Also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day, Juneteenth is an annual celebration that commemorates the day federal troops arrived in Texas in 1865 to ensure all enslaved persons were finally freed. Here is your guide to the best Juneteenth events all over West L.A.

Kickoff Juneteenth Comedy, Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Hollywood

The Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) is a comedy institution and training center established by well-known comedians Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh in 1996. To honor Juneteenth, UCB is hosting an improv comedy show based on Juneteenth’s history, the concept of freedom, and some humorous characters you might encounter at a Juneteenth cookout. The show features some of the city’s finest African-American improvisers and comedians, including Evan Cleaver, Aricia Skidmore-Williams, Phil Augusta Jackson, Ronnie Adrian, Lamar Woods, and Caroline Martin. Moreover, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass will provide opening remarks as a starting point for the improv show. Mayor Bass is the first woman to serve as mayor of Los Angeles and is credited for helping Juneteenth become a national holiday when she served in Congress.

When: June 14, 2024; tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on the day of the show; purchase here.

Pies for Justice by Gather for Good, ChowNow, Culver City

Gather for Good is a non-profit organization that initiates fundraising, volunteerism, advocacy, education, and empowerment initiatives. Their first-ever, in-person Pies for Justice event will include pies from the city’s finest sweet and savory retailers. Attendees can expect fruit and cream pies, pizzas, and a limited number of gluten-free, vegan pies from popular eateries such as ​​Akasha, The Apple Pan, and two Michelin-starred Providence. Proceeds from this charity pie sale will be donated to two organizations doing good work in service of the BIPOC community—Peace4Kids, a non-profit dedicated to building community with youth in foster care in South Los Angeles, and The Gathering for Justice, a social justice organization for racial equity established by the late Harry Belafonte. 

When: June 15, 2024; regular admission ticket is $25; purchase here.

Runway’s Juneteenth Celebration, Playa Vista 

Runway Playa Vista is an upscale outdoor shopping mall in the heart of Playa Vista. It boasts a range of boutiques, eateries, and entertainment venues. This Saturday, Runway is hosting its annual Juneteenth artisan marketplace. The event will celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the African-American community and include stalls by several vendors, including Black-owned businesses such as Black Beauty Collective, Resikel, Gypsy Moon House, Wild Fleur Blooms, Glamour Girl Los Angeles, Dahlia Candle Co., and Half Baked. Additionally, Runway will also host live music performances and fun activations by local artists and brands.

When: June 15, 2024; admission is free; RSVP here.

32nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration, Virginia Avenue Park, Santa Monica

The City of Santa Monica will host the 32nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 15, 2024, from 2 to 7 p.m. at Virginia Avenue Park. This year’s theme is Rising Above Racism: A Legacy of Empowerment & Pride. The free family-friendly event will feature an afternoon of music, unique food and craft vendors, a kid’s activity area, a community stage, and local resources.

The Main Stage will present a stellar lineup of musicians including Blues artist Sonny Green, local favorite OPERATION: Butterfly, gospel group Lifeline Quartet, soloist Miss Aliya, and featuring soul singer, Sy Smith presented in partnership with BroadStage. DJ Sucafree will provide lively DJ sets, KJLH’s Arron “Bobo” Arnell will emcee and Chazz Ross will lead a pre-show participatory drumming performance.

When: June 15, 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Ken & Friends – The Pop Out, Kia Forum, ​​Inglewood

Ken & Friends – The Pop Out is a one-time concert by Grammy award winner Kendrick Lamar on June 19, 2024, at the Kia Forum in Inglewood. The show is to be held in honor of Juneteenth and is Lamar’s first major performance since his well-publicized feud with Canadian rapper Drake ended. In addition to Kendrick Lamar, guests can expect several surprise appearances by other famous rappers as well. 

When: June 19, 2024; tickets are $334 onwards; purchase here.

Movie screening of ‘Bless Their Little Hearts,’ Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

On Juneteenth, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is hosting a movie screening of “Bless Their Little Hearts” (1984), the only fictional feature directed by acclaimed African-American director Billy Woodberry. The movie is considered a landmark of American independent cinema and is included in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. Additionally, Billy Woodberry was an important figure in the L.A. Rebellion movement of Black filmmakers.

​​When: June 19, 2024; tickets for adults are $10; purchase here.

Also Happening Nearby 

Juneteenth Festival by Black in Mayberry, El Segundo Recreation Park

Black in Mayberry is a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting racism through the arts. They are hosting their 3rd annual Juneteenth festival at El Segundo Recreation Park on Saturday, June 15th, 2024. This festival will pay homage to African American culture, history, and the community’s contributions to the United States. The celebratory event is an afternoon of fun for the whole family, featuring live musical performances, interactive children’s activities, stalls by Black-owned retailers, and food trucks. Make your way to the Juneteenth Festival by Black in Mayberry to celebrate and support Juneteenth with your family and friends!

When: June 15, 2024; admission is free; RSVP here.

Image by Bulgnn on

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