As a city well known for 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. Today, June 19th, 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 going on this year and other ways to honor Black culture and history all year round.

In Celebration

6th Annual Freedom Fest

Since 2017 the annual Freedom Fest has been observing Juneteenth with a celebration and opportunities to focus on the health, education, and achievements of the Black community. What started as a one-day event in 2017 has expanded to a multitude of events spanning over 10 days including:

  • Friday, June 10th: Juneteenth at Segra Park
  • Saturday, June 11th: Blythewood Juneteenth Block Party
  • Monday, June 13th: 2nd Annual Statewide Home Buyers Seminar sponsored by SouthernFirst Bank
  • Tuesday, June 14th: Financial Literacy Seminar sponsored by SouthernFirst Bank
  • Wednesday, June 15th: Juneteenth History, Present and Future with Elders of SC in Irmo
  • Thursday, June 16th: Meet and Greet with SC JFF Team at Steve Padgett Honda in Irmo
  • Friday, June 17th: 2nd Juneteenth Gala Noir and Awards, Columbia Marriott

The host of celebrations will culminate with a Carnival at Benedict College’s Charlie W. Johnson Stadium on June 18-19 as well as a parade on Main Street in Columbia’s City Center at 10am on Monday June 20.

Serco’s Juneteenth Celebration at the Harriet Barber house

Celebrate Juneteenth at the historic Harriet Barber House. This event includes family fun, live entertainment, vendors, Exhibits, tour of Congaree National Park, displays, presentations and,  more on Sunday June 19, 2022.

SWIFF Juneteenth Celebration & Rap Cypher

Swing by SWIFF, one of the newest local businesses in Five Points, for a free Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 18. Enjoy music from a DJ, food, and shopping from the brand.

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.

The Columbia Museum of Art celebrates Juneteenth with free admission to the CMA all day on Sunday June 19. At 1:00 p.m., take a guided tour of Black art in the CMA Collection with Dr. Nancy Tolson, CMA commissioner, docent, and UofSC assistant director of African American Studies. Self-guided tours available all day.


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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 HBCUs, historic churches and much more. 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. Check the Instagram post below for a list of Black-owned restaurants.