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Here's how Long Beach will celebrate Juneteenth this year

Festivities throughout the city will highlight the Black community's rich history and vibrant spirit.

Here's how Long Beach will celebrate Juneteenth this year
Long Beach residents celebrating Juneteenth in 2023. Photo by Atira Rodriguez.

The Emancipation Proclamation may have formally ended slavery on Jan. 1, 1863, but for the enslaved people of Texas, freedom didn't come until June 19, 1865 — more than two months after the Civil War's end. This historical moment is commemorated every year as Juneteenth, a day of celebration for the Black community, marking their culture, achievements, and pride.

Also known as Black Independence Day or Freedom Day, Juneteenth festivities highlight the rich history and vibrant spirit of the Black community. In Long Beach, the annual Juneteenth Celebration at Rainbow Lagoon Park has become a staple event, renowned for its lively atmosphere, music, vendors, and delicious food.

This year's event, set for Saturday, June 15, promises to be another memorable occasion. Featuring a headline performance by Anderson .Paak, the celebration has already sold out. Be bold and bring blankets, chairs, friends, and food to enjoy the music from the nearby Duck Pond.

There are several exciting options for those seeking alternative ways to celebrate this weekend. Ra Yoga is offering a free, non-heated yoga class designed to enhance strength, flexibility, and endurance. The session will be followed by a complimentary BBQ, drinks, and an open mic, fostering a sense of community and wellness. Interested participants can confirm their reservation here.

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On June 19, the Aquarium of the Pacific will host its annual Juneteenth celebration from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. This event will feature music, storytelling, and other activities that highlight African American traditions. You can purchase your tickets for the event here. For those who cannot attend in person, the celebration will be live-streamed on the Aquarium's YouTube page.

Wednesday evening JAH FAITH and the Family Tree Band will give a special Juneteenth performance at Shoreline Village. The event is free, no outside food or drinks are allowed and guests should be sure to bring a chair.  The concert will take place at 429 Shoreline Village Drive and the festivities run 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Juneteenth celebrations will close out on June 22, at King Park. The all-day event runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, located at 1950 Lemon Ave. The day will include cultural performances, music, food, and speakers highlighting the journey toward freedom and equality.

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