Music, Art Exhibits and Block Parties: How to Celebrate Juneteenth | Things to do in San Diego

Saturday June 18

Juneteenth: a summer celebration of culture

The Jacobs Center, in partnership with the Community Actors Theater and the Common Ground Theater, is offering a free outdoor theater and history event. The event will feature a lineup of dance, music, storytelling and more, including performances by Devon Stallion and J’Rayl. There will also be food trucks and other vendors, as well as visual arts. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. at the Jacobs Center in Market Street Plaza.

Axis: Feast of June 16

Presented in conjunction with the George L. Stevens Senior Center, The Old Globe hosts Axis: Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 18 at noon in its outdoor theater. The event will feature poetry, music, storytelling and comedy from artists including Alyce Smith Cooper, Def Sound, David Dredden and the Undefeated and Brittany Taylor. Admission is free for attendees, but you must register online.

The Cooper Family Foundation Celebration

The nonprofit Cooper Family Foundation has held its June 19th celebration in San Diego every year for more than 50 years. The event, which takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., highlights its importance with a community-focused day filled with food, entertainment, dancing and history. This year’s free event will take place at Memorial Park, featuring live music from headliners Con Funk Shun, as well as gospel, jazz, cultural performances and educational resources. The event will also be streamed live on Facebook for those unable to attend in person.

North San Diego County NAACP June 19th Celebration

The North County Chapter of the North Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is hosting a day of celebration in Oceanside at Pier View Way and North Freeman Street. The event starts at 10 a.m. and features live entertainment, local art and music, a Kidz Zone, free health screenings, a vaccination station, and food and drink vendors. The event is free for all.


Sunday June 19

June 19 unit market

On Sunday, the World Beat Cultural Center will unveil Paths to freedom, a new traveling exhibit that connects the history between the United States and Mexico with the Underground Railroad. The event will also feature keynote speakers Jordan McGowan and Dr. Starla Lewis as well as an outdoor market at the Centro Cultural de la Raza, with food, vendors and speakers. The event will begin at noon, and the Paths to freedom preview goes from 1pm to 4pm

La Mesa Juneteenth and Friends Festival

The Mesa hosts its inaugural Juneteenth festival Sunday at MacArthur Park. The event is free and will feature food, music, art, dance and crafts, with participation from educators, writers, civic and religious leaders. Performances will also include music from the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Choir. The festivities begin at noon and end at 4 p.m.

June 16 celebration 5K

Fit, Black and Educated, a nonprofit organization that helps provide black communities with tools to promote better physical health, is hosting its third annual 5K run/walk/bike event on June 16. The course begins at Chollas Lake Park, and all participants will receive a drawstring bag and a finisher medal, as well as the first 50 participants will receive a shirt. The race starts at 7:00 a.m. and ends at 11:00 a.m. and costs $45 (plus fees) to register. All proceeds will go to Fit, Black and Educated.

June 19 neighborhood party

SD Melanin is bringing back its Juneteenth Block Party this year, held at the Quartyard from 3-8 p.m. on Sundays. The event will feature music, food, vendors and “major vibes”. Music will be provided by DJ Prodigee and Mister Hek, as well as hip-hop artist ThaSpeakerBoxx. Tickets for the event are $25 and attendance is limited to those 21 and older.

William E. Bennett