June 24, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

What to Expect at This Year’s Juneteenth Celebration at Virginia Avenue Park

This year’s theme is “Rising Above Racism: A Legacy of Empowerment & Pride”

The city of Santa Monica, in collaboration with the Santa Monica Juneteenth Celebration Committee, Inc., will host the 32nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 15, from 2-7 p.m. at Virginia Avenue Park. 

The event will feature music, food, and community activities.

This year’s theme is “Rising Above Racism: A Legacy of Empowerment & Pride.” The Main Stage will showcase a lineup of musicians, including blues artist Sonny Green, local favorite Operation: BUTTERFLY, gospel group Lifeline Quartet, and soloist Miss Aliya. Soul singer Sy Smith, presented in partnership with BroadStage, will headline. DJ Sucafree will provide music sets, KJLH’s Arron “Bobo” Arnell will emcee, and Chazz Ross will lead a pre-show drumming performance.

Main Stage schedule:

  • 1:45 p.m.: Pre-show participatory drumming performance with Chazz Ross
  • 2 p.m.: Welcome by Santa Monica Juneteenth Celebration founder LaVerne Ross with soloist Miss Aliya performing the Black National Anthem
  • 2:20 p.m.: Gospel performance by Lifeline Quartet
  • 3 p.m.: Invocation by Interfaith Council and presentation of Juneteenth Proclamation to LaVerne Ross
  • 3:35 p.m.: R&B performance by Santa Monica’s own Nichelle Monroe with Operation: BUTTERFLY
  • 5 p.m.: Local blues artist Sonny Green
  • 6:20 p.m.: Sy Smith performing original and classic soul, jazz, folk, and gospel music, presented in partnership with BroadStage
  • 7 p.m.: Closing remarks by LaVerne Ross

The Community Stage will host panel discussions and spoken word artists. Participants can also enjoy a children’s craft area and community resource booths. A cultural arts marketplace will feature over a dozen vendors selling various items, including jewelry, clothing, and more. Vendors include Moondance Books, YM Jewels, Wanawake Wanawake Hats, Affirmation Effect, and Aingeel-Z Jewelry & Accessories.

Food will be available for purchase from Jon Que’s Smokeout barbeque, Wing Lord and the Patty Wagon food trucks, and desserts from C&L Catering.

Juneteenth, known as America’s second Independence Day, has been celebrated in Santa Monica since 1992, thanks to LaVerne Ross, who initiated the city’s commemoration of the holiday her family celebrated in Texas.

The Juneteenth celebration is produced in partnership with the Santa Monica Juneteenth Celebration Committee, Inc. For event details, visit 

santamonica.gov/places/parks/virginia-avenue-park.

in News, Upbeat
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