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Juneteenth Celebrations Coming!


La Verne Ross received a city proclamation from former Mayor Gleam Davis at a previous Juneteenth celebration.

The City of Santa Monica will host the 32nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 15,  from 3 p.m. 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 festival will also include the Community Stage featuring panel discussions and spoken word artists. Participants can also enjoy a children’s craft area and community resource booths. A cultural arts marketplace will feature over a dozen vendors selling a wide variety of cultural arts, jewelry, clothing, and more. Food will be available for purchase from Jon Que’s Smokeout barbeque, Wing Lord and the Patty Wagon food trucks, and desserts from C&L Catering. 

   

Known as America’s second Independence Day, Juneteenth has been celebrated in Santa Monica since 1992 thanks to LaVerne Ross. She had approached the city council to ask them to commemorate the holiday that her family has been celebrating in Texas.   

   

Juneteenth is an annual celebration commemorating the end of slavery after the Civil War. The first Juneteenth in Santa Monica was held in 1992 as a small observance. Over the years, thanks to LaVerne’s dedication and leadership, the event has grown into an important annual tribute. 

   

Juneteenth is produced in partnership with the Santa Monica Juneteenth Celebration Committee, Inc. For complete event details, visit santamonica.gov/places/parks/virginia-avenue-park

   

You can also celebrate on Sunday, June 16 on the grounds of the oldest African American Baptist Church in Santa Monica which will be transformed into a celebration of heritage, achievement, equity, culture, and fun! The event will take place from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church, 1502 20th Street. For more details, visit calvarysantamonica.org.

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