June 16 celebrations swept across San Diego County on Friday and will continue this weekend as the nation officially celebrates the momentous occasion for the second time.
Juneteenth is the commemoration of the end of slavery specifically in Galveston, Texas, more than two years after the release of the Emancipation Proclamation. Enforcement of President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation generally relied on the advance of Union troops. A bill making June 16 a federal holiday was signed into law by President Joe Biden last year.
On Friday, San Diego Unified School District, San Diego County officials and officials in San Diego and Chula Vista raised the Juneteenth flag.
For the county, it was the first time the flag was raised at the county government center. Nathan Fletcher, Chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, hosted the event in partnership with the Office of Equity & Racial Justice, Young, Black, & N’ Business, the African American Association of County Employees, the Black American Political Association of California and the Cooper Family Foundation to support the launch of a series of activities taking place across the region. Mother Dorothy Williams of Mt. Zion Baptist Church sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and Vanessa Green of the county’s Office of Equity and Racial Justice recited an oral history of June 16th.
Several events are planned for the holiday across the county on Saturday.
At 7:30 am, the World Beat Cultural Center will host a Juneteenth Bike Tour of Mid-City/Downtown San Diego. People of all ages who are or are interested in cycling and are committed to diversity, equity and community building are welcome. The ride is organized and directed by Major Taylor Cycling Club San Diego. 2100 Park Blvd. in Balboa Park.
North San Diego County’s Juneteenth celebration kicks off in Oceanside at Pier View Way and Freeman Street with local artists and musicians, a kids’ zone, exercise clinics, vendor booths, free health screenings and a vaccination center. The event lasts from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m
At 10:00 am, the Community Actor’s Theater and Common Ground Theater will host an outdoor event at the Jacobs Center at Market Creek Plaza featuring history, music, dance, storytelling, reflection, vendors and physical art. The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation is located at 404 Euclid Ave.
The Cooper Family Foundation will host its annual Juneteenth celebration at Memorial Park, 2975 Ocean View Blvd., with the theme “Healing the Community.” The event includes educational programs, cultural performances, gospel music and more. The event starts at 11 am
At noon, the Old Globe Theater hosts its sixth annual Juneteenth celebration. Hosted by Gill Sotu, the event includes poetry and music by artists Def Sound, Reg E Gaines and Brittany Taylor; a choral performance by David Dredden and Undefeated; a June 16 storytelling by poet Alyce Smith Cooper; a comedy by Kree Rushing; and a presentation from The Old Globe entitled “Sucker Punched”. Lowell Davies Festival Theater Stage, 1363 Old Globe Way.
Also at 12pm, Soul Swapmeet celebrates June 16 with a showcase of products, services, food and passions from black-owned businesses. DJ sets are performed by DJ Drumma Girl, DJ Ash D and DJ D Nyce. The event features food vendors and a children’s playground. It takes place at 1640 Camino Del Rio North.
Sunday at 9 a.m., the San Diego County Surfrider Foundation will host their June 16th Community Barbecue featuring a Paddle for Peace, yoga and surfing lessons, a beach cleanup and food. La Jolla Shores, 8300 Camino Del Oro.
At noon, The La Mesa Juneteenth and Friends 2022 Celebration begins at MacArthur Park, 4975 Memorial Drive. The event features food, art, music, history, dance, crafts and family fun.
Finally, on Monday, all public offices, family resource centers, libraries and animal shelters in San Diego County will be closed in observance of the holiday.
County and state-run immunization and testing centers for COVID-19 are closed Sunday and Monday and resume normal hours on Tuesday. Some vaccination and testing clinics will be open.
Basic services such as law enforcement and animal control emergency response will continue during the holiday season.
County parks, campgrounds, and day parks in the neighborhood remain open with the exception of: Fallbrook Community Center, Lakeside Community Center, Spring Valley Community Center, Spring Valley Gymnasium, 4S Ranch Recreation Office (all parks are open), Valley Center Recreation Center, and municipal youth centers.
All district offices will resume their normal opening hours on Tuesday.