Main goals of the event

The Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo, NY is an important component of summertime events in the Buffalo-Niagara region.

The Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo was started in 1976 by B.U.I.L.D., a community-based organization, as a culturally relevant alternative to the country's Bicentennial Celebration. The group blocked off part of Jefferson Avenue -- the "Main Street" of Buffalo's Black community -- for a weekend celebration. Murals were painted and vendors set up booths to sell ethnic foods and wares -- entertainment and festivity were abundant. After several years, the Juneteenth Festival outgrew Jefferson Avenue. It is now held in Martin Luther King Jr. Park at the intersection of Best Street and Fillmore Avenue. Juneteenth Festival Inc. received 501(c) (3) status in 1985. In 2000, the name of the organization was changed to Juneteenth of Buffalo, Inc. to reflect its broader mission.

Juneteenth of Buffalo, Inc. exists exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. Staffed by volunteers, its mission is to actively preserveand promote the broad spectrum of African American heritage through educational and cultural activities that will benefit the community as a whole. Juneteenth Festival, Inc. partners with existing organizations with similar community-based objectives to help achieve its mission.

There are always lots of great things for you and your whole family. Come on down and enjoy!

June 11th:
"Git On Da Bus" - Juneteenth Headquarters 1517 Genesee Street at 3:30pm

June 11th - 17th:
Sankofa Days

June 17th:
Praise and Worship Service - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park from 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Thanks To Our Sponsors

Without our sponsors, none of this would be possible. Thank you!

M&T Bank, WGRZ-TV Channel 2, City of Buffalo Anti Violence Grant, New York State Health, GBUHAN, Say Yes to Education, Buffalo Urban League, Paramount Pictures, Arts Services Initiative of Western New York, First Niagara Bank, HSBC Bank, WUFO Radio 1080AM, Channel 7 WKBW, WBLK FM Radio, Great Lakes Health: (Kaleida Health/ ECMC), LP Ciminelli Inc. Construction, Project Flight, The Challenger Community News, The Buffalo Criterion, Ink Spot Printing, Mandella Market, African American Cultural Center, New York State Assembly women Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, Mayor of Buffalo Byron W. Brown, Masten Distract Council Member Demone Smith, University Distract Council Member Rasheed N.C Wyatt, President of the Common Council Rev. Darius Pridgen, Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant, County Legislator Barbara Miller Williams, New York State Senator Timothy Kennedy, The Jamaican and American Association, The Afro American Historical Association, The Buffalo Fire Department, The Buffalo Police Department and the Peace Makers(The Back to Basic Organization, The Stop The Violence Organization, MAD Dads, The FATHERS Organization).

Become a Sponsor  

Your generosity will enable Juneteenth Festival, Inc. to continue to meet the objectives of its founding mission.

Photo Gallery

History of Juneteenth

Juneteenth was the oldest known observance of the ending of slavery in the United States. According to historical records, the celebration began on June 19, 1865, the day Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army rode into Galveston, Texas in final execution of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Issued by President Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862, the Emancipation Proclamation stated, among other things, "That on the 1st day of January, A.D., 1863, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State the people whereof shall they be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free..."

In Texas, Granger's announcement was met with great celebration among the population of enslaved Africans. According to one account, "On the evening of June 19, 1865, thousands flooded the streets of Galveston, rejoicing in their newly announced freedom. The sweet smell of barbecue smoke filled the air. Dancing feet pounded the dirt roads and harmonic voices sung spirituals. This was the day, Juneteenth, that would forever commemorate African American freedom."

Juneteenth celebrations today commemorate that memorable day in 1865 Texas, and emphasize the achievement of African Americans. Marked by community celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings, it is a time for reflection and rejoicing, for self-assessment and planning and future.

"The celebration of Juneteenth is not only a showcase event of the African American community's positive contributions to the American way of life, but it also makes a statement for all Americans that the United States is truly the 'Land of the Free'," says Reginald D. Greene.

"Juneteenth is an expression and extension of American freedom and, like the Fourth of July, a time for all Americans to celebrate our independence, human rights, civil rights and freedom."

Event Location

Juneteenth of Buffalo

Martin Luther King Park
Buffalo, NY 14211
Get directions  

"Git On Da Bus"

A tour through the city of Buffalo highlighting sites that are important to the African American experience. Date of operation: Saturday, June 11. Bus leaves from Juneteenth headquarters (1517 Genesee Street). Tickets are presold before June 11. For more information, call 716-891-8801.

Sankofa Days

Dates: June 11-17. Sankofa means "to go back and get". Juneteenth uses this time to reflect on issues that affect the community. Schedule to be announced.

5K Run

Description coming soon.

Festival Parade

The 41st Juneteenth parade will be held on June 18th. It begins at Genesee Street and Moselle at 11:00am. The parade will travel on Genesee Street to Best Street into Martin Luther King Park. Applications can be downloaded or completed online.

Main Stage Entertainment

Description coming soon.

Arts and Cultural Stage

The Arts and Culture Stage is located on Fillmore Avenue and E. Parade Street. The Arts and Culture Stage features many local artists. The entertainment happens from 2:00pm - 8:00pm on Saturday June 18 and 12:00pm - 8:00pm on Sunday.

Vendor Marketplace

Art, jewelry, clothes and other items can be found at the Juneteenth Market place during the hours of 11:00am - 8:00pm on Saturday June 18th and 10:00am - 8:00pm on Sunday June 19th.

Food Court

The Juneteenth Food Court is located at either end of Fillmore Avenue around the wading pool. Open from 11:00am to 8:00pm on Saturday June 18th and from 10:00am - 8:00pm on Sunday June 19th.

Underground Railroad

Two tours will be provided on June 18th and 19th. Tours are scheduled for 2:00pm and 4:00pm. Pickups are on Best and Fillmore Street.

Health Pavilion

The Health Pavilion consists of many health agencies offering health information that affect the community. The pavilion is located on Fillmore near Martin Luther King Drive. Hours of operation are 11am to 5:00pm Saturday June 18 and Sunday June 19.


Maafa is scheduled for June 20 at Broderick Park (the foot of Ferry Street) at 6:00pm. Maafa is an opportunity to reflect and heal from the atrocities that were inflicted on Africa and African people.

Family Portrait Booth

Description coming soon.

Drill Team Competition

Description coming soon.

Book Fair

Description coming soon.

Historical Exhibits

Description coming soon.

Children's Activities

Description coming soon.

Thank You!

Thank you for your interest in the Juneteenth festival. Our submission forms have closed for this year, and will re-open next season.