Sacramento’s annual Juneteenth Festival delights, educates crowds Saturday

Music, families and history filled Sacramento’s William Land Park Saturday for Sacramento’s annual Juneteenth Festival.”We’ve got plenty of folks out here enjoying the day and celebrating Juneteenth,” said Gary Simon, the executive director of Sacramento Juneteenth, Inc. “It’s important to continue to honor our ancestors.”The annual Sacramento Juneteenth Festival began Friday. On Saturday, families took in the sights and sounds while also remembering the historical significance of the Juneteenth holiday. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. June 19, 1865, the day Black people enslaved in Galveston, Texas, learned of their freedom from Union soldiers. This happened two months after the Confederacy had surrendered in the Civil War and more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. African Americans have been celebrating Juneteenth as their own Independence Day since the late 19th century, according to the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation. Last year, President Joe Biden signed a bill that officially made Juneteenth a federal holiday. Since the 19th falls on a Sunday, the federal holiday will fall on Monday this year.”People need to know about Juneteenth and why we celebrate it, really recognizing when people recognize that we were actually free as a people,” said Brian Cooper, who attended the event with his family. Cooper said he was glad to see so many people turn out for such a positive event. Vendors, as well as local and state agencies, set up booths. Representatives from the Greater Sacramento Urban League gave out employment and housing information, as well as COVID-19 testing kits. “We’re an organization that helps uplift and empower people of color and others throughout the Sacramento region and beyond now,” said Ronnie Cobb, of the organization. “It’s great to have that balance, let’s celebrate but let’s deal with reality, too. Let’s keep doing well.” Sacramento Juneteenth, Inc formed in 2001, and has been organizing Juneteenth celebrations since its formation. “It just gives my heart joy to see all of this,” said Janice Eaton, who traveled from Fairfield to attend Saturday’s festivities. A Juneteenth golf tournament is scheduled to take place Sunday.–The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Music, families and history filled Sacramento’s William Land Park Saturday for Sacramento’s annual Juneteenth Festival.

“We’ve got plenty of folks out here enjoying the day and celebrating Juneteenth,” said Gary Simon, the executive director of Sacramento Juneteenth, Inc. “It’s important to continue to honor our ancestors.”

The annual Sacramento Juneteenth Festival began Friday. On Saturday, families took in the sights and sounds while also remembering the historical significance of the Juneteenth holiday.

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. June 19, 1865, the day Black people enslaved in Galveston, Texas, learned of their freedom from Union soldiers. This happened two months after the Confederacy had surrendered in the Civil War and more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

African Americans have been celebrating Juneteenth as their own Independence Day since the late 19th century, according to the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation.

Last year, President Joe Biden signed a bill that officially made Juneteenth a federal holiday. Since the 19th falls on a Sunday, the federal holiday will fall on Monday this year.

“People need to know about Juneteenth and why we celebrate it, really recognizing when people recognize that we were actually free as a people,” said Brian Cooper, who attended the event with his family.

Cooper said he was glad to see so many people turn out for such a positive event.

Vendors, as well as local and state agencies, set up booths. Representatives from the Greater Sacramento Urban League gave out employment and housing information, as well as COVID-19 testing kits.

“We’re an organization that helps uplift and empower people of color and others throughout the Sacramento region and beyond now,” said Ronnie Cobb, of the organization. “It’s great to have that balance, let’s celebrate but let’s deal with reality, too. Let’s keep doing well.”

Sacramento Juneteenth, Inc formed in 2001, and has been organizing Juneteenth celebrations since its formation.

“It just gives my heart joy to see all of this,” said Janice Eaton, who traveled from Fairfield to attend Saturday’s festivities.

A Juneteenth golf tournament is scheduled to take place Sunday.

–The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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