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|Santa Monica Celebrates Juneteenth Saturday|
By Lookout Staff
June 12, 2012 -- Santa Monica will celebrate freedom, dignity and community pride at its 20th Annual Juneteenth Celebration Saturday at Virginia Avenue Park
The event, which will take place from noon to12 to 5 p.m., commemorates June 18, 1865, when Union forces arrived in Galveston, Texas to deliver the news to slaves that they had been freed through the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been signed nearly three years earlier.
Since Texas declared it a national holiday in 1890, Juneteenth, as the historic event came to be called, has become a national celebration and an official state observance in 41 states including California.
Saturday's celebration will feature live rhythm and blues, gospel and samba and a keynote speech by former Miss Ohio and sports broadcaster Jayne Kennedy.
Actress Juanita Jennings of Tyler Perry’s sitcom "Meet the Browns" will host the event, which includes performances by Grammy® -nominee Ray Brooks & the Blues Masters Band, the Blue Breeze Band, Kehinde Otis Johnson’s Stilt Walker Troupe, Samba Samba Dance, Tri-A Steppers Drum Line and the Lava Bai Drum Circle.
Once again, there will be a Children’s Zone offering crafts, face painting, and games, as well as a cultural arts market place and Texas-style BBQ, along with other favorite fare.
This year’s festival will honor Thelma Terry, who dedicated her life to the development of youth in Santa Monica.
For more information, visit www.smgov.net/vapark or call (310) 458-8688. The annual event is sponsored by the City of Santa Monica and the Juneteenth Celebration Committee, Inc.
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