Commemorate Juneteenth in Fort Worth, TX

Opal Lee with her hands raised.

Let’s raise our hands for Jubilee Day with Opal Lee. | Photo by @darryl2golden

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Juneteenth is on Sun., June 19 commemorating the day slavery was finally abolished in the US, nearly two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. This week marks one year since Juneteenth was officially announced as a federal holiday — the first national holiday to be signed into law since MLK Day in 1983.

None of this would have been possible without Fort Worth native Opal Lee, the Grandmother of Juneteenth, who worked tirelessly to bring national recognition to the historical event. Inspired by her impact, 33 members of Congress have signed a letter nominating Opal for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize, potentially adding “Nobel laureate” to her impressive resume.

Photo of Joe Biden signing the Juneteenth bill.

President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act on June 17, 2021 with Opal Lee standing by his side. | Photo courtesy of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas

In a few years, everyone will be able to explore the National Juneteenth Museum — another one of Opal’s missions — and learn more about the holiday, but until then, we’ve pulled 12 ways you can commemorate Juneteenth. From individual crafts to community celebrations, here’s what is happening in Fort Worth this weekend.

Fri., June 17

  • Freedom Flag Collage | 4-5:30 p.m. | Fort Worth Public Library - Wedgwood, 3816 Kimberly Ln. | Free | Start the commemoration early by creating a flag of freedom.

Sat., June 18

Opal Lee's walk for freedom banner.

Celebrate Freedom Day with Opal Lee. | Photo by @darryl2golden

  • Lake Como Celebration | 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. | Como Community Center, 4660 Horne St. | Free | Celebrate community leaders and support local vendors with food, prizes + music.
  • Bill Pickett Rodeo | 1:30 p.m. | Cowtown Coliseum | $18 | The iconic invitational rodeo showcases Black western heritage and the significance of Black cowboys + cowgirls.
  • I am Juneteenth Festival | 4 p.m. | Panther Island Pavilion | $25+ | Enjoy live music, fireworks + food from international and local artists as the festival honors the history of Juneteenth.
  • Freedom Quilts + Songs | 3-4 p.m. | Fort Worth Public Library - Northside, 2800 Stark St. | Free | Teens (grades 6-12) can learn about the secret codes inside quilts and songs used on the Underground Railroad.
Photo of three African masks.

Check out art exhibits inspired by West African and Caribbean traditions. | Photo by @kimbellartmuseum

Sun., June 19

  • Free Garden Admission | 8 a.m.-6 p.m. | Fort Worth Botanic Garden | Free | Honor the holiday with a stroll in the garden + a community gathering.
  • Juneteenth Jubilee | 11 a.m.-8 p.m. | Texas Wesleyan University | Free | Listen to live speakers, participate in Black art auctions + treat yourself to some tasty eats.
  • Free Admission to African Art Exhibition | 12-5 p.m. | Kimbell Art Museum | Free | Commemorate the holiday with The Language of Beauty in African Art exhibit, which showcases work from artists in Africa.
  • Soul of Sycamore Arts in the Park | 1-9 p.m. | Sycamore Park Dr. | Free | It’s a Sunday-funday with activities like paint + sip, battle art, and a BBQ cookoff.
  • Fish Fry + Podcast Live | 12 p.m. | Tulips FTW, 112 St. Louis Ave. | Free | Catch a live podcast recording of On the Same Page and a performance by ItsErnie as part of the Amplify 817 concert series.

This article was co-authored by FTWtoday intern Hailey Lyon.

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