Press Release


67th Annual SF Juneteenth Celebration Commemorates the 151st Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation

“Yes to Us”

San Francisco, CA (March, 2016) – The San Francisco Juneteenth Committee invites you to attend the 66th Annual SF Juneteenth Festival and Honor Roll Celebration Parade. The Juneteenth Festival will take place in the historic Fillmore District, Fillmore St. between Sutter & Turk Streets, on Saturday, June 18, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

Juneteenth Celebration activities include:

Prince Tribute with special guests from the original band: Prince and the Revolution and  New Power Generation.

  • 5- stages of  live contemporary artists
  • Parade and SFUSD Honor Roll March with special appearances by Local Politicians and Community Leaders, Drill teams, Horse Groups, community organizations floats.
  • Health and Wellness Fair Free health screenings and healthy cooking demos
  • The Uhuru “Freedom” African Experience Village featuring African drumming, dance, traditional African food, traditional African clothing vendors.
  • Black Astronauts Exhibit
  • Traveling Black Inventions Museum
  • Diversity New Tech and New Space Fair- Including a build your own APP contest.
  • Fashion Show by Mario B. Presents.
  • Classic Car and Motor Cycle show.
  • 75 Arts & Crafts booths, community resource tables and a variety of food vendors.
  • Children’s activities including a Kids Zone with Live performances by Prescott Circus Theatre & Circus Bella, pony rides, petting zoo, face painting, and carnival rides.
  • Film screenings by the San Francisco Black Film Festival (2) location
  • 40th Anniversary of Root’s DVD give away and special Screening of unseen footage

This event is free and open to the public.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration among African Americans across the country commemorating the announcement of the end of slavery in the United States.  It has been an African American tradition since the late 19th century.  Economic and cultural forces caused a decline in Juneteenth celebrations beginning in the early 20th century.  The Depression forced many African Americans off farms and into the cities to find work.  In these urban environments, employers were less eager to grant leaves to celebrate this date.  July 4th was already established as an Independence Day Holiday, and a rise in patriotism among African Americans steered more toward this celebration.

The relationship between Juneteenth and the City of San Francisco dates back to 1951, Dr. Wesley Johnson Sr. invited the Bay Area’s African American community to celebrate a June 19th celebration at the Texas playhouse on Fillmore Street, a popular lounge he owned.  The first parade was led by Johnson and the former San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr.  At that first parade, they rode out on white horses, wearing Stetson cowboy hats.  The community businesses and residents enthusiastically supported that first Juneteenth celebration and it quickly become a much-anticipated date on the summer calendar.  Many people in the parade were proud and pleased to be involved in celebrating the freedom of African Americans in this country.

Today the historic San Francisco Juneteenth is one of the largest African American celebrations in California and its sole purpose is for historical awareness, building self-esteem with our youth, connecting organizations with the community and providing opportunity for African American vendors to market their business and showcase their craft.

The San Francisco Juneteenth Festival  Committee is committed  to continue the historical tradition of our ancestors by celebrating this holiday to nurture and facilitate the empowerment of our community through education, partnerships, and interaction with community resources that our committed to community enrichment.

For additional questions and inquiries related to Entertainment and becoming a Health Fair or Booth Vendor please contact:

Rachel Townsend, Event Coordinator
(510) 692-2514 (mobile)

For interview opportunities please contact:
Rev. Arnold Townsend,
SF Juneteenth Executive Director