Denver’s Juneteenth Music Festival is back in a big way on Saturday & Sunday, June 17 & 18, 2023, in the Historic Five Points neighborhood. This is one of the largest Juneteenth celebrations in the United States, with a parade and two-day street festival featuring hundreds of vendors, live music and delicious food. Headliner is Musiq Soulchild.
Here’s a history lesson for some: Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. The holiday honors June 19, 1865, the day slaves in Galveston, Texas, finally learned President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation two years earlier.
The 2023 Juneteenth Music Festival boasts multiple events to commemorate the day that, indeed, all enslaved peoples in the United States were freed.
In addition, 2023 marks the third year that Juneteenth is a commemorative holiday in the city of Denver, Colorado.
This year, Denver’s historic Juneteenth Music Festival expands beyond Welton Street to include side street attractions and the largest Kids Zone yet.
Join hundreds of artisan merchants, food vendors, community partners and interactive activities flanked by performance stages at this year’s celebration.
Juneteenth in Denver 2023
Saturday, June 17 — Juneteenth Parade
Traditionally, the Juneteenth parade which represents the flooding of the streets with newly freed slaves, kicks off the street festival. Thousands line the streets in celebration as a parade of performers and community organizations take over 26th street with a strolling party.
Staging begins at 9 a.m. at Manual High School on 26th Avenue & Williams St. The parade promptly begins at 11 a.m. The route follows 26th Avenue on Williams St. to 26th Avenue on Welton Street in the Historic Five Points district.
Saturday & Sunday, June 17 & 18 — Juneteenth Street Festival
Festival-goers can look forward to an array of fun and interactive activities with Juneteenth Music Festival’s partners such as Vibes in the Park, Popongo, Meow Wolf, Jack Daniels, and more. Hours are noon to 8 p.m. both days.
Beer lovers can grab a cold one from the Coors Airstream all while the kids enjoy activities from the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rapids and Colorado Mammoth in the JMF Youth Zone Presented by Chevron or catch a live youth boxing match courtesy of USA Boxing in association with the Denver Brotherhood of Police.
Festival details can be found on the Festival website and by following Juneteenth Music Festival on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @JuneteenthMusicFestival.