New Hampshire Juneteenth Celebrations

Juneteenth honors the day when enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas, were told they were free. On June 19, 1865, about two months after the Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox in Virginia, Gordon Granger, a Union general, arrived in Galveston and informed enslaved African-Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended. His announcement put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued more than two and a half years earlier. Although Juneteenth has been celebrated since the late 1800s, 2021 marks the first year it’s recognized as a federal holiday. President Biden signed legislation on June 17 to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, enshrining June 19 as the national day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States.

If you’d like to join in on the Juneteenth celebration, here are a few events happening around the state.

Exeter Arts & Music Fest Commemorates Juneteenth

A collection of musicians, artists and craftspeople will gather for the return of the Exeter Arts & Music Fest at Swasey Parkway on June 19 to celebrate Juneteenth.

Hosted by TEAM (Town.Exeter.Arts.Music), in collaboration with Black Lives Matter Seacoast, the N.H. State Council of the Arts and the Racial Unity Team, the festival will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and feature more than 30 artists, eight food vendors and kids activities.

The Juneteenth observance will also feature an exhibit for the proposed Black Heritage Pocket Park, which will recognize the history of African-Americans in Exeter.

What: Exeter Arts & Music Fest – Juneteenth
When: Saturday, June 19
Time: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Swasey Parkway
Entry: $10 suggested donation per person/$20 per family

Performers on the main stage will include Najee Brown and the cast of his play “Stokely & Martin” at 11 a.m., The Akwaaba African Drum Ensemble at noon, and Tiffany Colston at 4:30 p.m. Read more about the event here.

Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire Juneteenth Celebration

A series of events, both virtual and in person, to celebrate Juneteenth. Learn more here.

What: Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire Juneteenth Celebration
When: June 17-19
Time: Times vary
Where: Portsmouth area plus virtual events, see event details
Entry: Some events are free, Friday concert is $35

Event highlights:

Feeling Good: N’Kenge Celebrates African American Sopranos
Live concert, 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 18 at The Music Hall, 28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth
Tickets are $35 and can be purchased here.

Dance of the Ancestors: Ritual, Chants, Drumming & Movement
A live drumming and dance performance is available both in person or streaming from 3-4:15 p.m. on Saturday, June 19.
This free event will be held at the Portsmouth African Burying Ground. Register here.

Juneteenth Celebration 2021

A free, in-person and socially distanced event with music, food and more.

What: Juneteenth Celebration 2021
When: Saturday, June 19
Time: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Nashua Public Library Plaza, 2 Court St., Nashua
Entry: Free

Juneteenth Block Party

Hosted by Hop Knot, the block party will feature live music from Pannubean Steel, plus other local artists, as well as a comfort food menu by Soel Sistas Catering. See more here, including information about the downtown Manchester Black history scavenger hunt.

What: Juneteenth Block Party
When: Saturday, June 19
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Hop Knot, 1000 Elm St., Manchester
Entry: Free

Juneteenth Celebration

Come to Keene’s first Juneteenth Festival, which includes a free hip-hop show in Railroad Square. At 1 p.m., Ghanaian rapper Edwin Owusu (fka S.I.N.siZZle) will perform a special show in honor of Juneteenth.

What: Juneteenth Festival
When: Saturday, June 19
Time: 11-2 p.m.
Where: Railroad Square in Keene
Entry: Free

Categories: Things to Do