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 to declare an end to slavery in Texas, despite the Emancipation Proclamation being issued two years earlier in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln.
From backyard barbecues with family and friends to 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 a few Juneteenth food events, festivals, and Atlanta restaurant specials to consider this year. Check back for updates to the guide throughout the week.
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Juneteenth at Blandtown restaurant Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours
Twisted Soul on Huff Road plans to celebrate Juneteenth all week long with happy hour food and red drink specials on June 16, a family-style dinner on June 17, a fish fry at neighboring brewery Steady Hand Beer on June 18, and a food demo at Freedom Farmers Market on Saturday morning led by chef Deborah VanTrece. The restaurant caps the Juneteenth celebrations with a prix fixe dinner on Saturday night. Check Instagram for details.
Juneteenth at Reynoldstown restaurant Wonderkid
Celebrate Juneteenth with soul food specials from chef Justin Dixon, cocktails, live music, a plant pop-up shop, and free COVID-19 vaccine clinic. Proceeds from the day will go to benefit the Atlanta Leadership Club. Reservations highly encouraged.
Refuge Coffee Juneteenth Market
Refuge Coffee will host a Juneteenth market at the corner of Auburn and Piedmont avenues featuring over 30 Black-owned businesses and a pop-up gallery from Macon artist Charvis Harrell. Saturday, June 19, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Nourish Botanica and Gratitude Botanical Farm volunteer planting day and picnic
Join upcoming Atlanta cafe and greenhouse Nourish Botanica at Gratitude Botanical Farm for a morning of farm volunteer work and planting, followed by a picnic lunch provided by Sweetgreen. The day will also serve as the relaunch of Nourish Botanica’s fundraising campaign to help purchase land in south Atlanta to build the restaurant and greenhouse. Gratitude Botanical Farm will also donate food to people in need within the community for every farm share purchased this week. Saturday, June 19, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sign up here.
Gilly Brew Bar at Peter Street Station
Stone Mountain-based coffee shop and pop-up incubator Gilly Brew Bar will be at Peter Street Station in Castleberry Hill on Saturday evening serving up a special Juneteenth spiked elixir. The pop-up event celebrates variations on the mint julep and the story of John Dabney, who purchased both his and his wife’s freedom from enslavement and became a renowned bartender and caterer in Richmond, Virginia. Saturday, June 19, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Purchase tickets here.
Juneteenth wine pack from 3 Parks Wine Shop
The Glenwood Park wine shop, owned by Sarah Pierre, is offering a Juneteenth wine pack featuring six bottles of red and white wines from Black-owned wineries and wine brands. Shop other Black-owned wine, coffee, and chocolate brands here, too. Order online and pick up at the shop.
Chef Jennifer Booker’s hibiscus tea punch
Order author and chef Jennifer Booker’s Juneteenth Jubilee hibiscus lemonade punch mix.
Black-owned Atlanta restaurants offering Juneteenth specials
For the second year, Black-owned restaurants across Atlanta and Chicago will take part in a Juneteenth celebration hosted by Black People Eats offering specials on the menu for $6.19 and $16.19. Check out the full list of participating restaurants here. Friday, June 18 and Saturday, June 19.
Ms. Icey’s Kitchen and Bar Juneteenth discount
Historic Sweet Auburn Juneteenth celebration and coloring book launch
On Saturday, head to Atlanta Breakfast Club on Auburn Avenue for food and the coloring book launch collaboration between Remerge and Color ATL, featuring 19 Atlanta artists. Both Atlanta Breakfast Club and Local Green Atlanta will be on hand for food purchases during the event and Juneteenth parade. Saturday, June 19, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Atlanta Food Truck Park Juneteenth celebration
The vegan and vegetarian food truck park on Howell Mill Road is hosting a Juneteenth celebration this Saturday featuring multiple food trucks, live music, and pop-up retail shops. Saturday, June 19, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Triton Yards Food Truck Park Juneteenth celebration
The Capitol View neighborhood food truck park hosts a Juneteenth celebration Saturday featuring multiple food vendors and live music. Spike Lee’s classic film “Do the Right Thing” airs on the big screens at Triton Yards starting at 9 p.m. Saturday, June 19, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Movie at 9 p.m.
Juneteenth festival at Centennial Olympic Park
This weekend-long, family-friendly festival includes a Black history parade on Saturday beginning at the King Memorial Center and 22-acres of musical acts, speakers, food, and artist vendors at Centennial Olympic Park. The downtown Atlanta festival is said to be the largest Juneteenth event in the Southeast. Follow on Instagram for updates and for the schedule of musical acts throughout the weekend. Friday, June 18 - Sunday, June 20.
East Point Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom Festival
The city of East Point and the Atlanta NAACP host a parade at 11 a.m., followed by a family-friendly festival with food, music, and artist vendors on Saturday in the Downtown Commons. Saturday, June 19, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Juneteenth festival at Stone Mountain Village
The city of Stone Mountain hosts its first ever Juneteenth festival on Main Street in Stone Mountain Village this year, featuring food, music, and fireworks throughout the evening. Saturday, June 19, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Clarkston Juneteenth event
The city of Clarkston hosts its first Juneteenth event Saturday at Tahoe Village Plaza featuring food, storytelling, pop-up vendors, a book giveaway, and live music. Saturday, June, 19, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.