Buffalo’s 48th Juneteenth Celebration Is This Weekend
Buffalo is an extremely dynamic and diverse city which boasts one of the largest and longest standing Juneteenth celebrations.
2023 makes the 48th year that Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo, Inc. is hosting its Juneteenth Celebration and Parade in east Buffalo.
The global COVID-19 pandemic caused the festival to be virtual for 2020 and 2021, but after that two year digital diversion, it returned to being an in-person celebration in 2022.
What Is Juneteenth?
According to the Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo website, Juneteenth is the oldest known observance of the ending of slavery in the United States. According to historical records, the celebration began on June 19, 1865, the day Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army rode into Galveston, Texas in final execution of the Emancipation Proclamation.
The word Juneteenth itself is a portmanteau, or combination, of the words June and nineteenth, which is the day that it is typically celebrated.
What's Happening During The 48th Annual Juneteenth Celebration in Buffalo?
This year's celebration kicked off on Friday, June 9, 2023, when the African-America Pride flag was raised at Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo.
There are all sorts of activities and events happening all month. You can find a full list of the months activities, called Sankofa Days, right here. Sankofa is a Swahili term that means it's okay to go back into our past and bring forth wisdom from our Ancestors into our present. The events during Sankofa Days including a variety of things that are meant to help engage the community in cultural arts, sciences, and various financial and empowerment skills.
The piest de resistance is the Grand Parade and festival which is set to take place on Saturday, June 17, 2023, beginning at 11 am.
The Parade starts on Genesee Street at Moselle Street, right across the street from the Juneteenth headquarters, and runs down the street just about 1-mile until entering MLK Park on at Fillmore Avenue and Best Street.
From there a massive street festival takes place for the remainder of the day on Saturday, and all day Sunday, in celebration of the end American slavery. The festival will feature all sorts of food, music, community resources, performances, and historical information about our heritage.
If you're looking to become more involved in this year's activities, you can find the full list here on the Juneteenth of Buffalo website.