4 Last-Minute Ideas for A Grand Juneteenth Celebration

It’s official: Juneteenth is a federal holiday. That means this Juneteenth is going to be extra special, being the first time the holiday is celebrated nationwide. In case you are staying in the few states that aren’t prepared for Juneteenth, here are 4 last-minute ideas that can still help you celebrate a grand Juneteenth.

1. Organize a Movies Night

One of the most popular options for last-minute celebrations is with a movie night. If movie theaters are back in your area, that’s great! Some theaters will celebrate Juneteenth with special features of thematically significant movies on Juneteenth. Movies that talk about the struggles and history of Black people are usually selected, most notably The Color Purple.

If your city still hasn’t allowed theaters to open just yet, you can still make do with a movie night by utilizing streaming services. Popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu all have special features on Black and Juneteenth movies during the day. Better yet, as Juneteenth falls on Saturday, you can have a full morning and afternoon preparing for your movie lists and snacks.

2. Host a Neighborhood Cookout

According to history, when slavery was finally abolished in Texas, Black Texans poured out to the streets, and celebrate by dancing, cookouts and strawberry soda. From then, it became a traditional form of celebration for Black communities. Nowadays, most cookouts are hosted on weekends simply as a way to tighten the bonds in Black communities.

Still, for this Juneteenth, a cookout isn’t a bad idea. You might even want to go with the Juneteenth theme by going for the red, green and black color schemes in decorations. For hosting a cookout, however, make sure that you have the space and food for the whole neighborhood. One way to go at it is to ask other people for help. Knowing the significance of this year’s Juneteenth, surely your Black community will be eager to help and join your cookout.

3. Have a Juneteenth Readathon

You will always have time for books. So this Juneteenth, instead of finishing your half-read romance, try spending time on a book about Juneteenth. Juneteenth books are not always long and meandering essays about social injustice. On the contrary, many Juneteenth books are historical fiction, with some even employing a fantasy and supernatural touch to keep readers invested with their stories.

A weekend spent reading books is pretty fantastic, especially if you don’t feel safe celebrating outside right now. In case you are still looking for a Juneteenth book to read, here is a shortlist of books that are worth your time, split into part 1 and part 2. Delve into the world of literature and let the words do the celebrating for you.

4. Go to A Local Event

Because Juneteenth falls on Saturday, chances are you might be too exhausted to do anything. If that’s the case, you might want to consider going to a local celebration instead. While Juneteenth has only been declared a federal holiday this week, it has been acknowledged or celebrated in at least 46 states before now.

With the day being officially recognized, there’s no doubt that this year’s Juneteenth local events are going to be huge. While you might be coming short on celebration ideas, let the people in charge of these events do it for you. All you have to do is pay the admission fee and enjoy the festivities. Plus, going to these events lets you immerse into your Black culture and heritage, as well as making new friends from the Black community. Check out churches or online forums for information on your local event.

Juneteenth being acknowledged as a federal holiday is a cornerstone in American history, especially for Black people. So, even when you haven't had the time to prepare, don’t be afraid to go big on your first ‘official’ Juneteenth with these 4 last-minute ideas. After all, it is the day to celebrate the trials and tribulations for freedom of the Black community.