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Celebrate 150 Years of Emancipation at 23rd Annual Juneteenth Festival

Community Invited to Enjoy Music, Dance, BBQ & More on Saturday, June 20

June 9, 2015 5:01 AM

Celebrate 150 Years of Emancipation at 23rd Annual Juneteenth Festival

Santa Monica, CA – The City of Santa Monica will host the 23rd annual Juneteenth Celebration at Virginia Avenue Park on June 20 from 11 am to 4 pm. In honor of what has become America’s “2nd Independence Day,” actress Juanita Jennings will MC a day filled with music, dance, food, and fun. Performances on the main stage include Grammy-nominee Ray Brooks & the Blues Masters Band; Motown, R& B, and soul by Route 101; reggae by Island Rhythm Production; samba with Samba Samba Dance; and the participatory Lava Bai Drum Circle. Crafts, face painting, and games for kids will be found at the Kids’ Zone. A pop-up legacy museum will highlight the history behind the Juneteenth Celebration. The festival will also include a cultural arts marketplace, Texas-style BBQ, and other favorite foods.  

Find more information about this free community event online at and Virginia Avenue Park’s Facebook page (vapark), or call 310-458-8688.


Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the actual end of slavery in the United States. It dates back to June 19, 1865, when the last remaining slaves were freed in Texas – over a year and a half after Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth is recognized as an official holiday by 44 states across the US, reminding us of this critical moment in American history.

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