Celebrations of Juneteenth continue Sunday and Monday across San Diego County as the U.S. marks the occasion as a federal holiday for just the second time.
At 9 a.m. Sunday, the Surfrider Foundation of San Diego County will host its Juneteenth community barbecue with a “Paddle for Peace,” yoga and surf lessons, a beach cleanup and food. La Jolla Shores, 8300 Camino Del Oro.
At noon, The La Mesa Juneteenth and Friends 2022 celebration will kick off at MacArthur Park, 4975 Memorial Drive. The event will feature food, art, music, history, dance, crafts and family fun.
Juneteenth is the commemoration of the end of slavery, specifically in Galveston, Texas — more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863. Enforcement of President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation generally relied on the advance of Union troops, and word did not reach Galveston until 1865.
A bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday was signed into law last year by President Joe Biden. The official day is June 19.
On Friday, officials in San Diego County, San Diego and Chula Vista raised the Juneteenth flag.
Rev. Shane Harris, president of the People’s Association of Justice Advocates, joined leaders of the San Diego Unified School District in raising the flag at the district’s headquarters.
“Our county and country commemorates Juneteenth this weekend. It is an opportunity to celebrate freedom, reflect on a critical part of American history and the ongoing challenges of Black people in America and recommit ourselves to rooting out the systemic racism that continues to plague our society,” Harris said.
“America must pay its debt to Black Americans by delivering on some form of reparations.”
For the county, it was the first time the flag has been raised at the County Administration Center. San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher hosted the event in partnership with the Office of Equity & Racial Justice, Young, Black, & N’ Business, the African American Association of County Employees, Black American Political Association of California and The Cooper Family Foundation to help kick-off 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 Juneteenth.
Multiple events commemorations for the holiday were held around the county Saturday.
And on Monday, all public San Diego County offices, family resource centers, libraries and animal shelters will be closed in observance of the holiday.
County- and state-operated COVID-19 vaccination and testing sites will be closed Sunday and Monday and will resume normal hours Tuesday. Some vaccination and testing clinics will be open.
Essential services such as law enforcement and emergency animal control response will continue through the holiday.
County parks, campgrounds and neighborhood day-use parks will remain open, except for: Fallbrook Community Center, Lakeside Community Center, Spring Valley Community Center, Spring Valley Gymnasium, 4S Ranch Recreation Office (all parks will be open), Valley Center Recreation Center and community teen centers.
All county offices will resume normal business hours Tuesday.
–City News Service