Where to celebrate Juneteenth in New Hampshire this year

By: - June 16, 2023 8:48 am

Juneteenth events will be held throughout the state. (Getty Images)

According to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Juneteenth officially became a federal holiday in June of 2021 but was celebrated by people across the United States long before then.

The celebration commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln and after the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee, Union troops led by Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865. Granger brought the news to enslaved African Americans that they were free, leading to the freedom of slaves across Texas. Early celebrations of the holiday included family reunions, prayers, and pilgrimages back to Galveston. 

Across the Granite State, communities are gathering to honor Juneteenth and celebrate African American history and culture. Events including historical tours, art shows, and block parties will take place in Portsmouth, Keene, Manchester, and Warner. Here’s a look at some of what’s happening:


3S Artspace will be hosting the exhibit “If you knew, let it be us” by Baltimore artist McKinley Wallace III, which explores race, history, and intersectionality. Wallace will be speaking on the exhibit at 7 p.m. on Friday.

  • When: Friday, June 16, to Sunday, Aug. 20.
  • Time: 5 to 8 p.m.
  • Where: 3S Artspace

The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire is hosting a Reggae festival celebrating the music of the African diaspora. Along with performances from Marcia Griffiths, Brigadier Jerry, Nadine Southerland, Onix Brown, Lady G, and Glen Washington, there will also be food and craft vendors.

  • When: Saturday, June 17
  • Time: noon to 10 p.m.
  • Where: Strawbery Banke

Camille A. Brown and dancers will be performing at the Portsmouth Music Hall on Sunday in celebration of Juneteenth. The group aims to reclaim Black narratives and share the culture of the African diaspora. 

  • When: Sunday, June 18
  • Time: 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Where: The Music Hall

Akwaaba Ensemble, an African drumming and dance group, will perform at African Burying Ground Memorial Park, followed by a ceremony from Rev. Robert Thompson. This event is free and open to the public. 

  • When: Monday, June 19
  • Time: 11 a.m.
  • Where: African Burying Ground Memorial Park

The Howard Gospel Choir of Howard University will perform at South Church on Monday. Tickets are required for this event. 

  • When: Monday, June 19
  • Time: 2 p.m.
  • Where: South Church


A presentation by Zaron Burenett III, creator and host of the Black Cowboys podcast, followed by virtual film screenings.

  • When: Friday, June 16
  • Time: 7 p.m.
  • Where: Brewbakers, 48 Emerald St.

Led by the City of Keene’s Human Rights Committee, this celebration will include musical performances, exhibits, speakers, and more. 

  • When: Saturday, June 17
  • Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Where: Railroad Square, downtown Keene

The Keene Public Library will screen a series of children’s short films celebrating Black stories. 

  • When: Saturday, June 17
  • Time: 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.
  • Where: Keene Public Library

A free screening of “Buck and the Preacher”, a newly restored 1972 film. 

  • When: Saturday, June 17
  • Time: 6:30 p.m.
  • Where: Parker Hall, Drenan Auditorium


The Hop Knot will host a Juneteenth block party including vendors, music, and speakers on Sunday. 

  • When: Sunday, June 25
  • Time: 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Where: The Hop Knot


The Warner Historical Society is hosting a Juneteenth event, which will cover a brief history of Juneteenth and uplift the service of local Black veterans. This event is open to the public.

  • When: Monday, June 19
  • Time: 7 p.m.
  • Where: Warner Town Hall

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Amanda Pirani
Amanda Pirani

Amanda was a newsroom intern with the New Hampshire Bulletin. She previously worked as a news editor for The New Hampshire, the University of New Hampshire’s student-run newspaper. While there, she reported on campus affairs, politics, and public health. A New Hampshire native, Amanda has learned to appreciate the unique political culture of her home state and brings experience from political campaigns. She plans to continue her degree in political science as a rising junior at the University of Michigan.