31st Annual Juneteenth Celebration 2023
Join the City of Santa Monica and the Juneteenth Celebration Committee, Inc. for an afternoon of music, unique food and craft vendors, and local resources to celebrate the 31st annual Juneteenth on Saturday, June 17th, from 1 to 7 pm in Virginia Avenue Park under the theme of Coming Together in Appreciation, Reconciliation, and Commemoration!
This year the main stage will feature a stellar lineup of musicians emceed by KJLH’s Arron "Bobo" Arnel and DJ Sucafree. Performers include:
- Local Blues artist Sonny Green who will kick off the event with a lively set of classic soul and blues.
- Chazz Ross will lead his traditional participatory drumming performance.
- Rising solo artist Victory Boyd will perform original and classic soul, jazz, folk and gospel music. Presented in partnership with BroadStage.
- Arise Roots, a prominent American roots reggae band rising up from the streets of Los Angeles.
- And to culminate the event, American all-female pop/R&B band KLYMAXX featuring Cheryl Cooley will perform their classic songs.
The event will also feature a CRJ Live Community Stage sponsored by Committee for Racial Justice, Childrens area, food vendors, community information booths and over 20 different vendors ranging from original artwork to African carvings to jewelry and more!
Background: Thirty-one years ago, LaVerne Ross approached the City to commemorate a holiday that her family celebrated in Texas. Juneteenth is known as America’s second Independence Day, the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. 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 that brings together Santa Monica’s Black community. In March 2022, Santa Monica City Council designated Juneteenth as an official City holiday, one year after President Biden acknowledged Juneteenth nationally.
Funding for the event comes from the City of Santa Monica and the generous support of Activision/Blizzard, LA County Department of Mental Health, Snap Inc., and BroadStage along with contributions from Juneteenth Celebration Committee, Inc., Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division, and Virginia Avenue Park.