By Mike Kinney
Richmond came together to celebrate Juneteenth with its annual parade and festival on Saturday.
The Richmond Juneteenth Family Parade & Festival kicked off with a parade beginning at the Booker T. Anderson Center and ending at Nicholl Park. A festival followed at the park featuring live music, food, fun activities for kids and community resource booths.
The Rev. George Brown and Community Leader Myrtle Braxton were honorees of this year’s event, which brought thousands of community members together at Nicholl Park, according to organizers.
“Once again, the community has come together organize and conduct this dynamic parade and festival,” said Rev. Andre Shumake, community outreach director at Nystrom Elementary School. “We had many African-American youth participate in this year’s Juneteenth festivities, what it showed them, was people from all races can work together to bring peace and harmony to Richmond.
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865—two years after the Emancipation Proclamation—when Major General Gordon Granger and his Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, TX and announced the Civil War had ended and that slaves were free. For more information on this history, go here.
Sponsors of the 2023 Richmond Juneteenth Parade and Festival include AC Transit, BART, Chevron, City of Richmond, NBA, Life-Long Medical, Bank of the West, Mechanics Bank, Republic Services, Travis Credit Union, Sims Metal Management and the City of Richmond’s Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS).
Check out photos from today’s parade: