Celebrated by Black Americans since the latter part of the 19th century, Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Sometimes referred to as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, June 19, 1865 marks the date Union general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to declare the end of enslavement there, despite the Emancipation Proclamation being issued two years earlier by President Abraham Lincoln. Juneteenth finally became a federally recognized holiday in 2021 under the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act.
From backyard barbecues with family and friends to community block parties and citywide festivals, food plays a vital role in the annual celebration, especially red foods such as red velvet cake, strawberry pie, and hot links paired with strawberry soda and hibiscus tea to drink. Below are just a few Juneteenth food events, festivals, and Atlanta restaurant specials to consider this year.
Check back for updates to this guide through Friday, June 16
Annual Atlanta Juneteenth festival and parade
Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta
Friday, June 16 - Sunday, June 18
This weekend-long festival includes a Black history parade on Saturday, musical acts, speakers, food, a fun run, and the Miss Juneteenth pageant. The downtown Atlanta festival is said to be the largest Juneteenth event in the Southeast. Follow on Instagram for updates and schedule. Family friendly.
Marcus Bar and Grille Juneteenth menu
525 Edgewood Avenue, Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta
Thursday, June 15 - Sunday, June 18
Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Old Fourth Ward restaurant is offering a special two-course Juneteenth menu, Thursday, June 15, through Sunday, June 18, for $35 per person. The menu features blackened catfish served with collards and red beans and rice and red velvet cake for dessert. Reservations highly encouraged.
3 Parks Wine Shop Juneteenth wine pack
451 Bill Kennedy Way, Glenwood Park, Atlanta
The Glenwood Park wine shop, owned by Sarah Pierre, is offering a Juneteenth wine pack featuring Black-owned wine brands. The pack includes three bottles for $78. 3 Parks also carries a wide selection of Black-owned wine brands in the shop. Weekend wine flights available, Friday through Sunday. This weekend features lambrusco. $15 per person for three half-glass pours.
1 Backyard Way, Atlanta
Saturday, June 17, 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Located next door to Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Home Depot Backyard hosts a summer movie night and Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 17, with a screening of “The Wiz” on the lawn, followed by a laser light show. Expect music, family activities, art exhibits, storytelling, giveaways, and food celebrating Black culture throughout the evening. Family friendly.
Black Coffee Atlanta, 1800 Jonesboro Road, Lakewood Heights, Atlanta
Saturday, June 17, and Sunday, June 18
This two-day festival includes barista demonstrations, panels on achieving financial freedom, live performances, cooking demonstrations, morning yoga, and a variety of vendors throughout the weekend. Sunday centers on celebrating Juneteenth. Family friendly.
Phoenix II Park, 141 Martin Street, Summerhill, Atlanta
Sunday, June 18, 3 p.m.
Join families from around Atlanta to celebrate Juneteenth in Summerhill at the annual community picnic on Sunday, June 18. The day includes music, activities, and games and food and products from local Black-owned businesses. Family friendly.
130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead, Atlanta
Sunday, June 18, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Atlanta History Center celebrates Juneteenth on Sunday, June 18, with a variety of historical programs and activities, talks, live music, and tours honoring the history of Black genealogy and agricultural practices. Local food trucks will also be available throughout the day. Family friendly.
1371 Clairmont Road, Decatur; 2293 Peachtree Road, Buckhead
Monday, June 19, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Both Ms. Icey’s Kitchen in Decatur and Apt 4B in Buckhead are opening for a special Juneteenth brunch Monday, June 19.