As a city well known or its history and readiness to celebrate, we are looking forward to Juneteenth and the special day to commemorate and rejoice in the achievements of African Americans. 

What is Juneteenth?

On June 19, 1865, the final enslaved people in the United States were finally freed. The slow progress of ending slavery after the Emancipation Proclamation meant some were still living in slavery long past its signing, over two years prior. June 19, referred to as Juneteenth, is a holiday to remember and honor the history of African Americans and to celebrate Black culture. Keep reading for Juneteenth celebrations in Columbia, South Carolina going on this year and other ways to honor Black culture and history all year round. 

In Celebration

The Juneteenth Freedom Festival will be held on June 17 at Segra Park. The annual event will feature activates for the entire family including kids’ area, games, live music, DJ performances, food trucks, and shopping with local vendors and exhibitors. Other Juneteenth Celebrations include:

  • Blythewood Juneteenth All White Day Party & Family Affair – this event at Doka Manor on Saturday. June 10 will feature live entertainment, DJ, educations and awareness on Blythewood, vendors, food games and more. 
  • The Juneteenth Joy Fest featuring gospel artists Yolanda Adams, Tye Tribbet, Jekalyn Carr, Le’Andria Johnson and more will be held at Colonial Life Arena on Sunday, June 18. 
  • The 2023 Juneteenth Celebration Hopkins will be held on June 19 at the historic Harriett Barber House & Grounds. The free event will feature inspirational artists Joshua Rogers, Roy & The Revelation, Latrice Pace, Khryz Henry and Jarvis Jett. There will also be food, vendors, live music, and exhibits.  
  • Richland Library Southeast will have a Celebration of Juneteenth from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. on June 19 with music, African drumming, dance, games and more. 

In Honor

Explore Black Art

Columbia SC is rich with Black creators and artists. From historical monuments to brightly colored murals, these creative minds have defined the Columbia SC arts scene. 

  • In celebration of Juneteenth, the Columbia Museum of Art is open and offering free admission on Monday, June 19 form 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Enjoy exhibits and the CMA Collection and take a tour of the Tina Williams Brewer: Stories of Grace led by Dr. Nancy Tolson CMA commissioner, docent, and USC Assistant Director of African American Studies, presented by CMA affinity group Friends of African American Art and Culture. 

Tour the Reconstruction Trail

The Reconstruction Era marked the challenging post-Civil War period in the United States and a remarkable time of change in Columbia SC. Experience a Journey Through the Reconstruction Era with a visit to local sites that were pivotal during that time. Pick up a booklet at the Columbia SC Visitors Center or view the online guide. 

Dine at a Black Owned Restaurant

Dig into some of the best food that Columbia SC has to offer. From vegan soul food to tasty breakfast spots, traditional Southern cuisine and food that celebrates African heritage, there are many options to celebrate the culture. Check out our blog on Black-Owned Businesses for a list of places to try!