Celebrate Juneteenth in Long Beach
Now in its third year, the Long Beach Juneteenth Celebration has quickly become one of the city’s most anticipated and best attended events. Last year’s celebration attracted thousands to Rainbow Lagoon Park for the day-long celebration of Black history and culture, and this year’s event, featuring live music, dancing and family activities, figures to do the same.
What, Where, When …
Juneteenth is the national holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Long Beach Juneteenth Celebration founder and producer Carl Kemp has said he wants the event, held June 17 at Rainbow Lagoon Park (400 E. Shoreline Dr.), to be all about “joyfully celebrating Black culture, honoring our history, and creating a space for community unity.”
The celebration, which takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., is free for general admission, though organizers ask that guests get tickets by clicking here. Tickets for reserve seating cost $50 and can be purchased by clicking here.
With Performances By...
That joyful celebration will once again be provided by multiple entertainers and performers, with the celebration’s usual outstanding slate of talent headlined by platinum selling artist Kelly Price.
Before Price burst onto the scene with her album, Soul of a Woman, she was one of the most sought after backup singers in the music industry, performing with Mariah Carey on the iconic “All I Want For Christmas.” As a solo performer she would go on to garner nine Grammy Award nominations.
Also performing on stage will be the Greater Los Angeles Cathedral Choir, the award-winning community gospel ensemble known for its dynamic vocal talents and cutting edge interpretation of Christian teachings through music. Established in 2004, the choir has performed alongside such artists as Peabo Bryson, Stephanie Mills, Melissa Manchester, Jon Secada and Jennifer Holliday.
Kemp has said that the celebration’s intent with entertainment is to “take folks on a journey through Black culture with … dance, A-list R&B musicians and everything in-between.”
That will include other top flight singers and DJs as well as, once again, a Black Greek step show featuring local African American fraternities and sororities. A children’s village offers games, face painting, arts and crafts and activities for the whole family. Vendors will be offering all manner of merchandise and food, from entrees to desserts to drinks.
As in years past, the celebration will also present and honor the history of the Black experience. To give the community, Kemp said, “an up close and personal look at Black history while at the same time celebrating our potential.”
The oldest nationally celebrated observation of the ending of slavery in the United States, Juneteenth commemorates Union soldiers, on June 19, 1865, landing at Galveston, Texas and announcing the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This was two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, which had little impact in Texas due to the small number of Union troops located there to enforce it. However, with the surrender of Confederate forces in April, 1865, the additional Union troops in Texas were now able to overcome resistance to the Proclamation.
In 2021, President Joe Biden established June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day, a federal holiday, calling it “one of the greatest honors I will have as president.”
400 E. Shoreline Dr.
Long Beach, California 90802 Website
The Long Beach Juneteenth Celebration400 E. Shoreline Dr.
Long Beach, California 90802