A celebration of heritage, healing, and hope in Wasco

Leaders throughout the community host Juneteenth
Posted at 5:00 PM, Jun 15, 2024

WASCO, Calif. (KERO) — Leaders throughout the Wasco community host their third annual Juneteenth event– “Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom and History.”

  • Celebrating freedom– together.
  • The Wasco community gathers at Barker Park to celebrate Juneteenth.
  • Juneteenth takes place on June 19.


Marcus Ballard, a local teacher and pastor, is one of the leaders that launched “Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom and History” in Wasco.

“Part of the celebration is remembering where we came from,” said Ballard.

The event brought families, friends, and strangers together through song, dance, and food.

“It’s Juneteenth, we’re out here celebrating the season, letting everybody know that we’re united and together,” said Darren Lewis, one of the vendors.

He says that Juneteenth is a celebration, it’s also dedicated to education and reflecting on history.

“As an educator, I want students to know, hey, don’t forget where we came from,” said Ballard. “Yes, we are here in 2024, we are free, but yet that came at a price. And in 1865, we were glad to see the freedom of many slaves in this country.”

Lewis tells me this event does just that for his kids.

“I want them to know what’s going on with the holiday, so everybody can know we can do this together,” said Lewis.

Although Juneteenth takes place on June 19, the community was eager to get a head start.

“It’s good for Wasco in general to see most people coming out and enjoying food, family, and friends,” said Erin Herring, another vendor at the event.

“This is for everyone, no matter if you’re black, white, hispanic, it doesn’t matter,” said Ballard. “Come out and just enjoy this day of food, fun, and freedom.”

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