NewsCovering California


Push for statewide Juneteenth holiday

Posted at 5:39 PM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 20:39:10-04

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KERO) — In 2020 Santa Clara County became the first in California to make Juneteenth a county holiday. Now, as the holiday approaches leaders are hoping it creates statewide change.

Juneteenth is celebrated as the day enslaved people were emancipated in the United States. Honored now with a flag raised in San Jose for the first time this week.

Now new legislation calls on California to make Juneteenth not just a county but a state holiday.

“We had hoped at the time we did the county holiday, that it would be the kind of icebreaker, the kind of disruption that people have been waiting for for a long time. And that I think puts a healthy tension on government and society, you know, to make things right for everybody,” explained California state Senator Dave Cortese.

Until that time the flag flies high as a symbol of what can come next.

And this weekend Kern County is also recognizing Juneteenth with an event kicking off Friday in Southwest Bakersfield.

The NAACP is hosting a mixer at the Jazz Spot on Wible Road in honor of this day. The community can expect music, fun, and food. They will also hold a "best-dressed contest" in African attire.

It's free and begins on Friday night at 6 pm.

The community is also invited to the 7th Annual Juneteenth Celebration at Yokuts Park in Central Bakersfield. It's also presented by the local NAACP.

The free event is happening Saturday from 2 to 8 p.m.