Juneteenth celebrations held throughout Los Angeles County

Celebrations were held throughout Los Angeles County on Saturday to mark Juneteenth, the traditional commemoration date of the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.

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The Juneteenth: Freedom Day Celebration was held at Loma Alta Park in Altadena from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. It will include the 5K Freedom Walk around the park, a resource fair organized by the Therapeutic Play Foundation, Black Mental Health Task Force and Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and giveaways of boxed food items and baby items.

There will be opportunities to receive the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines. The female rap group JJ Fad will perform. Music will also be provided by DJ Arabian Prince.

Juneteenth Live will begin at 10 a.m. at Ted Watkins Memorial Park in Watts, with 50 local vendors, eight food trucks, a mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic and performances by local musicians and artists.

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A Juneteenth celebration was held at Sunland Park in Sunland from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. with speakers, performances and booths for activist groups.

The Aquarium of the Pacific will hold its inaugural Juneteenth celebration in a virtual format, with Baba the Storyteller discussing the history, significance of the day and its traditions of through storytelling music, and song. The celebration will be streamed on the Aquarium of the Pacific's Facebook page and YouTube channel beginning at 10 a.m.

A Juneteenth march, rally and caravan will begin at 11 a.m. at La Brea Avenue and Obama Boulevard.

A Juneteenth commemoration was held at Leimert Park Plaza from noon-8 p.m. including art, live music, salon discussions, food and dancing.

A Juneteenth Block Party will be held outside the Laugh Factory from noon-5 p.m. with comedians, live music, food, a DJ and special guests.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 19: Shannon Morton attends the Juneteenth Block Party at The Laugh Factory on June 19, 2021 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

A Juneteenth Community Rally will be held from 3-6 p.m. at Woodley Park in Van Nuys including games, giveaways, music and speakers.

Carson's Juneteenth Rhythm and Blues Virtual Celebration will feature performances by DW 3 and Greg Rose. It will be streamed beginning at 5:30 p.m. at carsonca.gov/Juneteenth and broadcast on Channel 35 for Spectrum cable subscribers and Channel 99 to AT&T subscribers in Carson. 

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Biden signs bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

A drive-through parade was held across Los Angeles. It began in Inglewood and will wind its way to Leimert Park. A newly vaccinated population now eager to get out and write a new chapter.

The Fountain Theatre's Juneteenth Celebration will begin at 7:30 p.m. and feature dancing with D.J. Earry Hall as well as special guests. Food and handcrafted items will be available for purchase.

Members of the nonprofit organization Deserving of Dignity will mark Juneteenth by passing out free feminine hygiene kits on Skid Row.

The kits will include underwear, toiletries, socks,  feminine wipes, tampons and Maxi Pads, said Desiree Edwards, a co-founder of the group formed by Black women to address the inadequate hygiene products available to the homeless female population.

The group will also be giving away bottled water, boxes of food and dental hygiene kits that include toothbrushes and toothpaste.

"A federal holiday doesn't provide dignity and all people, regardless of their housing status, are deserving of dignity," Edwards said.

"Women have their periods every month and if they're homeless they need period products. No woman should have to struggle to get Maxi Pads or tampons. And when you factor in that Black women have a higher rate of uterine fibroids, which cause prolonged menstrual cycles, it's that much more important to do what we're doing here in Skid Row."

In his Juneteenth proclamation, President Joe Biden said, "In its celebration of freedom, Juneteenth is a day that should be recognized by all Americans. And that is why I am proud to have consecrated Juneteenth as our newest national holiday.

"Juneteenth is a day of profound weight and power. A day in which we remember the moral stain and terrible toll of slavery on our country -- what I've long called America's original sin. A long legacy of systemic racism, inequality, and humanity. "But it is a day that also reminds us of our incredible capacity to heal, hope and emerge from our darkest moments with purpose and resolve."