BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Juneteenth is the annual celebration of the 1865 emancipation of slaves, two years after President Lincoln gave the Emancipation Proclamation. The holiday, celebrated on June 19 each year, was recognized as a federal holiday in 2021.

This year, various organizations around Western New York are celebrating the week leading up to Juneteenth with flag raisings, festivities, gatherings, and more.

The 48th celebration in Buffalo took place Sunday, with thousands flocking to the area to take part in the festivities.

“Juneteenth is the one time in Buffalo, Black Buffalo in particular, where our community gets a change to have a full breath of relief and be on stage and applauded just for being self, without having to make any major adjustments,” Buffalo Juneteenth Board Executive VP Ras Jomo Akono said.

The City of Buffalo raised a flag last Friday to commemorate the holiday. Below is a list of additional events taking place in the area this week.

Saturday, June 17

City of Buffalo Juneteenth Parade and Festival

The 48th Annual Juneteenth Parade will be held Saturday, starting at 10:45 a.m. at Juneteenth of Buffalo Headquarters, located at 1517 Genesee Street.

The Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo will be taking place on both June 17 and 18 at MLK Park. To learn more about Buffalo’s Juneteenth celebration, click here.

Niagara Juneteenth Community Fair & Arts Festival

A community fair and arts festival celebrates freedom with live music, dancing, food, vendors, family fun.

The event takes place rain or shine at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center (1201 Pine Avenue Niagara Falls, NY 14301) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Learn more here.


The Jamestown Juneteenth Festival runs from Friday through Sunday. Saturday’s festivities are from 11 a.m.-5 pm. at Jackson-Taylor Park (10th & Washington St.). Learn more here.

Sunday, June 18

City of Buffalo Juneteenth Festival

The Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo continues June 18 at MLK Park. To learn more about Buffalo’s Juneteenth celebration, click here.


The Jamestown Juneteenth Festival wraps up Sunday with a Gospel Fest and other activities. Learn more here.

Monday, June 19

Jamestown — Audubon Community Nature Center

Admission to the ACNC, located at 1600 Riverside Road in Jamestown, will be free on Juneteenth, with full access to the center’s nature preserve, gardens, live animal exhibits, displays, and more. To learn more about the center, click here.

Slow Roll – Juneteenth Ride

Buffalo Slow Roll’s Juneteenth Ride begins at 6:30 p.m. at Broderick Park (1170 Niagara Street, Buffalo) and makes stops at the Freedom Wall and Nash House Museum. Learn more here.

If you are hosting a Juneteenth event and would like to be added to this list, please email digitalteam@wivb.com with more information.