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 weekend on Saturday, 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.
Everything below takes place on June 19th, unless otherwise noted.
- The Central Texas Juneteenth Celebration includes a socially distanced and masked parade through the Central East Austin/Chestnut/Foster Heights/Rosewood neighborhoods, as well as a festival at the end of the route with entertainment, games, and food vendors to be announced. The parade runs from 10 a.m to noon; the festival from noon to 5 p.m; the evening event with a concert and music from 5 to 9 p.m., after which there will be fireworks. The event is also being live-streamed. This is a multi-organization collaboration by Greater East Austin Youth Association; Black Austin Coalition; George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center; Six Square Austin; Austin Area Urban League; and Austin Justice Coalition. (Parade at East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Chicon Street, Central East Austin; the festival at Rosewood Park, 2300 Rosewood Avenue)
- Modern African-American food truck Distant Relatives will offer a limited food special for the holiday. Look out for barbecue pork chops that will be drenched in sweet onion gravy. It’ll be available starting 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. or sold out. (3508 East Seventh Street, Govalle)
- There is an unveiling event with a block party and barbecue on Friday, June 18 to commemorate the new historical marker for Austin’s earliest African-American cemetery, the Burditt Prairie Cemetery. It runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (6700 Felix Avenue, Montopolis)
- Austin food truck Krab Kingz is offering a special available at both its Pflugerville restaurant and East Austin food truck. The $35 special comes with crab clusters, shrimp, potatoes, eggs, corn, and sausages, along with other drink specials at the restaurant. (The restaurant is found at 1202 Farm to Market 685, Pflugerville; the truck at 517 North I-35, East Austin)
- Travis County’s park-centric celebration includes fishing, swimming, COVID-19 vaccinations, and food booths. It runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (East Metro Park, 18706 Blake Manor Road, Manor)
- The Juneteenth Rhythm and Ribs Festival combines food, a barbecue cook-off, and live music performances for the day up in Round Rock’s Old Settlers Park. It runs from 4 p.m. to midnight, with the barbecue winners announced at 5 p.m. (Lakeview Pavilion, Old Settlers Park, 3300 East Palm Valley Boulevard, Round Rock)
- The Juneteenth Foundation, Inc. is hosting a charitable barbecue cook-off for the day at San Marcos Plaza Park. It runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (206 N C M Allen Parkway, San Marcos)
- Nonprofit Bastrop Juneteenth Celebration’s block party includes dancing, games (with prizes), activities for kids, and food. It runs from 6 to 11:30 p.m. (Main Street between Spring and Chestnut streets, Bastrop)
- The Hopewell Community Club’s event includes a tour of the Hopewell Rosenwald School with former students sharing their experiences, alongside barbecue, drinks, and games. It runs from noon to 3 p.m. (690 State Highway 21 West, Cedar Creek)
- The Black Families of Hutto Friends is throwing its second-ever Juneteenth event, with a march, speakers, and a festival with vendors and food trucks. The march will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Hutto Middle School on 1005 Exchange Boulevard, with speakers beginning at 11 a.m. at City Hall at 500 West Live Oak Street, and the festival from noon to 6 p.m. (500 West Live Oak Street, Hutto)