Los Angeles Marks Juneteenth With Leimert Park Rising Festival

Juneteenth celebration in Leimert Park area of Los Angeles. (Credit: YouTube)

People from across Southern California came together Saturday for the Leimert Park Rising: Juneteenth Commemoration.

The community festival in Leimert Park Village celebrates “Black freedom by honoring the ancestors and our community through art, music, food and education,” according to the event’s website.

The first Leimert Park Rising celebration took place in 2018. This year’s event features music on five stages — two for live music and three for DJs.

Related Story: Tavis Smiley Launching Radio Show for Black Audience on Progressive LA Station

The celebration kicked off at noon in Leimert Park Village, 4337 Degnan Blvd. The festival was free with an advance RSVP at leimertparkrising.com.

In honor of Juneteenth, Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thedomas hosted a grand reopening ceremony for the renovated Leimert Park Plaza at 11 a.m., just before the festival start.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day enslaved people in Texas learned about the Emancipation Proclamation marking the end of slavery in the state.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden declared June 19 a federal holiday.

“On Juneteenth, we recommit ourselves to the work of equity, equality, and justice. And, we celebrate the centuries of struggle, courage, and hope that have brought us to this time of progress and possibility,” Biden said in his White House proclamation making the holiday official. “I call upon the people of the United States to acknowledge and celebrate the end of the Civil War and the emancipation of Black Americans, and commit together to eradicate systemic racism that still undermines our founding ideals and collective prosperity.”