Updated June 25 with info about Philly’s older Juneteenth celebrations
An estimated 3,000 people marched from 15th Street and JFK Boulevard to Penn’s Landing on Saturday in honor of Juneteenth — the holiday marking the date the United States abolished slavery: June 19, 1865.
This was the third year for the Philadelphia Juneteeth MusicFest and Parade, which is run by The Philadelphia Community of Leaders (PCOL), an organization that works to enrich Black life in the city of Philadelphia by positively influencing economics, education, public safety, and health.
Juneteenth has been marked in Philadelphia for 20 years at the historic Johnson House in Germantown, founded by Ron Brown. That celebration took place the prior weekend and throughout the month.
The Center City parade kicked off at noon, featuring vibrant costumes, live music, colorful parade floats and appearances from the Tuskegee Airmen, Philadelphia Police officers, local Boy Scouts and many more. The party actually started the day before, with a ceremony on Friday honoring African ancestors with music, and a marketplace and children’s village at Penn’s Landing. After Saturday’s parade, festivities continued with a daylong celebration on the waterfront.
Here are some of the sights and scenes from the celebration of freedom and heritage.