Saturday is Juneteenth — a holiday that celebrates the emancipation of enslaved people in the U.S. — and numerous celebrations are planned online and in-person across Santa Barbara County.
To kick off the weekend events, the organization Juneteenth SB is hosting a virtual program at noon today, which will feature a conversation with United Hope and discuss youth learning tools during a student panel. For more information on the event, visit juneteenthsb.org.
In addition to today’s virtual program, locals are invited to view an in-person gallery entitled “Melanin” that showcases artwork from black artists. The gallery will be open from noon to 7 p.m. at 833 State St. from today through Sunday.
On Saturday, the celebration continues with various events scheduled across the county.
In Santa Barbara, Juneteenth SB will host a virtual Chocolate Baby Story Time from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., followed by an in-person black artisan market from noon to 4 p.m. at 833 State Street.
Then, later on in the day Saturday, Juneteenth SB will cap off this weekend’s celebrations with a virtual program from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. that will feature discussions about the holiday and various performances from local artists. For more information, visit juneteenthsb.org.
Celebrations are also planned in Santa Ynez Valley, where the founders of Madi’s Treasure Box will host an afternoon of live music, dancing and art demonstrations. The event will be held in Solvang Park and will take place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Performances by the Brazillian Cultural Arts Center of Santa Barbara featuring the Afro-Brazilian Troupe Banda Alegria will be showcased during Saturday’s event.
Attendance at the event is free, but guests can register for a meal from High on Hog Catering by visiting bit.ly/JuneteenthSYV. The meal will be served between 5:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. For more information on the event, visit juneteenthsyv.eventbrite.com.
In addition to celebrations on the South Coast, the community group Collective Cultures Creating Change will present a Juneteenth celebration at Ryon Park in Lompoc between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. The celebration will feature crafts, food trucks, games, dancing, music, a puppet show and even a mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
Event organizers suggest community members bring their own chairs and blankets to sit on at the park, which is located on Ocean Avenue and O Street in Lompoc.