Juneteenth 2022: A Guide to Celebrating in the South End

by Amanda Ong


Juneteenth has been celebrated for over a century and a half by African Americans as the day in 1865 when news reached across the country that slavery was abolished. Though the holiday has only been recognized by the state and federal government since 2021, Seattle communities have already been celebrating for years.

The Emerald has rounded up Juneteenth events from across the South End, listed here in chronological order.

Keep an eye on this guide for possible updates!

Last updated June 16, 2022.


Wednesday, June 15, Events

*Northwest African American Museum’s Juneteenth Week Youth Night at NewHolly Field

Wednesday, June 15, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
Central Park, 7054 32nd Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118

Join NAAM, RAVE Foundation, and Sounders FC for a Youth Night in celebration of two new, turf mini soccer fields coming to NewHolly’s Central Park! Enjoy Books & Balls activation, food vendors, soccer activities, and more.

(*This event has passed.)


Thursday, June 16, Events

Black Arts Legacies Celebration

Thursday, June 16, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, 104 17th Avenue South, Seattle, WA

Join Crosscut and the Langston Hughes performing arts center for an event for Crosscut’s Black Arts Legacies project! The Black Arts Legacies Celebration will feature several artists to celebrate the Black Arts community. The Emerald is a proud media sponsor for this event.


Friday, June 17, Events

Juneteenth Photo Booth: Free Portraits for Black Folks

Friday, June 17 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Wa Na Nari Gallery, 911 24th Avenue, Seattle WA

This free, drop-in, first-come, first-served event is sponsored by Black Lunch Table and Wa Na Wari. With photography by Brea Wilson, you can expect to leave this event with some high-quality photos. From a fifth-generation, Black-owned home, Wa Na Wari is an immersive community art project that reclaims Black cultural space and makes a statement about the importance of Black land ownership in gentrified communities.


Saturday, June 18, Events

Juneteenth 253

Saturday, June 18, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Wright Park, 501 South I Street, Tacoma, WA 98405

This free event at Wright Park in Tacoma features basketball tournaments, TikTok dance challenges, pony rides, DJ battles, food trucks, and a celebration walk/parade. The parade starts at 11 a.m. For more information, email juneteenthcelebration253@gmail.com.


Africatown Juneteenth Festival

Saturday, June 18, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., & Sunday, June 19, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Jimi Hendrix Park, 2400 South Massachusetts Street, Seattle, WA

Africatown’s Summer of Soul series continues with a Juneteenth celebration this weekend at Jimi Hendrix Park, featuring an area for kids, live music, African drumming, and a photo booth. Local singer and songwriter Paris Alexa will be performing, as well as singer, songwriter, and producer Eric Bellinger. A parade takes place on Sunday, June 19, starting at 1 p.m. There is also a Black Business Panel and Brunch at the Park on June 18 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., featuring speakers, networking, and DJ Blast and DJ Yaddy. Register for the business panel and brunch at the official website.


African American Cultural Ensemble Performances

Saturday, June 18, 12 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Lumen Field, 800 Occidental Avenue South, Seattle, WA

NAAM’s African American Cultural Ensemble will sing the Black National Anthem and National Anthem at the Juneteenth Sounders Game at 12:30 p.m. and the OL Reign Game at 7 p.m.! Check them out at Lumen Field.


We Out Here Juneteenth Celebration with LANGSTON

Saturday, June 18, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. 
Pier 62, 1951 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA

We Out Here is an annual Juneteenth festival which is also hosting the Black Arts Legacies Celebration on June 16.  This family-friendly event will feature a pop-up art gallery with the work of local artists, a DJ, live performances, food trucks, and local vendors, as well as a COVID-19 vaccination station.


The City of Tukwila’s 2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration

Saturday, June 18, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
14380 Tukwila International Boulevard, Tukwila, WA

The City of Tukwila will have its second annual Juneteenth celebration at the Tukwila Library, featuring speakers and performers. Accommodation for people with disabilities is available by request by emailing access@kcls.org at least seven days before the event.


Sunday, June 19, Events

REVIVAL: Juneteenth Celebration Pop-Up

Sunday, June 19, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
2301 East Union Street, Seattle, WA

Celebrate local Black businesses at Midtown Plaza on Juneteenth, hosted by the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict. The event features Black retailers, food vendors, and community resources with music by KEXP’s DJ Riz.


Juneteenth with Atlantic Street Center & Rainier Beach Community Center Sponsored by Pacific Hospital PDA

Sunday, June 19, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Rainier Beach Community Center, 8825 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA

Join Atlantic Street Center and the Rainier Beach Community Center to commemorate a health-conscience Juneteenth! Enjoy free food, cultural performances, community resources, and activities for kids as you learn about direct services and health advocacy.


Northwest African American Museum Juneteenth Celebration: Skate to Freedom Party & Community Day

Sunday, June 19, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Judkins Park, 2150 South Norman Street, Seattle, WA

NAAM will host a Skate Party with complimentary skate rental, a community day featuring local Black-owned vendors and food trucks, family-friendly activities, music, and so much more. Join us for the ultimate Juneteenth immersive experience!


JUNETEENTH “The Songs of Black Folk” Music of Resistance and Hope & KIP Book Giveaway

Sunday, June 19, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street, Seattle, WA

Watch out for this historic musical event and Knowledge is Power Book Giveaway. Enjoy Negro spirituals, Gospel, jazz, R&B, even hip-hop. Connect to the African American struggle for freedom and justice through music.


South Hudson Music Project Presents: Juneteenth with The Elnah Jordan Experience

Sunday, June 19, doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m.
5000 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA

The South Hudson Music Project and the Royal Room are celebrating Juneteenth with The Elnah Jordan Experience. Award-winning vocalist Elnah Jordan’s prolific career has spanned gospel, blues, theater, and jazz. The event is free.


2022 Inaugural Juneteenth Royal Ball

Sunday, June 19, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Renton Pavilion Events Center, 233 Burnett Avenue South, Renton, WA

This is the Inaugural year that the state of Washington recognizes Juneteenth as a legal state paid holiday. This government recognition is cause for a bigger celebration. Black-Owned Business Excellence (BOBE) in partnership with The Professional Women of Color Network wants you to dress as royalty and come out with your best to celebrate Black excellence!


Monday, June 20, Events

Buy Back The Block: Homebuyers Seminar

Monday, Jun 20, at 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 
Location TBD

This practical Juneteenth event recognizes the historic struggles of Black Americans and home ownership. The event will answer questions about qualifying, the history of Seattle’s housing market & the Black community, how to buy a multifamily home, how you can afford to own in Seattle, current housing market stats, househacking, and renting vs. buying. Light refreshments will be provided, with catering by Black-owned Creamy Cone Cafe.


Juneteenth on the Waterfront

Monday, June 20, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
3440 East Marginal Way South, Seattle, WA

Join the Washington Area International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) as they celebrate emancipation and solidarity with a car rally and march from East Marginal Way and Spokane Street to Pier 46, where there will be speakers, snacks, and live music. Presented with the A. Philip Randolph Institute, the MLK Labor Council, and other unions.


Saturday, June 25, Events

A PRIDEful JUNETEENTH

Saturday, June 25, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
2963 4th Avenue South, Seattle, WA

Hosted in SoDo’s Orient Express — a Chinese restaurant and karaoke bar in a series of train cars — a celebration of both Pride and Juneteenth will feature the foundations of House music brought to you by DJ Almond Brown and DJ Joey Webb. The free event is presented by Train Car House Party.


Ongoing Events

Afrikan Marketplace at Wa Na Wari

Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
911 24th Avenue, Seattle, WA

Join Wa Na Wari for an Afrikan Marketplace. Find jewelry, clothes, unconventional artist materials, home decor, and more from artisanal makers in African traditional styles.


It Takes A Village: 6th Annual Juneteenth Celebration A Black Unity Showcase

Friday, June 17, Saturday, June 18, & Sunday, June 19, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The LAB at 1010, 1010 South Bailey Street, Seattle, WA

Join It Takes a Village for their 6th Annual Juneteenth Celebration! Featuring independent artists from the community and abroad, find their community organizations and resources, free activities, food, music, a COVID-19 vaccination station, a marketplace, and evening performances. Tickets will be $10 pre-sale and $15 at the door. Buy tickets through Black Unity Showcase’s ticket purchasing webpage.


THE NEGRO PASSION PLAY by Kathya Alexander

Juneteenth Weekend / June 17, 18, 19, and 20
1805 38th Avenue, Seattle, WA

The Negro Passion Play is Seattle-based writer Kathya Alexander’s dramatic re-imagining of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Immanuel, a Black Christ-like figure, set within the context of the American Civil Rights Movement. Audiences will be interactive, including experiencing segregation and desegregation, breaking bread with Immanuel and The Disciples at the Last Supper, singing, dancing, marching, and call-and-response.


The Porch: Celebrating Black Music Month

Every Monday in June at 12 p.m.
Online via Wa Na Wari’s Facebook page or YouTube channel.

June is Black Music Month. Tune in to The Porch every Monday at noon in June to celebrate Black music!

Featuring Black Stax on June 6, Rell B. Free on June 13, Dero on June 20, and Aliyah Nambi on June 27.


Amanda Ong (she/her) is a Chinese American writer from California. She is currently a master’s candidate at the University of Washington Museology program and graduated from Columbia University in 2020 with degrees in creative writing and ethnicity and race studies.

📸 Featured Image: Photos from Juneteenth celebrations across the South End in 2021. (Photos: Susan Fried) Collage created by the Emerald team.

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