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In the spirit of freedom: celebrate Juneteenth with festivals, fitness and fashion

 Children marching in a Juneteenth parade, waving flags and beating drums.
Jake May
The Flint Journal Via AP
Juneteenth is celebrated across the country as a federal holiday. While Texas was the first state in 1980 to recognize its historic importance, Juneteenth has been celebrated far longer as a second independence day in Black communities.

Juneteenth was recognized as a federal holiday in 2021, thanks to the determination of Fort Worth resident Opal Lee, who, at 89, walked to Washington D.C. as part of her efforts to seek recognition for the date. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022.

Numerous celebrations abound throughout North Texas. Here are a few of the many activities you can find in your community.

Opal's Walk for Freedom

Where: Fort Worth Library (Ella Mae Shamblee Branch) – 1050 Evans Ave., Fort Worth and virtual
When: Monday, June 19 – 11 a.m.
Cost: Free

Opal Lee walks her annual 2.5 miles to commemorate when Texans heard the Civil War had ended and enslaved people were freed—2.5 years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. People can join her in person or virtually.


Juneteenth Celebration at Old City Park

Where: Old City Park – 1515 S Harwood St, Dallas
When: Saturday, June 17 – 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Free for members

Celebrate Juneteenth and Black history with tours, discussions and films, along with music and shaved ice. Leashed, friendly pets are allowed on the grounds but not in the buildings.

Denton Juneteenth Parade and Celebration

Where: Fred Moore Park – 500 S. Bradshaw St., Denton
When: Saturday, June 17 – 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Parade: 10 a.m. - begins at Denton Civic Center, ends at Fred Moore Park with food, music and other entertainment.

Irving Juneteenth Celebration

Where: Bear Creek Heritage Park – 3925 Jackson St., Irving
When: Saturday, June 17 – 4-8 p.m.
Cost: Free

Celebrate with live music, African storyteller, classic car show and local vendors.

3rd Annual Juneteenth Celebration and Expo

Where: William Blair Jr. Park – 3000 Municipal St., Dallas
When: Saturday, June 17 – 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: Free

A celebratory march begins at 10 a.m. at James Madison High School, 3000 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dallas, ending at the park. At noon, the festival starts with live entertainment, a kids’ zone, games and vendors.

Plano Juneteenth

Where: Douglas Community Center – 1111 H Ave., Plano
When: Saturday, June 17 – 2-8 p.m.
Cost: Free

Parade starts at 2 p.m. at I Ave. and 13th St. A King of the Grill barbeque competition, live music, games, a car show and $5 haircuts for kids mark the Juneteenth celebration. The soft opening of the Plano African American Museum – 900 13th St., Plano – offers a sneak peek of Black history exhibits.

Juneteenth on Main Block Party

Where: Main St., between Good-Latimer Expwy. and Crowdus St., Dallas
When: Sunday, June 18 – 12-6 p.m.
Cost: Free to $75 for premium seating

Deep Ellum continues to mark its 150-year anniversary with a (mostly) free, family-friendly Juneteenth block party. Music by Jess Garland, Dezi 5, Cure for Paranoia, DJ Lex in the Box and more. R&B-soul group Dru Hill headlines the concert. Vendors and a Black history art exhibit add to the festivities. This is a standard standing-only block party, except where seats are available.


Praise the Lord and Raise the Roofby Celeste B. Walker

Where: Jubilee Theater – 506 Main St., Fort Worth
When: through Sunday, June 18, various times
Cost: $29 - $44

Black churches are burning in the South. Amid suspicions and fears, an African American congregation in fictional Rule Hill County, Virginia, welcomes a white stranger. After a tragic incident, they must examine their own prejudices and Christian attitudes.

Juneteenth Fashion Show

Where: Lexus Box Garden at Legacy Hall – 7800 Windrose Ave., Plano
When: Sunday, June 18 – 7 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Cost: $10 general admission to $350 VIP and premium seating

Models show off the latest fashions from award-winning local designers, students and boutiques. It will be emceed by fashion designer Venny Etienne from Project Runway Season 17 and radio personality Lady Jade. This event is for all ages.

Celebrating Juneteenth: The Music of Black Composers (three locations)

Where: Lewisville and Dallas
When: Thursday, June 15; Saturday, June 17; and Sunday, June 18; various times
Cost: Free- $30

The Orchestra of New Spain honors Black composers of spirituals, ragtime, classical music and more, along with songs based on poems by Langston Hughes.


2023 Juneteenth 4K Freedom Walk and Festival

Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center – 2922 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dallas
When: Saturday, June 17 – 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Cost: Free festival; Freedom Walk $15 - $135

A 4K walk warms up the day, followed by a free festival with live performances, food, vendors and fun activities for the whole family.

2023 Juneteenth Golf Classic

Where: The Golf Club – 2200 W. Red Bird Ln., Dallas
When: Monday, June 19 – registration 8 a.m., shotgun 9. a.m.
Cost: $155 - $600

This four-person scramble is presented by the Dallas Mavericks. Proceeds benefit the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce.

Juneteenth Unity Games

Where: Comerica Center (formerly Dr Pepper StarCenter) – 2601 Avenue of the Stars, Frisco
When: Sunday, June 18 – 4-8 p.m. (teams check-in 2-3:30 p.m., general admission gates open 3 p.m.)
Cost: Free with ticket and school supply or nonperishable food donation - $10; each person over age 2 must bring a donation

If competitive games are your jam, form a team or compete individually in some selected activities at this adult field day. There’s something for everyone at this family-friendly celebration — food, music, raffles, art and activities for all ages.

23rd Annual William-Jordan Blair Memorial Juneteenth Golf Classic

Where: Prairie Lakes Golf Course – 3202 SE 14th Street, Grand Prairie
When: Monday, June 19 – registration 8 a.m., tee time 9 a.m.
Cost: $125- $500

First, second and third place prizes, hole-in-one raffles and fried catfish at the turn. Proceeds go to the Blair Foundation, supporting drives for local children in need of school supplies and uniforms, as well as hosting fun kids’ events.

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Senior in journalism at TCU, intern with KERA's Art&Seek