By Ricky Richardson, Contributing Writer

        (Los Angeles, Ca.) – The community came out and show up to attend Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell’s 2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration and Resource Fair. This fantastic event was opened to the entire community and offered services and access to COVID-19 vaccines, housing protection, immigrant rights and more. This Juneteenth event was the first of many celebrations held across Los Angeles County. Additional celebrations were held on Saturday and Sunday.

        Juneteenth marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people were freed. The event took place a full two and half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. On January 17, 2021, President Biden signed a bill for Juneteenth to officially become a federal holiday. 

Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell held the inaugural Juneteenth celebration and Resource Fair, Friday, June 18, 2021.

        The Juneteenth Celebration and Resource Fair was held on Friday, June 17, 2022, at the Ervin “Magic” Johnson Park, 12645 Wadsworth Avenue, Los Angeles, CA. 90059.

        Attendees enjoyed a fun filled, family-friendly day including live performances, fun activities, music, and good food, on a beautiful, sunny day in Southern California.

        Several thousand attendees participated in this year’s celebration as it returned to Ervin “Magic” Johnson Park, from 12:00pm-4:00pm, to highlight the historical impact of Juneteenth and to connect attendees with County and community services, empowering discussions, performances, activities, and more. 50 plus county and community organizations provided critical resources, including record expungement by the LA County Public Defender’s Office and the LA County Alternate Public Defender. Tenant protections by Stay Housed, Immigrant Rights by Los Angeles County Office of Immigrant Affairs, Mental Health Counseling by Telehealth Van and COVID-19 Vaccines by Los Angeles County Department of Health as well as job and internship application support.

        Etienne Maurice served as Master of Ceremony, as well as Yoga instructor for a calming Yoga session. DJ Moni (Vargas) was on point while on deck of the ones and twos, to the delight of the crowd and the performers.

        Street Poets, Inc. and Rhythm Arts Alliance got the show underway with original spoken word performance, followed by West African drumming and dancing.

Artfully United, Mike Norice (Photo by Ricky Richardson)

        Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell recognized and acknowledged elected officials from surrounding communities and welcomed the crowd to the 2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration and Resource Fair.

Nu-Bien Fit Jessica Monea and Victory Dance Company (Photo by Ricky Richardson)

        Nu-Bien Dance Fit, founded by Jessica Monea, accompanied by Roberto Navarro on percussion led members of Victory Dance Company in an inter-active, engaging exercise session.

        Back by popular demand, Victory Dance Company, directed by Ms. Robin showcased traditional West African dancing, coupled with more modern dance routines such as jazz and hip hop. Victory Dancers were accompanied by Charles Miller on percussions. Victory Dance Company is a community-based dance company that offers free dance lessons to kids in South LA.

        The Conga Kids revved it up with the infectious sounds of Salsa, enhanced with the contagious salsa dance movements. The dancers taught the receptive crowd some basic salsa dance steps.

        Phamily Steppers closed out the afternoon with entertaining dances as well as participatory dance lessons.

        Watts artist Mike Norice, Artfully United, known for commissioned mural ‘HOPE,’ and ‘BELIEVE.’ Mr. Norice did a live painting in keeping with the occasion entitled ‘FREEDOM.   

KBLA 1580 Talk Radio Tavis Smiley and Dominique DiPrima (Photo by Ricky Richardson)

        KBLA 1580 on air personalities Tavis Smiley and Dominique DiPrima was onsite for a meet and greet. KBLA 1580 successfully launched, June 19, 2021, onto the talk radio platform. Download the app so that you can listen in wherever you go on all of your devices. This is a good way to find out what everyone is talking about, no pun intended!

        Between dancing and exercising, one inevitable had to work up an appetite. Food trucks Trap Kitchen, Heritage Kitchen, Chefism-The Soul Feeder, Vegan Food Truck and DLos Kitchen served dome delicious cuisine for purchase. Love Ice quenched everyone’s thirst with shave ice.

        The 2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration and Resource Fair was a great success. Each year the celebration continues to thrive and served the community with various resources. 

        A shout out and a heartfelt thank you to the sponsors Amazon, Blue Shield Health Plan of California, Southern California Edison.

        Special thanks to the 50 plus County and Community organizations onsite to provide critical resources, assistance, information and engaging discussions with community members.