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Mayor Bowser to Host 2022 DC Emancipation Day Festivities

Friday, April 15, 2022
Celebration to Include a Parade, DC Statehood Food Truck Palooza, Concert, and Fireworks

(Washington, DC) – On Saturday, April 16, at 2 pm, Mayor Muriel Bowser will kick off the celebration of the 160th Anniversary of DC Emancipation Day. DC Emancipation Day honors the day President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862, which freed over 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia.   

The celebration kicks off at 2 pm with Mayor Bowser leading the DC Emancipation Day parade. The parade route is along Pennsylvania Ave NW (between 10th and 14th Streets NW) and will feature the DC Statehood Food Truck Palooza on the north side of Freedom Plaza. Food trucks on site will include gourmet hot dogs, soul food, pizza, ribs, Mexican food, and others. 

Following the parade, at 3 pm, the family-friendly All Star Emancipation Day Concert at Freedom Plaza will feature performances by Ceelo Green, Junkyard Band, Crystal Waters, Slick Rick, DJ Kool, Dior Ashley Brown and the Filthy Animals, Ramsey Renee, Alfredo Mojica & Friends, Crochet Kingpin, Jessey Lee, The Eastern High School Marching Band, The Nation’s Capital Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc., and Miss District of Columbia 2021 Andolyn Medina singing our National Anthem.

Former Washington Commanders player and sports personality Fred Smoot, Radio and Television personality Steph Lova, along with “Good Things DC” co-hosts Kinosha Soden, Brit Jones, and Leiah Rocheleau will host the event. The concert is free and open to the public.

Festivities will conclude with fireworks at Freedom Plaza at 8:30 pm. 

To learn more about the day’s events, visit

2 pm  Parade 

Starting Location: Pennsylvania Avenue, NW and 10th Street NW
(Parade route Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, between 10th and 14th Streets, NW)

Ending Location: Freedom Plaza - 1455 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 

DC Statehood Food Truck Palooza
(North side of Freedom Plaza between 13th and 14th Streets NW)

3 pm Emancipation Day Concert

Freedom Plaza, 1455 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

8 pm  Emancipation Day Fireworks 

Freedom Plaza, 1455 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

*Closest Metro Stations for all events: Metro Center and Federal Triangle Stations*
*Closest Bikeshare Station for all events: Ronald Reagan Building*

Press interested in attending the event are asked to RSVP to [email protected].

The DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment will provide a live feed of this event. To view event online visit, tune in on Channel 16 (DCN) or any of the social media platforms below.


Social Media:
Mayor Bowser Twitter: @MayorBowser
Mayor Bowser Instagram: @Mayor_Bowser
Mayor Bowser Facebook:
Mayor Bowser YouTube: