These Unique Seattle Tours Explore Fascinating Historical Events and Mysteries

By Explore Seattle Southside
June 23, 2023
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View from the trees of Seattle, Washington by Luca Micheli - Unsplash

If you're a fan of true crime, urban legends, and unsolved mysteries pique your interest, then you'll want to add a brand new experience to your next trip to Seattle, Washington. With the Seattle Southside/Highline area being home to many well-known happenings that have been made famous on a global scale, the museum has planned to turn the history of these occurrences into unique storytelling experiences for out-of-town guests and locals alike.

Highline's Fascinating Tours will uncover local findings relating to D.B. Cooper, the Green River Killer, Ted Bundy, Jimi Hendrix, a 12,000-year-old giant sloth discovered under the SeaTac airport, Des Moines Memorial Drive, and much more. From chilling murders infamously covered on Netflix and other streaming platforms to historically significant events that have been lost at bay, the Highline Museum will reveal it all.

Guided by a seasoned storyteller, the experience will last two hours. Tours will also include the following:

  • Shuttle service to and from the meeting location
  • Snacks and beverages
  • Free admission to Highline Museum's Glow Experience
  • Discounted admission to the National Nordic Museum

The tours, which began operating this month, will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays. The public can purchase tickets for $65.00 per person. Discounted tickets will soon be available as part of the Seattle Southside Savings Pass.

Pike Street in Seattle by Sabine Ojeil - Unsplash

"The Highline Heritage Museum is thrilled to be launching these tours to shed light on some interesting happenings that have taken place in our community. Despite how well-known they might be, we have a dedicated team of researchers curating stories and uncovering untold facts to provide a one-of-a-kind experience" shares Executive Director, Nancy Salguero McKay.

This award-winning museum features exhibits, public programs, and educational programs that enrich our cultural connections. The Highline Heritage Museum capture the stories of the Highline region, and bridges the years from the earliest of times, to the newest immigrant stories. History and heritage are personal matters to everyone. They believe that exploring everyone's heritage allows us to experience a personal journey that enriches us as a community. The Museum is passionate that its visitors have access to a broad spectrum of information sources and cultural perspectives. They envision themselves sitting at a round table where no one is the leader and stories are heard respectfully, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, disabilities, or ethnicity.

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The Most Affordable Cities for Family Vacations This Summer

There's still plenty of time left this summer to plan a great vacation, and if you didn't think you could add it to your budget—think again. Forbes Advisor recently ranked the most affordable cities in the US to take a family vacation. While popular vacation destinations like New York City, Boston, Honolulu, and West Coast urban areas are some of the worst when it comes to affordable options, that doesn't mean you have to miss out on the fun. In fact, you might even enjoy getting off the beaten path and avoiding the most crowded spots. The most affordable cities list is dominated by East Coast and Midwestern locales, but the destinations still encompass a wide variety of travel styles and activities to give families different options when planning a budget-friendly getaway. To create the list, Forbes Advisor analyzed the 100 largest US cities, excluding any cities with an average temperature exceeding 95º F during the summer months (June, July and August)—when families tend to travel. They looked at metrics like the average round-trip airfare, hotel room rates, rental car prices, and meal costs. Below are the top cities that they found when it comes to affordable family vacations this summer. #5. Wichita, Kansas Airfare to Wichita can be on the pricier side but don’t let that deter you from a trip to Wichita. Once there, costs are lower than other cities for an average overall trip cost of $3,673. As a bonus, you’ll find plenty of low-cost activities to keep your expenses down further. Nearby Kansas City, Missouri also came in at #9. Head to the Old Cowtown Museum for a look at Wichita in its booming cattle town days, complete with reenactments. Outside of town, the Strataca underground salt museum includes tram rides that kids will love. Also nearby is the Cosmosphere, a space museum with exhibits intended for adults plus a whole section called CosmoKids for the other half of your family #4. Buffalo, New York Niagara Falls at night by Vinayak Sharma - Unsplash To combine affordable prices with comfortable summer temperatures, plan a trip to Buffalo, New York, where the average family trip cost is $3,669. Summer is primetime for local festivals, with something nearly every weekend from June through August, giving you a great opportunity to add low-cost entertainment to your trip plans in addition to the city’s permanent attractions, such as the Buffalo AKG Art Museum which reopens in June after a $230 million renovation. Only thirty minutes away, Niagara Falls is a can’t-miss add-on to your Buffalo vacation. Kids will love getting soaked on the hurricane deck at Cave of the Winds, an attraction that takes you practically to the base of the waterfalls. No passport is required for families staying on the American side of the falls. #3. Orlando, Florida Palm trees in Orlando, Florida by Drew Coffman - Unsplash Orlando is certainly a popular family vacation destination, thanks to Disney and Universal, but it may not be on your radar when it comes to cheap trips. However, a plethora of low-cost airlines and healthy competition keep flight prices reasonable. Overall, the average trip cost for our example family comes in at $3,634. Hotels, while on the higher side, often come with extra space, which might mean you can downsize to one room instead of two or make breakfast in your kitchenette instead of paying for a restaurant. While tickets to popular theme parks may be too much of a stretch, those aren't the only things to do in town. Gatorland has thrilling shows, a zipline plus off-road swamp rides. The beach and aqua park at Nona Adventure Park is the perfect summer day out. #2. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma The sun shines in downtown Oklahoma City by Karsten Winegeart - Unsplash Oklahoma City takes a prominent position on this list, in part thanks to its lower cost of hotels. Here, the average cost of a three-night trip totals $3,272. Families will find plenty to do at the Boathouse District, an outdoor recreation spot with activities for all ages. Similarly, the Myriad Gardens and Six Flags Frontier City will appeal to kids and adults alike. Nearby Tulsa also comes in at #7. Families that have time could combine both destinations with a single airfare purchase. In Tulsa, don’t miss the riverfront Gathering Place—a free park with one of the country’s largest playgrounds. #1. Toledo, Ohio A splash pad in downtown Toledo, Ohio by Cathy Holewinski - Unsplash Toledo, Ohio, comes out on top as the cheapest travel destination in Forbes Advisor's rankings. For a family of four, the average cost totaled $2,731 including economy airfare for four, three nights in two rooms at a mid-range hotel, a three-day rental car and three meals per day. Since Toledo is within a day’s drive of metro areas including Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Nashville, families may be able to save on airfare, too. Nearby towns Cleveland (#13) and Columbus (#16) also ranked high in affordability. The Toledo Zoo is an interactive experience with giraffe feeding platforms, a stingray touch tank and behind-the-scenes tours. The Imagination Station museum is equally hands-on and children and adults can hunt for corals, brachiopods, and trilobites at Fossil Park. Round out your trip with a day at Maumee Bay State Park Marina or Cedar Point amusement park, an hour away. —For more family vacation ideas, check out the full rankings at Forbes Advisor.


3 Great Summer Fishing Trips

From deep sea adventures to leisurely hikes along mountain streams, there are all kinds of ways to experience the outdoors and see the waterways of North America. For the ultimate fishing trip, the three vacations below have something for every kind of angler. Deep Sea Fishing Off Florida's Historic Coast Flounder, sea trout, sheepshead, redfish, largemouth bass, and tarpon are just a few of the types of fish being caught off of Florida's Historic Coast. From fishing piers and kayak fishing to deep sea charters, fly fishing, and everything in between, there is never a shortage of fishing opportunities when you visit St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra, and The Beaches – making it a top destination for anglers from around the world. There are dozens of local charter companies to choose from. With Captain Jacob Hardy at the helm, Fishardy Charters offers private fishing charters for beginners and experienced anglers. Choose from a half-day, three-quarters of a day, or full-day experience that includes bait, fishing licenses, and fish cleaning services. Fishardy Charters leaves from the Conch House Marina, just two miles from historic downtown St. Augustine, and specializes in coastal and inshore fishing. Another local charter company is Drum Man Fishing Charters, which is run by Captain James Dumas, and specializes in light tackle and fly fishing for fish such as redfish, trout, flounder, tarpon, and cobia. Choose from a four-hour or six-hour excursion that includes fishing licenses, fishing rods and gear, and bait and lures. Hosted by the Ancient City Game Fish Association (ACGFA), a local nonprofit that promotes the sport of fishing in the area, the popular Kingfish Challenge offers a tournament for anglers of all skill levels and ages. From Thursday, July 13 through Saturday, July 15, events include a Kids' Clinic, Junior Angler Tournament, and the main attraction, the Kingfish Challenge, with cash prizes up to $20,000. The weekend also includes live music, food, raffles, and more. The Junior Challenge is $25, registration for Kingfish Challenge is $320, and Backwater/Kayak Challenge is $75. This tournament takes place at Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor. If you are looking for a way to get out on the water and learn a thing or two about fishing, but aren't tournament-ready, there are plenty of places around Florida's Historic Coast to cast a line. Visit the St. Johns County Ocean & Fishing Pier in St. Augustine Beach for your chance to catch everything from tarpon to king mackerel. Other fishing piers in the area include Lighthouse Park on Salt Run, the Vilano Beach Pier and Usina Boat Ramp Fishing Pier on the Intracoastal Waterway, and the Rose of Sharon Pier north of the Bridge of Lions. A few smaller fishing piers in the area include Treaty Park, Vaill Point Park, and Faver-Dykes State Park. Fly Fishing in Wyoming's Star Valley Mountain waterways in Star Valley, Wyoming by Rebecca Carr - Unsplash Head out for a weekend outdoors and catch your own dinner! Wyoming is a classic summer destination for road trips and family vacations. Star Valley is particularly perfect for fishing trips, with mountain streams, a few lakes, and a few rivers. It is the home of the native Snake River fine-spotted cutthroat trout. With three rivers that run through the valley, travelers looking to fly fish in Wyoming’s Star Valley are in luck. Salt River, Greys River, and Snake River all offer prime fishing to all levels of anglers. For the best local tips, cast a line with a guide. You can try fishing guide services with Afton’s Feathered Hook Outfitters or Alpine’s Fishing with J. The idyllic rivers also make the area an ideal hiking destination. Try Little Greys River Trail just north of Alpine, Wyoming or Strawberry Creek Trail near Bedford, Wyoming. In addition to the river fishing, there's Cottonwood Lake, about 6 miles east of Smoot, full of cutthroat and brook trout. Swift Creek, east of Afton, features two small reservoirs that are well stocked by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department with cutthroat trout. Murphy Lake is about a half-hour trip from Alpine and stocked with some hatchery brood stock culls, and Palisades Reservoir holds trophy brown trout as well as cutthroats and some kokanee salmon. Saltwater Angling Off of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula Progreso, Mexico by Anton Lukin - Unsplash The Yucatan is typically easy to travel to from most major U.S. cities, with many direct flights going into Cancun. Oftentimes flights are reasonably priced, which helps to keep overall costs low. Progreso is one of the most popular beach towns in the state of Yucatan. Located just 22 miles from the capital city, Merida, the town was founded in 1871 and has grown to become the main port of the Yucatan coast. Today it is a tourist hub and a border point open to commercial exchange with the states and countries on the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Due to its commercial activity, Progreso is the most-visited port in the state and a popular cruise destination for visitors from all over the world. Along the boardwalk, visitors will find both international and local restaurants, as well as shops and boutiques. The market of Progreso is a destination in its own right, selling local food, crafts, and more. The beaches are the real star of Progreso, with white sand, turquoise water, and endless activities from kitesurfing and windsurfing to water skiing and fishing. Fishing on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula can be incredible in the late summer and into the fall. During this season, there are large numbers of resident permit, bonefish, and snook around that receive low pressure from visiting anglers. For fly fishing adventures, try the outfitters at Yellow Dog. There's also Yucatan Snook, which offers in-shore excursions for some of the best shallow water speckled sea trout, snook and tarpon fishing in the area.

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Top National Parks for Hiking

National parks are a national treasure—and Americans know it. In fact, the National Park Service saw 312 million recreation visits in 2022 (that’s up 15 million visitors from the previous year!), and almost half of Americans (48%) say visiting the national parks is on their bucket list. National parks help preserve and protect many of our nation’s stunning natural landscapes, so we can behold the beauty for years to come—often through one of thousands of breathtaking hikes. With all this in mind, KURU Footwear wanted to dig into data and find the top 10 best national parks for hiking to help Americans discover their next adventure. To rank each park, KURU used Alltrails to find all of the available trails in each of the 63 National Parks, and analyzed them based on the following metrics: number of trails (total), total distance of trails (in miles), average trail rating, number of annual visitors, and acreage of the national park (public areas only). Pacific Coast Jewels Giant trees and a park visitor in Sequoia National Park by Vitto Sommella - Unsplash The Sierra Nevadas are well-represented in the top 10 best parks for hiking. In 8th place overall, Sequoia National Park has an excellent 4.48 average trail rating and 1,624 trail miles total. Nearby Kings Canyon National Park comes in at #9 with 1,583 miles of trails and equally well-loved trails with an average 4.47 rating. Fourth place overall goes to Olympic National Park in Washington, with over 3,000 miles to traverse across 194 trails. Nearby Mount Rainier National Park took 12th place overall. Wild Rocky Mountain Frontiers A bull elk in Yellowstone by Harrison Hargrave - Unsplash Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming ranks as the third best for hiking. With 267 trails totaling over 3,500 miles, visitors will encounter incredible views and wildlife. However, with moose, wolves, and bears also making this park their home, hikers need to exercise extra caution and awareness when on the trail. Next door, Grand Teton National Park came in at #11, making it an easy place to visit on the same trip. In 6th place, Glacier National Park in Montana also isn’t too from away from Yellowstone. For the ultimate hiking trip, combine trails from Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and Glacier. In 7th place sits Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado with 235 trails covering 1,970 miles of pristine mountain wilderness. It’s trails are some of the most-loved by visitors with an average rating of 4.5. Conveniently, this park isn’t too park from Denver International Airport, making it a little more accessible than Yellowstone and Glacier, which are only near smaller airports which often come with higher ticket prices and limited flight routes. Eastern Stand-outs Sunrise rolling over clouds in Shenandoah National Park by Taylor Wright - Unsplash The 5th best park for hiking is Shenandoah National Park, tucked along the Blue Ridge Mountains and rolling hills and valleys of western Virginia. While it isn’t too far from Washington, DC and is close to many college towns, it doesn’t make the top 10 list for most visitors in 2022, so the trails here are likely to be less crowded than many of the other parks on the list. It boasts the 4th highest number of trails and the 5th most trail miles of all parks. While Acadia National Park in Maine didn’t break into the Top 10 Best Park for Hikings (falling just shy in the #14 overall spot), it did rank as the 5th most visited park of 2022 and it also has the 5th highest number of trails. If you’re close to or local to the Northeastern US and New England, this is the park you’ll want to visit. Classic American Parks The Grand Canyon by Omer Nezih Gerek - Unsplash It makes sense that some of the most well known parks in America also top the list for hiking trails. At number nine overall, Grand Canyon National Park has 133 trails, 1,562 total miles of trails, and an average trail rating of 4.32. It was also the second most-visited park in 2022. Great Smoky Mountains National Park has the highest number of trails, with 348, and took second place overall for best park for hiking. It also came in second for most miles of trails with 4,354. Overall, trails in this park average a 4.38 rating. Stretching across North Carolina and Tennessee, this park boasts the most number of visitors, and by a long shot; in 2022, it had over 12 million visitors (for comparison, the second busiest park was the Grand Canyon, at only 4.7 million). So if you're looking for seclusion, you may not quite find it here (but at least you know its a crowd pleaser!). The best of the best for hiking is Yosemite National Park; the park took the number 1 spot with 278 trails, 4,729 miles of trails (the most of any park), and a 4.56 average trail rating. Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California (along with several other ranked parks), Yosemite is known for its iconic and striking Half Dome, tall waterfalls, and giant Sequoia trees. —For more details on the rankings, visit KURU Footwear.


Celebrate Juneteenth in Philadelphia This Year

Enslaved Africans in Galveston, Texas, learned on June 19, 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, that slavery was officially over in America. Today, Juneteenth is celebrated nationwide with historical reenactments, African-inspired programming, music and dance performances, and so much more. Philly offers many ways to celebrate Juneteenth, the annual commemoration of the end of slavery in America in 1865. For the third year in a row, the City of Philadelphia's official Fourth of July celebration — known as Wawa Welcome America — includes Juneteenth events in partnership with The African American Museum in Philadelphia, kicking off a season of independence in Philadelphia starting on June 19 and continuing through July 4. In addition, major festivals in West Philadelphia, Germantown and Chester County, as well as events at attractions and venues like Longwood Gardens, the Betsy Ross House and more, also offer robust programming to commemorate the anniversary. Read on for ways to celebrate Juneteenth in Greater Philadelphia in 2023. Illuminated Fountain Performances: Freedom Three nights a week from late May through October, Longwood Gardens lights up its spectacular fountains for special themed nighttime shows. Back for 2023, the Freedom programming — featuring music from Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Beyoncé, Curtis Mayfield and more — honors Juneteenth and highlights the themes of freedom, hope and strength. Juneteenth Festival at the Johnson House Historic Site When: Saturday, June 17, 2023 | Noon-7 p.m. Historic Germantown celebrates Juneteenth during its 17th annual Juneteenth Festival. Hosted by the Johnson House Historic Site, the annual (and free!) fest celebrates the 158th anniversary of the Black emancipation from enslavement with joyful music performances, historical reenactments, community conversations, food trucks, a cultural marketplace and much more. Philly's First Juneteenth Mural: Unveiling & Dedication When: Saturday, June 17, 2023 | 2 p.m. The Germantown ArtHaus hosts an unveiling of Philadelphia's very first official Juneteenth mural, Absolute Equality – Juneteenth. Designed by ArtHaus founder and Custom Arts Studio Creative Director Keisha Whatley (and painted by volunteers including nearly 400 high school students), the 1,100-square-foot mural faces the Johnson House Historic Site, an important stop on the Underground Railroad. Storytime with Harriet Tubman at Christ Church Historic Christ Church in Philadelphia by Dan Mall - Unsplash When: Saturday, June 17, 2023 | 2-3 p.m. Bring the littles to this special Juneteenth storytime outside historic Christ Church — performed by none other than Harriet Tubman herself. The event is free and tickets are required. Juneteenth at Washington Crossing Historic Park When: Saturday, June 17, 2023 | 3:30-6:30 p.m. Bucks County's Washington Crossing Historic Park hosts a slate of Freedom Day events with Juneteenth at Washington Crossing Historic Park, highlighting the contributions of Black soldiers during the American Revolution. The day kicks off at 3:30 p.m. at the Visitors Center with a lecture on the experience of Black soldiers from historian Noah Lewis and African American Museum of Bucks County President Linda Salley. The day wraps up at 5 p.m. with a jazz concert on the riverbank from Joyce Simpson & The Quake Band, during which reenactors share short presentations. Both events are free, but lectures require registration. Food vendors are available during the concert. Freedom Market at NextFab When: Sunday, June 18, 2023 | Noon-5 p.m. Celebrate a day of culture and community at this indoor-outdoor shopping fest. The family-friendly event showcases handmade products by local vendors, pay-as-you-go food trucks, live music, raffles supporting Philly youth organizations and tons of events for kids — games, hands-on art activities, face painting and more. General admission is free. Concert at the Betsy Ross House When: Sunday, June 18, 2023 | 3 p.m. Celebrate freedom at the Betsy Ross House with a powerful concert by the Philadelphia Heritage Chorale. Guest composer Ruth Naomi Floyd takes you through significant moments in Black history with poetry and expression, while the chorus music spans the solemn refrains of historic slave songs to the uplifting joy of gospel. The ROOTS Art Show at Pentridge Station Pop Up When: Sunday, June 18, 2023 | 6-11 p.m. Experience a taste of Black art at this special Juneteenth art stroll in West Philly. Look for Black and African art showcases, outdoor vendors, live performances, food and drink (available for purchase at the Penridge Station beer garden), and more experiences to come. RSVP for free tickets, and any donations go toward supporting future art shows. Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade & Festival Downtown Philadelphia by Nick Fewings - Unsplash When: Sunday, June 18, 2023 Commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, the Philadelphia Juneteenth Festival & Parade is one of the largest Juneteenth celebrations in the country. The all-day event kicks off in West Philadelphia with a parade, performances and floats from noon to 2 p.m. After the parade, kids can join in the fun with a carnival, games, arts and crafts, and more at the Children's Village. A music festival pumps up the crowd with a lineup featuring Fatman Scoop, Lil Mo and DJ Cupid from 3 to 7 p.m. And all throughout the day, a marketplace of over 250 Black- and Brown-owned businesses, vendors, nonprofits and Philly entrepreneurs line Malcolm X Park with treats, artwork, free food, yoga classes and more. Voices Underground Where: Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square; The Creamery, 401 Birch Street, Kennett Square; Lincoln University, 1570 Baltimore Pike Chester County's Voices Underground returns with a fresh list of Juneteenth events this year. This year's lineup: Fashioning Freedom at Longwood Gardens: This celebration of Black fashion and its role in American freedom features talks by the host of The Invisible Seam podcast Kimberly Jenkins, Grant BLVD founder Dr. Kimberly McGlonn and more, followed by a Black-curated fashion show and a music performance by Madelyn Brené (June 16, 2023).Juneteenth at The Creamery: Honor Juneteenth with a night of food and wine, including a talk about barbecue cooking and human connection by pitmaster Russ Whitfield, a wine tasting with a curated selection of Black-owned wines, and a live music performance by the local band Group Therapy (June 17, 2023).Freedom's Table at Lincoln University: This barbecue feast — hosted by a prominent Black chef — celebrates freedom and reconciliation (June 18, 2023). Liberation Rising: Juneteenth Block Party at The African American Museum in Philadelphia When: Monday, June 19, 2023 | 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. This daylong block party outside of The African American Museum in Philadelphia features performances from legendary DJ Spinderella (of Salt-N-Pepa fame), a marketplace highlighting Black-owned businesses, food trucks, hands-on activities and free admission to the museum with online registration. Wine & Arts Festival at Cherry Street Pier When: Saturday, June 17, 2023 | 1-6 p.m. The Women's Empowerment Coalition is teaming up with the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation to host Philly's first-ever Juneteenth Wine & Arts Festival. Expect art exhibits, live musical performances, craft vendors and wine tastings by Black-owned wineries. General admission is free to the public, but you'll need to buy tickets to try the wine. Landmarks and Historical Attractions Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia by Phillip Goldsberry - Unsplash In addition to the events and celebrations planned during the annual holiday, Philadelphia is also home to significant landmarks and museums dedicated to African American history in the US. Some of these include The African American Museum in Philadelphia, Underground Railroad Museum at Belmont Mansion, Historic Fair Hill, Johnson House Historic Site, the Lest We Forget Museum of Slavery, and The President's House. Philadelphia has a long list of museums, historical landmarks, churches, art galleries and public spaces exploring Black history and culture. Many of the historic homes and museums do have special programming during the month, too. The historic Hatfield House in East Fairmount Park hosts an annual outdoor Juneteenth party with live jazz music, a DJ, games, giveaways and plenty of activities for kids. Stop by for water ice and pretzels or step inside the impressive house to see the new photo exhibit, Healing Through the Land: Black Faces in Green Spaces. Explore the lesser-known Black history of South Coventry — at the border of Chester County and Montgomery County — with two historic presentations examining the community roots of the Black ironworkers of Coventry and the preservation efforts of the Friends of the African Union Church congregation. The event is free to attend, but donations are welcome. Visit the National Constitution Center (free admission) on Juneteenth and enjoy special tours of the Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality exhibit, as well as additional programming highlighting Reconstruction-era freedom fighters like Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper and more. Free Juneteenth tickets also include access to the rest of the center's permanent offerings. Additionally, at the Historical Society of Philadelphia, visitors this year can get a crash course on Juneteenth and why we celebrate it with a community event and documentary film screening. Juneteenth: Exploring Freedom's Stories examines America's link between freedom and citizenship and, following the film, historians share stories about Juneteenth's recognition in Philly and discuss how local groups have expanded the narrative of Black freedom. Also on display: historic documents and prints from the Black community of pre-Civil War Philadelphia.