Jerrold Hatchett, Richmond Juneteenth Committee President (Center) proudly holds City of Richmond Proclamation honoring Juneteenth 2013 with colleague Virgil Weekes (left) and Consultant Uche J. Uwahemu of Cal Bay Consulting Group (right) at City Hall.
By Carla Thomas
West Contra Costa County will celebrate the Juneteenth Family Day Parade and Festival in Richmond on Saturday, June 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The parade begins at 10 a.m. on Cutting Boulevard and Marina Way South and ends at Nicholl Park at 31st and MacDonald. The festival will be held at Nicholl Park from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The parade will feature Irma Anderson, former mayor of Richmond, the Wells Fargo historic stagecoach, African American horse riders and the Vallejo Corvette Club.
Two stages of entertainment will feature hip-hop, gospel, blues and R&B with live performances by Lakeside.
“This is our 10th year. “We began with 250 people a decade ago, and last year we had 20,000 (people) – we want this to be the largest celebration ever,” said Richmond Juneteenth Committee President Jerrold Hatchett.
Juneteenth is the oldest celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.
The announcement came two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official Jan. 1, 1863.
“Juneteenth is a very important part of our history. We really appreciate the City of Richmond, Chevron, Sims Metal Management and Lifelong Medical Care for their support,” said Hatchett. “Next year, we plan to bring together all of West Contra Costa County to celebrate.”
Consultant Uche J. Uwahemu of Cal Bay Consulting Group says he has worked on numerous projects in the Bay Area and throughout the country. “We really want to bring the businesses together and encourage their participation and sponsorship so this event can continue to be a vibrant and robust celebration.”
“Spaces for vending and entering the parade are filling up fast – we want people to register as soon as possible,” said Hatchett.
Joey D. Smith, a Juneteenth Committee volunteer, says she has been very involved in Richmond community events. “I’m originally from Chicago, but anything that deals with uplifting the community, I like to be involved in, and when Mr. Hatchett asks for my participation, he can count on my support.”
Vendor applications, parade entry forms, the parade map and the history of Juneteenth are available at www.richmondcajuneteenth.org or (510) 620-6516.