0
Add a Comment

Comments / 0