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Dates honoring Juneteenth in Acadiana

A list of events marking Juneteenth 2024, this country's observance of the day in 1865 that enslaved people in Texas learned they were free more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. For 146 years, people around the U.S. celebrated Juneteenth with local activities — and those traditions continue three years after it became a federal holiday on the 19th of June. Here are some of this year’s events in Acadiana.

For more please visit SLWA Juneteenth's website.

If you know about an event that is not listed below, please email

Friday, June 14th, Saturday, June 15th and Wednesday, June 19th in Lake Charles - Lake Charles holds its annual Juneteenth Freedom Festival over several days, from Friday, June 14th, Saturday, June 15th and Wednesday, June 19th. The events and activities include a family-friendly movie (“Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa”) under the stars, a parade, cook-offs, live performances, poetry and a Kid Zone. This takes the Lake Charles Event Center Amphitheatre, 900 Lakeshore Drive in Lake Charles. More information — including other venues for this event, at Visitlakecharles-dot-org.

Saturday, June 15th in St. Martinville - A Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom takes place Saturday, June 15th from 2 to 7 p.m. at Evangeline Oak Park, 121 South New Market Street, St. Martinville. (Music, lectures, dance performances, book signing, vendors.) You can find out more by calling 337-394-2233 or 337-380-6031.

Saturday, June 15th in Opelousas - St. Landry Parish’s annual Juneteenth Folklife Celebration takes place Saturday afternoon, June 15th at the Farmers Market Pavilion in Opelousas. The event will include live music and dancing, historical displays, vendors and children’s activities. Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 15th. That night, there’s also a gala at the Evangeline Downs Event Center with a silent auction and music by the Delafose family. (The proceeds will support Creole Heritage and Folklife Center programs.) Find out details at Cajuntravel-dot-com…look under St. Landry Parish.

Saturday, June 15th in New Iberia - In Iberia Parish, winners of the Juneteenth Student Poetry Contest will be honored Saturday, June 15th. The ceremony, open to the public, begins at 10 a.m. in the Sliman Theater, 129 East Main Street in New Iberia. Details at shadowsontheteche-dot-org.
IAAHS Juneteenth 2024 Talk on Emancipation in New Iberia

Celebrate Juneteenth with The Iberia African American Historical Society at a talk on the "Unfolding of Emancipation in Post-Civil War New Iberia" by our president and founder, Dr. Phebe Hayes. The event will immediately follow the Juneteenth Poetry Contest and Readings hosted by Mr. John Warner Smith, Executive Director of The Shadows. Both events will be held Saturday, June 15th at The Sliman Theater (129 E. Main Street; New Iberia, LA 70560) beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Saturday & Sunday, June 15th and 16th in Lafayette - The Acadiana Center for the Arts in Lafayette presents The Juneteenth Story, June 15th and 16th, starting both nights at 7:30 p.m. This original theatrical piece by Twana Benoit, directed by Josiah Price, tells the history behind a folk celebration that has become a national holiday. There’ll be a pre-show performance by the Fire Expressions Dance Conservatory, and special musical guests each evening. More information at AcadianaCenterfortheArts-dot-org.

Monday, June 17th in Lafayette - Move the Mindset sponsors its annual Juneteenth commemoration with speakers, poetry readings, and live musical performances. It’s on Monday, June 17th at 6 p.m. at the Downtown Convention Center, 124 South Buchanan Street in Lafayette. There’s more about the event at movethemindset-dot-org.
Also at that location, a Juneteenth banquet and scholarship pageant takes place Friday night, June 21st. Details at swlajuneteenth-dot-org.