How Pittsburgh Area is Celebrating Juneteenth This Year

Some events have had to move online or be rescheduled


Pittsburgh’s annual celebration of Juneteenth, like many other activities, will be different this year as a number of events have been rescheduled or will be online due to COVID-19.

Juneteenth is a celebration in honor of the Emancipation Proclamation reaching Texas on June 19, 1865. This local celebration of freedom soon spread to other parts of the country during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. In 2019, Juneteenth became a state holiday in Pennsylvania.

Juneteenth will be celebrated in the Pittsburgh area June 19-20. Here are the in-person events you can participate in:

Balloon Release Honoring Antwon Rose II
Michelle Kenney, ROC Nation, Young Black Motivated Kings & Queens, and 1Hood Media have organized a balloon release on June 19 at 10 a.m. on Linden Avenue in East Pittsburgh

Juneteenth Sit-in
A 12 p.m. sit-in will take place at the intersection of Lincoln Highway and Center Street in East Pittsburgh to honor Antwon Rose II and commemorate his death, organized by Allegheny County Black Activist/Organizer Collective. Participants are encouraged to bring signs and wear a mask.

Feed the Hood meal distribution
The nonprofit group Feed the Hood is calling for volunteers to meet in the Edgewood Giant Eagle parking lot at 2:30 before going to Hawkins Village in Rankin. All volunteers need their own transportation.

Car Cruise for Black LGBTQ Liberation
From 6 to 8 p.m., a car cruise will be held in Schenley Park. Participants are asked to begin at the Prospect Hill loop and bring flags and decorations.

Juneteenth Picnic
Beginning at 5 p.m., a socially distanced picnic (bring food and drinks for you and your family) on the lawn at the Frick Environmental Center. Hosted by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. Register in advance here.

Juneteenth Potluck
A family event/potluck will be held at TRAILS ministries church in New Brighton in Beaver County beginning at 4 p.m. Activities for children and hot dogs, hamburgers and water will be available. 

Wilkinsburg Strong Gathering
On June 20, a gathering will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. with food, music and drinks at Graham Field Football Stadium in Wilkinsburg. 

Online Events:

Facebook Live Freedom Day Walk
A walk through the historical Black landmarks in Pittsburgh will be live-streamed on June 19, beginning at 1 p.m. Presented by Stop The Violence PGH, historians and educators will be speaking at various sites along the way.

White Whale Online Discussion
Livestreamed on White Whale Bookstore’s Facebook page, authors Damon Young and Deesha Philyaw discuss their writings on race. 

Here’s what’s been rescheduled:

  • Juneteenth Parade, moved to Aug. 29
  • Western PA Juneteenth and Black Music Festival, moved to Aug. 28-30
  • Juneteenth Black Women’s Suffrage Forum, moved to late August
  • Wilkinsburg and Penn Hills Juneteenth and Family Cookout, moved to Aug. 22
Categories: The 412