Juneteenth Celebrations in San Diego

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Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday. The name is a combination of “June” and “19th”⁠—a significant day in history when in 1865 federal troops arrived in Galveston, TX to ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The holiday was historically celebrated with praying, singing, and even some pilgrimaging back to Galveston. Nowadays the celebrations include backyard BBQs, parades, and fireworks. Read on for some ideas on how to celebrate our newest federal holiday with your kids in San Diego. Also, check out our article for places to visit this summer to learn more about black history. 

North County NAACP Celebration

The North County NAACP is hosting a free to the public Juneteenth celebration. This event will highlight the positive changes that have happened in the last 159 years since the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the importance of education, contributions, and achievements. The festival will include marketplace vendors, live entertainment, games, face painting, and more! 

When: June 18 from 10 am -5 pm
Where: Downtown Oceanside next to the Civic Center on Pier View Way and Ditmar Street
Online: nsdcnaacp.com

The Cooper Family Foundation Celebration

For the past 50 years, The Cooper family has hosted a Juneteenth celebration in honor of their patriarch Sidney Cooper Sr. whose vision was to provide a free educational and culturally enriched event to the community. This year the festival will host its first bike rodeo, where kids can bring or borrow a bike and participate in an obstacle course. Also included at the event are live gospel and jazz music, African drumming and dancing, food trucks, and a kids zone.

When: June 18 from 11:00 am - 6:30 pm (Bike Rodeo is from 12 pm - 3 pm)
Where: Memorial Community Park (2975 Oceanview Blvd. San Diego)
Online: facebook.com/The-Cooper-Family-Foundation

Juneteenth Wellness Festival

The Juneteenth Wellness Festival highlights black-owned businesses in a day of celebration and healing while sharing creativity and fostering togetherness. All ages are welcome at this event which will include wellness vendors, plant-based food, and youth fitness instruction. 

When: June 19 from 10 am- 8 pm
Where: Intercontinental Hotel, 901 Bayfront Ct., San Diego
Online: junteenthwellnessfest.com

Juneteenth Movie Night

Artists 4 Black Lives San Diego is celebrating Black Media by hosting a movie night. The double-feature family-friendly movies will begin with Cinderella featuring Brandy and then Marvel's Black Panther. Popcorn is included with the price of admission, and candy and drinks will also be available. Tickets are $10 for the two movies, plus popcorn. Kids two and under are free.

When: June 18 from 2 pm- 6 pm (Family Time)
Where: The Jazz Lounge, 6818 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego
Online: eventbrite.com/juneteenthmovienightickets

La Mesa Juneteenth Celebration

La Mesa Juneteenth and Friends will host their inaugural Juneteenth festival which will be a celebration of life, liberty, and community. The event will include food, live music, entertainment from the MLK choir, a step show, and lots of family fun including a bounce house and crafts.

When: June 19 from 12 pm - 4 pm
Where: MacArthur Park, 4975 Memorial Drive, La Mesa
Online: lamesajuneteethandfriends.com

Old Globe's Juneteenth Celebration

Visit the Old Globe's outdoor theatre for a free Juneteenth Celebration in collaboration with the George L. Stevens Senior Center! Hosted by Gill Sotu, this event’s lineup includes poetry and music by performers Def Sound, Reg E Gaines, and Brittany Taylor; a choir performance by David Dredden and Undefeated; a Juneteenth storytelling by poet Alyce Smith Cooper; a comedy set by Kree Rushing; and a presentation by The Old Globe—all sharing performance pieces inspired by the annual holiday. Although offered for free, tickets are required as this is a general admission event.

Saturday, June 18 from noon to 2:00 p.m. 
Online: theoldglobe.org

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