Serve DC

DC Agency Top Menu

Heat Emergency: A heat emergency is in effect for the District of Columbia.
Find information on cooling centers, spray parks and libraries.

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

Mayor Bowser Announces 2019 DC Emancipation Day Festivities

Friday, April 12, 2019

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser kicked off the celebration of the 157th anniversary of Emancipation Day in Washington, DC. Emancipation Day honors President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act in 1862, which freed over 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia. As Mayor Bowser continues to push for inclusive prosperity, this year’s DC Emancipation Day events will celebrate DC’s progress in advancing racial equality and civil rights, and highlight the importance of the continued fight for DC statehood.

This morning, Mayor Bowser hosted the DC Emancipation Day Full Democracy Champions Breakfast at The Willard Intercontinental Hotel. This year’s theme, “Our Fight for Democracy Unites Us,” highlighted how the fight for DC statehood transcends partisanship as an American issue.

On Saturday, April 13 at 2 pm Mayor Muriel Bowser will lead the 2019 DC Emancipation Day Parade along Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, followed by the 2019 DC Emancipation Day Concert at Freedom Plaza.

Mayor Bowser, along with community organizations and Administration officials, will march to increase awareness around the District’s progress in advancing civil rights and achieving full democracy through statehood. The parade will also showcase the student winners of Mayor Bowser’s First Annual DC Emancipation Day Float Design Competition. The parade will be emceed by Poet of WPGC 95.5 FM.

The concert will feature performances by: Faith Evans, Doug E. Fresh, Kenny Lattimore, Mýa, Master Gee of Sugar Hill Gang, EU featuring Sugar Bear, Frederic Yonnet, Spur of the Moment, Ayanna Gregory, Passion Raggae Band, and the DCBX Dancers. Little Bacon Bear of WKYS’s 93.9 FM will host with DJ Rico. The concert is free and open to the public.

Festivities will conclude with a fireworks display at Freedom Plaza.

To learn more about these events and occasions happening around the city, visit

Emancipation Day Parade


Saturday, April 13, at 2 pm


Staring Location: Pennsylvania Avenue, NW between 10th and 14th Streets, NW
Ending Location: Freedom Plaza -1455 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
*Closest Metro Stations: Federal Triangle and Metro Center Stations*

NOTE: Members of the public interested in marching with the Mayor are asked to meet at 1 pm on the corner of 10th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, in order to be ready to step off at 2:00 p.m. To walk with Mayor Bowser, register here.

Emancipation Day Concert


Saturday, April 13, at 3 pm


Freedom Plaza
1455 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
*Closest Metro Stations: Metro Center and Federal Triangle Stations*

NOTE: The concert will be family-friendly, including food trucks on the North and East sides of Freedom Plaza.

Emancipation Day Fireworks


Saturday, April 13, at 8:30 pm


Freedom Plaza
1455 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

*Closest Metro Stations: Metro Center and Federal Triangle Stations*

All reporters and other media interested in attending the event are asked to RSVP to [email protected]