Community, Events, Library

Hayward Juneteenth 2023 observances begin with downtown street party—Thursday, June 15

June 13, 2023

Juneteenth flyer

Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, will be observed in Hayward with a downtown street party, live music festival and flying of the Pan African Flag on City Hall Plaza.

The events begin with the first of the summer season of Hayward Chamber of Commerce-presented Thursday street parties—with this party being produced in partnership with Hayward Juneteenth celebration organizers from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. this Thursday, June 15, at B and Main Streets.

The Hayward Juneteenth Street Party will feature live musical performances, a family-fun zone, a beer and wine garden, food and a classic car show.  Major event sponsors are One Subaru, East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) and the Downtown Hayward Improvement Association (DIHA).  For more information, go here to the Juneteenth Hayward website.

Next, on Saturday, June 17, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the West Coast Blues Society will present the Hayward Russell City Juneteenth Celebration music festival on the plaza behind City Hall with jazz, blues, R&B and gospel performances, including a special guest appearance by the legendary Johnny Rawls, of Hattiesburg, Miss.  For more information, call (510) 472-8800 or visit

Then, on Monday, June 19, the national Juneteenth Day of Observance, the Pan-African flag will be flown on City Hall Plaza, a practice the City of Hayward began in 2021 during Black History Month, on Juneteenth, as well as on Aug. 17, the birthday of civil-rights activist Marcus Garvey, as an expression of the City’s commitment to black liberation and diversity, equity and inclusion.  Meanwhile, Hayward Public Library will also be presenting its annual Juneteenth Online Readathon.  Starting at 8 a.m., go to and listen to literary pieces by and about African Americans. 

Celebrated annually on June 19, Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day and Freedom Day, is an observance of the effective end of slavery in the United States.  On June 19, 1865, almost two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, Union Army Major Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of both the Civil War and slavery.