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 9th:
"Git On Da Bus" - Juneteenth Headquarters 1517 Genesee Street at 3:30pm

"Flag Raising ceremony" - This event takes place in front of Buffalo City Hall on Niagara Street. The raising of the Liberation flag takes place at 12 noon.

June 9th - 15th:
Sankofa Days

June 15th:
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!

African American Cultural Center, Arts Services Initiative of Western New York, Buffalo Urban League, Building & Construction Trades Council of Buffalo & Vicinity, Camellia Meats, Community Foundation of Greater New Haven/ Barbara Vincent Family Fund, Channel 7 WKBW, City of Buffalo Anti- Violence Grant, ECMC, Erie County Legislator Barbara Miller Williams, Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant, Evergreen Health Services, Fillmore District Council Member David A. Franczyk, First Niagara Bank, GBUAHN, Great Lakes Health, Ink Spot Printing, Kaleida Health, Key Bank, Laborers Local Union 210, LP Ciminelli Inc. Construction, M &T Bank, Mandella Market, Masten District Council Member Ulysees Wingo, Sr., Mayor of Buffalo Byron W. Brown, Michigan Street Heritage Corridor Commission., National Fuel, New York State Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, New York State of Health, New York State Senator Timothy Kennedy, President of the Common Council Rev. Darius Pridgen, Project Flight, Say Yes to Education, Seneca Gaming, The Afro American Historical Association, The Buffalo Criterion, The Buffalo Fire Department, The Buffalo Police Department, The Challenger Community News, The Jamaican and American Association, The Peace Makers (The Back to Basics Organization, The Stop The Violence, Coalition, MAD Dads, The FATHERS Organization), University District Council Member Rasheed N.C Wyatt, wufo FM Radio, WGRZ-TV Channel 2, WNY Jobs, WUFO Radio 1080AM, WWWS AM 1400 Radio,

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 9. Bus leaves from Juneteenth headquarters (1517 Genesee Street). Tickets are pre sold before June 9. for more information call 716-891-8801.

Sankofa Days

June 9-15: (Sankofa means to go back and get"). Juneteeenth uses this time to reflection issues that affect the community. Schedule to be announced.

5K Run

Description coming soon.

Festival Parade

The 43rd Juneteenth parade will be held on June 16 @ 11:00am. The parade will begin at Genesee Street and Moselle. The parade will travel on Genesee Street to Best Street into Martin Luther King Jr. Park.
Register Here  

Main Stage Entertainment

June 16 and 17: Stage opens at 2:00pm - 8:00pm on Saturday and from 1:00pm to 8:00pm on Sunday.

Arts and Cultural Stage

June 16 and 17: The Arts and Culture stage is located on Fillmore Avenue and E. Parade Street. The Arts and Cultural stage features many local artists. The entertainment begins at 2:00pm and ends at 8:00pm on Saturday and from 1:00pm to 8:00pm on Sunday.

Edutainment Stage

The Edutainment stage begins at 1:00pm to 8:00pm.

Vendor Marketplace

Art, jewelry, clothes, and other items can be found at the Juneteenth Market place during the hours of 11:00am to 8:00pm on Saturday June 16th and Sunday June 17th.
Register Here  

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 16th and from 10:00am - 8:00pm on Sunday June 17th.

Underground Railroad

Two tours will be provided on June 17th and 18th. Tours are scheduled for 2:00pm and 4:00pm. Pickups are on Best and Fillmore Street.

Health Pavilion

Health Pavilion consists of many agencies offering health information that affects the community. The Health Pavilion is located on Fillmore Avenue near Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The hours of operation are from 11:00am to 5:00pm Saturday and Sunday.
Register Here  


Maafa is scheduled for June 21 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.