Organizers behind Juneteenth Atlanta, one of the largest Juneteenth celebrations in the country and the official Juneteenth celebration for the city, are bringing back festivities for the event’s 11th year.
Taking place the weekend preceding the observed holiday in Centennial Olympic Park, the three-day Juneteenth Atlanta Parade and Music Festival will feature live performances, a 5K race, a natural hair show and the first-ever Historical Miss Juneteenth Georgia Pageant, along with a host of other activities encouraging unity, equality and justice for the African diaspora.
While the festival is free and open to the public, select events may call for a registration fee.
Starting at noon on Saturday, June 17, this year’s parade will showcase a variety of floats, marching bands, dance teams and community organizations. The parade will begin at Liberty Plaza, across from the Capitol, and head northwest via Decatur, Marietta and Baker streets before ending on John Portman Boulevard, next to Centennial Olympic Park. The parade will also be broadcast live on local television stations Peachtree TV and Atlanta News First, for those unable to attend the event in person.
The 5K Freedom Run will take place Sunday, beginning at 9 a.m., the route trekking past major landmarks in Downtown. Runners and walkers of all experience levels are encouraged to participate and cross the finish line in order to raise awareness for social justice, judicial reform and other human rights-related issues. Registration costs $35 from now until the morning of the race.
Juneteenth Atlanta also calls for 5,000 African drummers from all over the globe to fill Downtown on Sunday, in an attempt to claim a world record for African drum circles. Drummers are slated to surround the park and other major landmarks on the day of the record pursuit, and are also granted a chance to perform in Saturday’s parade.
Juneteenth weekend will shine a spotlight on Black-owned businesses, as well, supporting more than 400 vendors, artists and food trucks this year, according to the event’s website. Vendors are scheduled to operate each of the three days of the festival.
For more information about Juneteenth Atlanta’s festivities, visit the nonprofit’s official website.