Orlando comes alive this Juneteenth with spirited events and activities.

Established as a federal holiday in 2021, Juneteenth National Independence Day marks the final emancipation of African Americans who suffered through slavery in the United States, with the final announcement made in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865. But the celebration kicks off even earlier in Orlando, where our inclusive spirit, diverse community, and rich history and culture combine to create an unforgettable celebration of freedom and resilience.

Discover: African American History & Culture in Orlando

In fact, some Floridians celebrate Juneteenth as early as May 20, when the Emancipation Proclamation was read on the steps of the Knott House in Tallahassee, Florida. Florida State Senator Geraldine F. Thompson notes that many celebrate a full month of freedom activities from May 20 – June 19 to mark the occasion. We’ve rounded up some of the top ways to celebrate Juneteenth right here in Orlando, from cultural expositions and concerts to events honoring famous African Americans. We will see you there!

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2024 Juneteenth Events in Orlando

Celebrate Juneteenth with lively concerts, festivals, expos, fireworks spectaculars and more in Orlando. Check back for more events as they are added in the leadup to June 19.

Discover: Orlando Events

Mural of Zora Neale Hurston in Eatonville, Extended expiration date, currently being used on the website. Requested by Nate
Zora Neale Hurston Mural in Historic Eatonville

1887 Juneteenth Weekend (June 14 – 19, 2024)

Just north of Orlando, the historic Town of Eatonville invites you to enjoy 1887 Juneteenth Weekend in one of the first incorporated Black towns in the nation. Highlights include a Juneteenth Festival with live music, delicious food and family-friendly activities on June 15 and a Juneteenth Freedom Day Celebration and proclamation observance at Eatonville’s town hall on June 19.

Discover: Things to Do in Eatonville

The festivities will also include community events for Eatonville youth, fathers and seniors, plus a virtual event exploring Juneteenth connections to “The Town That Freedom Built.”

Gordon Parks: The Power of Photography (May 7 – Aug. 18, 2024)

The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens in Winter Park is currently showcasing a 1943 photo essay of Gordon Park. The renowned photographer captured emotional images of poverty and racism throughout the nation, and this collection centers around his time spent in nearby Daytona Beach. It features educator Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University and images of daily life in a then-segregated community.

Juneteenth Festival (June 15, 2024)

Join Florida State Senator Thompson in a celebration of freedom and unity at the Juneteenth Festival at Camping World Stadium, part of the West Lakes Market Street District near downtown Orlando. The free event will include a televised portrayal of Hariett Tubman by Senator Thompson and a documentary featuring Central Florida gospel singers, plus cooking demonstrations, dancing, jazz, food, vendors and more.

Discover: Things to Do in the West Lakes Market Street District

Thompson credits the Association to Preserve African American Society, History and Tradition Inc. (PAST) for organizing the first major Juneteenth celebration in Orlando. “The 1991 celebration was held on a portable stage on the location where the residence of Dr. William Monroe Wells now stands,” says Thompson. Wells was a notable African American physician who established a downtown Orlando performing arts venue and nearby hotel for African American travelers in the early 1900s.

Discover: The Wells’Built Museum of African American History and Culture

Today, PAST also operates the Wells’Built Museum of African American History and Culture (the aforementioned Wells’Built Hotel), and the buzz around Juneteenth has continued to grow. This year’s Juneteenth Festival will conclude with a Motown Review concert ($25), and Senator Thompson anticipates that future celebrations will feature nationally known recording artists, celebrities and personal improvement experts.

monument in the Hannibal Square district of Orlando, Florida Hannibal Square
Historic Hannibal Square

Juneteenth in Winter Park: Jazz & Jubilee — A Night Under the Stars (June 15, 2024)

Celebrate freedom, community and the power of music in the historic African American community of Hannibal Square at Juneteenth in Winter Park: Jazz & Jubilee A Night Under the Stars. The free event will feature live jazz music, dance, delicious bites and opportunities to shop cultural wear, custom jewelry and art from Central Florida’s Black-owned businesses.

Discover: Black-Owned Restaurants in Orlando

9th Annual Juneteenth Celebration: Knowing, Remembering and Reclaiming Our Stories (June 15, 2024)

Also in Winter Park, the 9th Annual Juneteenth Celebration will feature distinguished guest speakers and community conversations on diversity, equity and inclusion. It will be hosted at the Winter Park Community Center adjacent to the Hannibal Square Heritage Center. The celebration and observance will feature distinguished guest speakers along with community conversations on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Lunch & Learn: A BTGM Event (June 15, 2024)

In Loch Haven Cultural Park, the Florida Theatre Association, Black Theatre Girl Magic, Florida Repertory Theatre and Orlando Family Stage will host a family-friendly Lunch & Learn: A BGTM Juneteenth Event. The free event will center around Juneteenth history and feature a delicious barbecue lunch, engaging readings of children’s books, face painting, a DJ bubble party and other exciting activities.

Juneteenth Community Celebration (June 15, 2024)

The City of Winter Garden will host their Juneteenth Community Celebration ahead of the big day, featuring family activities, guest speakers, youth performances and a kids zone.

Discover: Things to Do in Winter Garden

Eatonville water tower

Black History Bus Tour (June 15, 2024)

Nonprofit Paving Pathways will offer a unique Black History Bus Tour in honor of Juneteenth. The full day excursion includes visits to significant historical landmarks, where you’ll hear from historical leaders, advocates, politicians and change makers living in Central Florida. The tour also includes lunch from a local soul food restaurant.

The Central Florida Juneteenth Gala: Wakandan Style (June 15, 2024)

Dust off your tuxedos and dashikis for the Central Florida Juneteenth Gala. Enjoy live music, delicious food and conversation for a special evening commemorating the Juneteenth holiday.

Facets of Freedom: A Celebration of Juneteenth (June 19, 2024)

Celebrate African American artistry with musical performances, dance, visual arts and spoken word at Facets of Freedom: A Celebration of Juneteenth at Orlando Family Stage. The celebration is hosted by Black Theatre Girl Magic in Orlando’s Ivanhoe Village District, Food and drink from Black owned businesses are also included with admission.

Candlelight Jazz: Tribute to Aretha Franklin (June 20, 2024)

Enjoy a tribute to legendary soul artist Aretha Franklin under the glow of candlelight at The Abbey. The Candlelight Jazz concert will feature talented artists performing some of Franklin’s greatest hits, like “Respect,” “Say a Little Prayer” and “Chain of Fools” in downtown Orlando.

Josephine: A Burlesque Cabaret Dream Play (June 22, 2024)

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts will host Josephine: A Burlesque Cabaret Dream Play, an award-winning one-woman show with Orlando native Tymisha Harris in the role of Josephine Baker. Experience Baker’s life as a singer, movie star, World War II spy, civil rights activist and cultural icon in this dazzling performance that combines cabaret, theater and dance.

Discover: Orlando Arts & Culture

Extended Family posing for a picture in a park
Celebrate Juneteenth in Orlando

The Central Florida Juneteenth Celebration & Fireworks Show (June 22 – 23, 2024)

Celebrate freedom, unity and African American culture and heritage during the two-day Central Florida Juneteenth Celebration in Maitland. The free festivities will feature local artists, food for purchase, live performances by April Brown & the After5 band, and a fireworks spectacular to end the weekend with a bang.

The Freedom Project: Influential African American Floridians (July 29, 2024)

Professional performers from the Florida Theatrical Association will put their twist on classic works from historic African American Floridian artists like Zora Neale Hurston and James Weldon Johnson in this free, one-of-a-kind show. Hosted at The Abbey in downtown Orlando, each act in The Freedom Project will meld past and present and address issues of freedom and oppression that exist to this day.

More Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth in Orlando

Here, diversity is celebrated all year long. Discover Orlando’s rich African American history and cultural influences at the following locations, which you can explore on Juneteenth and throughout the year.

Discover: Diversity & Inclusion in Orlando

In downtown Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood, one of the oldest African American neighborhoods in Orlando, the Wells’Built Museum of African American History and Culture features memorabilia of Orlando’s African American community, displays of the Civil Rights movement, and African art and artifacts. Nearby in the West Lakes Market Street District, Tinker Field History Plaza pays tribute to memorable historic events, including a moving Civil Rights speech from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964. Both locations are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Discover: Things to Do in Orlando's Parramore District

In Winter Park, the Hannibal Square Historic District celebrates the contributions of Orlando’s African American community, including the South Florida Railroad workers who first occupied the neighborhood. Enjoy exhibits dedicated to the African American experience, Black heritage, cultural preservation and Southern folklore at the Hannibal Square Heritage Center. It’s operated by the Crealdé School of Art, which offers classes and exhibits plus annual festivals dedicated to the preservation of African American history and culture.

Discover: Things to Do in Winter Park

Extended expiration date, currently being used on the website. Requested by Nate

Finally, the historic town of Eatonville, located 15 minutes north of Orlando, is well worth a visit. Founded in 1887, two decades after the end of slavery in the United States, Eatonville served as a haven for newly emancipated African Americans with the motto, “The Town That Freedom Built.” Famously depicted in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, the author’s childhood home also hosts the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts and annual ZORA! Festival.

Discover: Zora Neale Hurston & More Reasons to Visit Eatonville

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