31st Annual Juneteenth Celebration at Virginia Avenue Park
May 23, 2023 3:19 PM
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – The City of Santa Monica will host the 31st Annual Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 17, 2023, from 1 to 7 p.m. at Virginia Avenue Park. This year’s theme is Coming Together in Appreciation, Reconciliation, and Commemoration. 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 Main Stage will feature musicians including local Blues artist Sonny Green, rising solo artist Victory Boyd, reggae group Arise Roots, all-female R&B band KLYMAXX, and lively DJ sets by DJ Sucafree. KJLH's Arron "Bobo" Arnell will emcee and Chazz Ross will lead a participatory drumming performance.
Main Stage Line Up:
1:00 p.m. Local Blues artist Sonny Green
1:45 p.m. Participatory drumming performance with Chazz Ross
2:00 p.m. Invocation by Interfaith Council
2:30 p.m. Victory Boyd will perform original and classic soul, jazz, folk, and gospel music, presented in partnership with BroadStage
3:20 p.m. Presentations by Juneteenth Founder LaVerne Ross
4:15 p.m. Arise Roots, a local American roots reggae band
5:45 p.m. American all-female pop/R&B band KLYMAXX featuring Cheryl Cooley
6:45 p.m. Closing remarks by Juneteenth Founder La Verne Ross
In addition to the Main Stage musical performances, the festival will also include the CRJ Live Stage sponsored by Committee for Racial Justice with panel discussions with California Reparations Task Force members, Library Story Time, and Nubia Poetica’s 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. Marketplace vendors include Nitz by Natz, Divine Variations, YM Jewels, Thandi & Sapio African Arts, SD Fashions, I-Wear by Raqui, Sagedbeading, and more. Food will be available for purchase from John Que’s Smokeout barbeque, Wing Lord and the Patty Wagon food trucks, desserts from C&L Catering, and Juice It Up.
Known as America’s 2nd Independence Day, Juneteenth has been celebrated in Santa Monica since 1992 thanks to LaVerne Ross when she approached the City to commemorate the holiday that her family celebrated in Texas.
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.
Acting Public Information Officer