WHERE TO CELEBRATE JUNETEENTH WITH GREAT FOOD AND DRINKS IN AUSTIN

Juneteenth — the holiday memorializing the end of Black slavery on the date when, two years after the fact, President Abraham Lincoln’s declaration finally reached Galveston, Texas in 1865 — takes place this month on Wednesday, June 19. To commemorate the day (also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day), there are several food and drink events happening around the Austin and Central Texas region.

Friday, June 14 through Saturday, June 15

  • Nonprofit the Voice, Inc. and the City of Round Rock are celebrating Juneteenth with a barbecue competition and festival. The first takes place on Friday, June 14 where people get to try and pick the barbecue winners, alongside DJs, a dance competition, and more, from 7 to 11 p.m. The festival will include live music, food, etc. from 5 p.m. to midnight. The $10 cash parking fee will go back into the event. (Old Settler’s Park, 3300 Palm Valley Boulevard, Round Rock)

Saturday, June 15

  • Austin’s Central Texas Juneteenth is hosting a parade and park festival. The festival features food vendors, live entertainment and concerts, and a fireworks show. The parade is from 10:00 a.m. to noon with the park event from noon to 9 p.m., and fireworks at 9:15 p.m. (The parade starts at East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Salina Street; the park event takes place at Rosewood Park, Central East Austin)
  • New Austin African American museum the Southgate–Lewis House is hosting its own event, A Juneteenth House Party: Celebrating Black History, Cultivating Black Stories. The family-friendly event includes discussions, a story area for children, a DJ, and more. Food-wise, there will be slices by Allday Pizza, as well as drinks. It’s free to attend and it runs from 1 to 3 p.m. (1501 East 12th Street, Central East Austin)
  • Nonprofit the Austin Area Urban League is throwing a family-friendly Juneteenth event with activities, showcases, comedy shows, live music, and free food. RSVPs are free and it runs from noon to 4 p.m. (7201 Colony Loop Drive, Colony Park)
  • Nonprofit Bastrop Juneteenth Celebration is hosting both a parade and festival. The former starts at 10 a.m. and the latter runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. in two different areas with different hours, complete with food vendors, activities, and music. There’s also a first-time barbecue cook-off. (Fisherman’s Park, 1200 Willow Street, Bastrop)

Saturday, June 17 through Wednesday, June 19 (Juneteenth)

  • Austin’s George Washington Carver Museum and Carver ATX Foundation is hosting its regular Stay Black and Live multi-day event again this year. There’s a community cookout with lots of barbecue, along with games and music on Saturday, June 15 from 3 to 10 p.m. (RSVP online); an educational event with lectures, film screenings, and discussions on Monday, June 17 from 2 to 8:30 p.m.; a screening of Miss Juneteenth with a discussion, a manuscript presentation, and poetry slam, from 2:30 to 10:30 p.m.; and then the main festival on Juneteenth with discussions, a remembrance ceremony, and performances from noon to 9:30 p.m.. Also on Juneteenth will be a screening of If They Took Us Back at the Paramount Theatre at 6 p.m. and the Freedom Ball party, hosted by Mother Natalia and Mother Tia from the House of Lepore at Cheer Up Charlie’s from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. (multiple locations)

Wednesday, June 19 (Juneteenth)

  • Austin barbecue truck Distant Relatives is collaborating with Matthew Brown of catering company Comfort Table Kitchen and Kasalina Plater of cottage bakery Stellaheart Dessert Co. on food specials for Juneteenth. This includes dishes like beer brisket with mustard butter; Memphis-style pork spare ribs with red onions and a tamarind-molasses barbecue sauce; fried chicken skewers; fresh corn grits with pickled okra; watermelon and cucumber salad; turnip greens with rib tips; and pecan pie bars. It’ll be available from noon to 8 p.m. (Meanwhile Brewing, 3901 Promontory Point Drive, McKinney)
  • Community group Black History Bike Ride is hosting a Juneteenth ride where bikers will stop by historical sites and end with a block party with food by Olamaie chef de cuisine and Top Chef contender Amanda Turner. Tickets are $30 and it runs from 6 to 9 p.m. (The ride starts at the Capitol, 1100 Congress Avenue, downtown; and the block party takes place at Rosewood Park)
  • Texas nonprofit Black Makers Market is hosting its Juneteenth celebration in a new location this year. Expect baked foods and food from Black-owned spots, vendors, and DJs from noon to 6 p.m. RSVPs are free. (Huston-Tillotson University, 900 Chicon Street, Blackshear-Prospect Hill)

Saturday, June 22

  • In Austin, the Neill-Cochran House museum’s Juneteenth Celebration is centered on its new exhibition, A Juneteenth Rodeo. There will be lunch from Distant Relatives, a mixed-barbecue plate, available from noon to 2 p.m. or until everything runs out, as well as tours of the former slave quarters, a gospel choir performance, and cocktail hour with free whiskey drinks. It’s free to attend and it runs from noon to 5 p.m. (2310 San Gabriel Street, West Campus)

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