How to celebrate Juneteenth in 2022 — and why it remains so important

Jun 16, 2022

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information. 

Last year, Juneteenth, which is officially celebrated on June 19, was finally made a federal holiday.

The now nationwide celebration marks the day in 1865 when Major General Gordon Granger and his troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, heralding the end to both the Civil War and to slavery.

While the institution of slavery had been banned in 1863 by the Emancipation Proclamation, many slave owners ignored the executive order and continued to hold people captive. It took nearly two and half years before Granger’s announcement made its way to Texas. Ever since, many African Americans, particularly in the South, have celebrated June 19 as the true end of slavery in the United States.

This year, many cities throughout the country have planned events to celebrate the holiday.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

(Photo by Orli Friedman/The Points Guy)
The 2020 Black History Month panel at The Points Guy with our very own Benét Wilson and former TPG reporter Victoria Walker. (Photo by Orli Friedman/The Points Guy)

What Juneteenth means in the travel industry

TPG editor Benét Wilson spoke of the holiday’s importance to her family and community: “My father’s parents were both from San Antonio, Texas, which is where Juneteenth originated. I grew up pre-internet, so my parents were really great about teaching us about Black history and traditions. Growing up, we celebrated Juneteenth as a picnic. We’d discuss the meaning, but it was really more about being with family. I didn’t realize until high school (when we moved to Washington, D.C.) that people didn’t know that it was a significant day in the Black experience.”

Dayvee Sutton, a national travel and lifestyle correspondent, echoed her comments. “Juneteenth is an American independence day​, celebrated primarily by ​​the ​descendants of people who were enslaved in this country, or what we like to say, ‘African-Americans,'” Sutton told TPG.

“But it should be a day celebrated by all Americans because it is American history. And all Americans should be happy that the enslaved are free, right? … It is important to not only know the truths of the past but to confront them, as well, if we are genuinely in a space where we can move forward together.”

Where you can celebrate Juneteenth in 2022

Around the country, Juneteenth is typically marked by parades, picnics and other outdoor celebrations.

Galveston, Texas

Juneteenth has been celebrated in the Galveston area since 1979. Locals and visitors can stop at the official Juneteenth marker, located at the Strand near 22nd Street beneath the oak trees, and attend the Annual Juneteenth Proclamation Reading. There’s a parade and a picnic at Wright Cuney Park, as well as a musical celebration, the Emancipation Celebration at the Grand 1894 Opera House. Make sure to also check out the Juneteenth Legacy Project‘s  “Absolute Equality” public art installation at the Old Galveston Square Building.

Juneteenth Celebration parade in Denver. (Photo By Joe Amon/The Denver Post/Getty Images)
Juneteenth Celebration parade in Denver. (Photo By Joe Amon/The Denver Post/Getty Images)


Denver, Colorado, declared Juneteenth an official commemorative holiday in 2021, before the national holiday was declared. That year, they also launched the annual Juneteenth Music Festival and parade in the historic Five Points neighborhood which will return this year with one of the nation’s largest celebrations. The city will also host a parade, street festival and the return of Denver Black Pride, an event celebrating the city’s black LGBTQIA+ community. The location of the Juneteenth celebration is significant, as Five Points has been a historically black neighborhood since the 1920s.

Washington, DC

Both downtown Washington, D.C. and nearby Alexandria, Virginia, have an array of Juneteenth events planned this year.

In D.C., several museums, such as the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of the American Indian, are having special exhibitions that highlight different aspects of the African American experience. Theaters and galleries across the city, such as Arena Stage and Artechouse, are doing the same. The Something in the Water Festival, hosted by Pharrell Williams and featuring music by Jon Batiste, Lil’ Baby, Ashanti, Ja Rule and others, will also take place that weekend.

Across the river in Alexandria, several historical tours and lectures are taking place including those held by the Manumission Tour Company in Old Town, the Lee-Fendall House and Museum, and the newly reopened Freedom House, a museum dedicated to honoring the lives of both enslaved and free Black people who lived and were forced to work this Virginia city.

New York City

Several New York City boroughs are holding Juneteenth events this year. In Brooklyn, there’s a three-day-long celebration planned that includes panel discussions, a community day in Linden and a fashion show and performance in Prospect Park. In Queens, the Juneteenth Festival takes place in Roy Wilkins Park and features a Black beauty bazaar, Black Fashion Row and a variety of other vendors and workshops. Carnegie Hall in Manhattan is planning a night of performances, hosted by actor David Alan Grier, and other institutions like the Museum of the City of New York will have special programming to mark the holiday.

Juneteenth Marked With Celebrations And Marches In Cities Across America
Juneteeth in 2020 included a protest in Foley Square in NYC. This year events will be held around the city to commemorate the holiday. (Photo by Pablo Monsalve/VIEWpress/Getty Images)


In Atlanta, you can attend the Juneteenth Atlanta Parade and Music Festival happening all weekend at Centennial Olympic Park. This will be the 10-year anniversary of the city’s celebration, which is a popular spot for family reunions. The Atlanta History Center is also throwing its annual Jubilee on the Lawn, offering music, games and refreshments to visitors alongside special programming that highlights the city’s Black history.

Bottom line

For African Americans, Juneteenth has always been a time for meaningful reflection, unplugging and reconnecting with family and loved ones. Now, this federal holiday is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate and commemorate an important step toward freedom and equality in American history.

Victoria Walker, a former reporter at TPG, said, “As a general rule, I don’t celebrate the Fourth of July, but I do celebrate and honor Juneteenth, the day commemorating the end of chattel slavery in the United States.”

Here at TPG, we encourage you to also take time to reflect and unplug if you can. No matter where or how you’re celebrating, it’s an important day to take a step back and acknowledge where we’ve come from — and, more importantly, where we are going.

Additional reporting by Samantha Rosen and Lynn Brown.

Featured photo by Tippman98x/Shutterstock.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.