Juneteenth takes off in Solano County with more events than ever before
By Nathalie Christian, June 16, 2023
It’s time to celebrate Juneteenth, and what better way than with this list of events taking place in Solano County. We are tremendously fortunate to bear witness to a long-overdue rise of awareness of and popularity for this once lesser-known, often mischaracterized holiday, which embraces the resilience, vibrancy, joy, artistry, and innovation of African and Black Americans in both our shared and unique histories and cultures.
Attending a local Juneteenth event is your opportunity to engage with true American history – both its traumas and triumphs – through live performances, educational exhibits, kids activities, and more. It’s also an opportunity to learn more about and support local Black-owned businesses as well as artists, poets, historians, performers, educators, nonprofits, faith-based organizations – wait, wait.
Y’know, the list of reasons to attend is too long to get into here, so let’s skip on ahead to the list. We are ridiculously lucky to have so events many to choose from, so get to choosing! And if you can attend more than one event, even better.
(Note: This list is mostly presented by date, then alphabetically by city, so no one can accuse me of favoritism.)
Saturday, June 17
The Solano County Black Chamber of Commerce presents the 2nd Annual Fairfield Juneteenth Celebration, a free event at Solano Annex (601 Texas Street, Fairfield, next to the old courthouse) from 11 am to 7 pm. It looks like the organizers waived the usual vendor fees so 100 vendors could be on hand to sell locally produced artisanal crafts, cosmetics, art, and more — and they ran out of room! So you can expect a lot of great opportunities to check out Black-owned businesses in Solano as well as live music, speakers, kids activities, and dancing. For more information, check out solanoblackchamber.com/event/2023-fairfield-juneteenth-celebration.
The African American Family Reunion Committee presents the 33rd Annual Vallejo Juneteenth Festival and Parade. The parade will start at 9 am on Broadway & Tennessee Street in Vallejo and last until 10:30 am, then you can head over to the festival at Barbara Kondylis Waterfront Green (301 Mare Island Way, Vallejo) from 11 am to 5 pm. This event attracts more than 75 to 100 vendors and exhibitors selling merchandise and food as well as live music to serve about 2,000 visitors. This is the longest-running Juneteenth celebrations in Solano County, and it benefits health care organizations that provide free services. For more information, check out vallejojuneteenth.com.
The Suisun City Family Block Party will host “Honoring the Past, Celebrating the Future: Juneteenth, The Pursuit of the American Dream,” and I’m putting it last in this list despite a promise of alphabetical order because the event is weekend long, happening on both Saturday, June 17 AND Sunday, June 19! Taking place from 10 am to 6 pm right on the Suisun Waterfront (520 Solano Street, Suisun City), the celebration includes live music performances, food and drinks, local artisans and vendors, as well as family-friendly activities. This event supports key initiatives in Suisun City including the Suisun City Youth Commission’s Youth Projects, Economic Development Events (through R.E.A.L. Fairfield) and NAACP Youth Scholarships. Check out juneteenth-suisun.com for more information.
Sunday, June 18
Benicia Black Lives Matter presents the 3rd Annual Juneteenth Festival in Benicia, taking place from 12 to 5 pm at Benicia’s Veterans Hall (1150 First Street, Benicia). It looks like there will be live music, food and drinks, kids activities, and vendors on hand to help Benicia celebrate. BBLM has always managed to strike the right balance of age-appropriate education and truth-telling with fun and activities, so this event would be a wonderful way to spend your Father’s Day and support BBLM’s community outreach and support efforts, which include backpack, food, and clothing giveaways. Check out beniciablacklivesmatter.com or their Facebook page for more information.
Monday, June 19
This one is a shout-out to my buddies in Benicia who may be able to join Benicia City Council Members, City staff, and community members in a flag-raising ceremony scheduled for 9:30 am on Monday and taking place in front of Benicia City Hall (250 East L Street, Benicia). It’s a short ceremony, and probably one of many flag-raising ceremonies scheduled around the county, but it’s really nice seeing that flag fly over the city I call home.
Note: This list was compiled using Google searches and a heavy lean on the grapevine. If I missed your event, please let me know ASAP and I will update this list to help promote it. I apologize in advance if I missed you and hope to include you as soon as you send me your information.