Local Events to Celebrate Juneteenth in San Diego County

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San Diegans will have several opportunities to celebrate and observe Juneteenth -- the commemoration of the end of slavery -- with various local events and online viewings that will reflect and honor the holiday.

Juneteenth, a blending of the words June and nineteenth, honors June 19, 1865, the day enslaved people in Texas learned they were freed.


More information on the U.S. holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the country.

Why Juneteenth Is an American Holiday, Not Just a Black Holiday

What Is Juneteenth? The History Behind America's Other Independence Day

Although the date is widely celebrated and nearly all U.S. states observe the holiday, it is not considered a federal holiday. Calls to recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday have increased as topics like racial inequity, police brutality and the way Black history is taught in the American school system have been widely discussed as of late.

Here's a list of local celebrations San Diegans from all over the county can participate in, whether that be in person or virtually:

  • A sit-in/sing-in hosted by Artists for Black Lives will be held at Pepper Grove Park in Balboa Park. Art pieces will be displayed at the nearby Cabrillo Bridge. The event will begin at 4 p.m. on Friday and is free and open to the public;
  • In collaboration with the George L. Stevens Senior Resource Center, The Old Globe will present a Juneteenth performance on Friday as part of its fourth annual festival. A livestream will be available from noon to 4 p.m. on The Old Globe’s website, Facebook page and YouTube account;
  • The North San Diego County NAACP branch will host a virtual Juneteenth celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday that can be seen via their Facebook page;
  • A Juneteenth bonfire and healing circle in San Diego will have poetry read aloud and performances by artists. The event is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Friday at a location that will be disclosed following an RSVP. SD Melanin, Tunnelvision and Black Boy Joy are hosting the celebration;
  • Also hosted by SD Melanin, an event titled Kinfolk welcomes the community for a Juneteenth garden party and photoshoot. Attendants are asked to take a dish with them to the celebration as well as their own silverware due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday at a San Diego park that will be disclosed with an RSVP;
  • The Cooper Family Foundation will hold its annual Juneteenth celebration virtually this year due to the pandemic. Beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday, the online event will feature a focus on Black history, reflection on the present and discussion on the future. Details on how to tune in can be found here.
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