Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Juneteenth Parade Returns with New Fireworks Display

The Greater East Austin Youth Association (GEAYA) and City of Austin are excited to announce the return of the Central Texas Juneteenth Parade and Festival, June 19, 2021 at Rosewood Park.  The parade route travels down Chicon Street to Rosewood Avenue where it ends at Rosewood Park.  The parade is followed by a day of activities at Rosewood and Boggy Creek Park areas with food, vendors, and music.

Since 2003, the GEAYA and the City have partnered to support Juneteenth celebrations including the parade and festivities in Rosewood Park. 2020 celebrations were canceled due to the pandemic, and after an especially difficult year with American race relations, festival organizers are looking forward to seeing the community come together again.

"Juneteenth represents a chance for Black Austin to come together to celebrate what makes our community special. We've been organizing this parade for 18 years and we are looking forward to getting back to a tradition that has been around for so long and is one of the few things in our community that really bring us together," said Tami D. Johnson-Dawson, Juneteenth Chair with GEAYA. 

In a time when Black communities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the global pandemic has amplified the historic inequalities that have plagued this country from inception, it is critically important to acknowledge the need to fight for Black lives. This year's Juneteenth parade and festival are timely and critical to this celebration.

"Austin's Juneteenth celebrations have stretched across three centuries, and as long as we keep cherishing freedom for all people, they'll keep stretching for centuries to come," said Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper-Madison. "After a very tough 15 months, I absolutely cannot wait to ride in that parade, see all the joyful faces, and chunk a whole lot of candy to the kids!"

The parade is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. followed by fellowship in the Rosewood Park. As an addition to the festivities this year, the festival will be celebrated with a fireworks show beginning at 9:00 p.m.  The fireworks will be viewable from the Boggy Creek Park area where the festival activities occur. Learn more about the parade and festival at www.juneteenthcentraltexas.com.

Austin Public Health will be at Rosewood Park and Givens Park on June 19 offering free COVID-19 vaccines during the event.

Friday, June 18, 2021, will also be the first time that Juneteenth is recognized as an official City holiday. In 2020, City Council passed a resolution to add Juneteenth to the holiday schedule.
About the Greater East Austin Youth Association
The Greater East Austin Youth Association (GEAYA) is a volunteer organization established in 1975 to provide organized and structured sports activities for the economically disadvantaged youth of East Austin. Since its inception, GEAYA has strived to provide quality programs for boys and girls in the area. The principle for these efforts, in addition to providing a safe and fun environment for competitive participation, is to instill and reinforce a strong sense of values in Austin's youth. Visit www.geaya.org for more information.
About Austin Parks and Recreation Department
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department has been the steward of the City of Austin's public lands since 1928.  As such, we protect and maintain parkland and our urban forest. We preserve trails, and offer a variety of sports, recreation, educational enrichment, arts programs, cultural opportunities, nature and aquatic activities. For more information visit AustinTexas.gov/Parks.
About Austin Center for Events
The Austin Center for Events is a collaborative assembly of City of Austin departments and agencies designed to streamline special event permitting on public and private property. ACE is anchored by teams from Austin Public Health, Transportation, Parks, Music, Police, Fire, EMS, Code, Austin Resource Recovery, Development Services, and partner agencies, and works closely with event organizers to guide them through the special event permitting process. Visit www.austintexas.gov/ace for more information.