2nd Annual Long Beach Juneteenth Celebration Hits Rainbow Lagoon Park – Press Telegram
Jazz and R&B, a stage performance by Cal State Long Beach’s Black Brotherhood and Sorority, and various children’s activities will help mark the city’s second annual June 19 celebration this weekend at Rainbow Lagoon Park.
The Long Beach Juneteenth Celebration, which kicked off in 2021 and is already sold out for Saturday, June 18, is among several other events that have sprung up regionally and nationally in recent years to commemorate the last slaves in the United States who learned of their freedom two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.
On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War was over and all slaves were free.
Juneteenth has been an important holiday for many in the black community for generations, but only recently has it gained more widespread recognition alongside public conversations about systemic racism.
Last year, the US government officially named Juneteenth a federal holiday. Long Beach is also observing the holiday, with city employees off Monday, June 20 — since Juneteenth falls on a Saturday this year.
The day-long celebration in Long Beach will include a performance by the Antioch Mass Gospel Choir, food trucks – including chicken and waffles and Cajun cuisine – and YMCA-supported children’s activities of Greater Long Beach.
“The Long Beach Juneteenth Celebration,” said festival founder and producer Carl Kemp, “is about joyfully celebrating black culture, honoring our history, and creating space for community unity.”
Community groups, non-profit organizations, churches and municipal departments will also participate in various activities throughout the festival.
Attendees will have the opportunity to visit an interactive exhibit of historical artifacts by Forgotten Images, a black history museum, to “learn more about the black experience in America and the origins of Juneteenth,” according to a statement. press release last month.
“Forgotten Images provides a unique opportunity for people to see and touch shackles and handcuffs, bullets and shackles, and various remnants of what it was like to be enslaved in America,” Kemp said in the statement. Press. “They give the community an intimate and personal look at black history while celebrating our potential.”
Hosting the Juneteenth event on the waterfront is special for him, Kemp said, because it’s a new experience to celebrate black culture in the heart of the city’s entertainment and tourism. Kemp said he thinks it will be one of the main events in Long Beach.
“We are thrilled to host the Long Beach Juneteenth Celebration on the waterfront this year,” said Steve Goodling, president and CEO of the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau. “This free event will bring our community together with music, dancing and activities for all ages.”
Tickets for the event are already sold out, but for more details and updates, visit lbjuneteenth.com and follow @lbjuneteenth on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.