Richmond’s Juneteenth celebration canceled

The Juneteenth celebration includes a parade down Macdonald Avenue and festival at Nichol Park.

By Kathy Chouteau

Richmond’s Juneteenth Family Day Parade and Festival has been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement was made by Jerrold Hatchett, president of the Neighborhood Block Association (NBA), which organizes the enormously popular annual event.

“We are all facing unchartered waters and have been forced to make drastic changes to our lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After careful consideration and deliberation, NBA has made the difficult decision to postpone Juneteenth 2020,” said Hatchett in a statement.

“Although Juneteenth is a significant annual celebration, the health and safety of our community is just as important,” Hatchett added.

Juneteenth is an annual celebration that marks June 19, 1865—the date that Union soldiers arrived in Texas to announce the Civil War’s end and the abolishment of slavery. On average, approximately 20,000 people flock to Richmond from throughout the region to celebrate the historic day.

In addition to his announcement, Hatchett emphasized that “NBA remains optimistic that a Family Day celebration can take place in the latter part of 2020,” while also appealing for donations to support future events.

“These community events are only possible through generous contributions and donations from our business and community partners,” said Hatchett. “We encourage those that are financially able to make a contribution to Juneteenth…”

Donations to support Juneteenth can be made through the event’s fiscal agent: Richmond Police Activities League (RPAL) (501c3-#94-2826455), c/o NBA Juneteenth, 2200 Macdonald Ave., Richmond, CA 94801.

Those contributing are asked by Hatchett to specify that their donation is intended for Juneteenth.