The Marin City Juneteenth Festival is the largest annual Festival of Black African Arts and Culture in the North Bay Area. We choose to celebrate our culture on Juneteenth, a holiday that has been celebrated in Texas, and the United States for decades.
Long before the federal government declared Juneteenth a national holiday, June 19th had become synonymous with the end of legalized enslavement of Africans in the United States, even though the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on Jan 1,1863
The Marin City Festival is smaller than its Oakland and Berkley cousins, however it is large in its richness. Surrounded by beautiful nature, Rocky Graham Park welcomes families to slow down and relax.
Located in a formally 99% African-American small town, that has since become more diverse over the decades, many former residents return to the festival to unite with old family and friends, and to meet new ones. The atmosphere resembles a big family reunion.
A community block party in the park.
Many people of all races and cultures have fond memories of the original Jazz and Blues Festival of the 1980's, that ran for over 13 years. The "Festival" as it later became known, was established by Walter and Sharon Turner, Delano Dean, Melvin Atkins, Warren Domino and others.
The Marin City Juneteenth festival stands on the shoulders of that original festival committee, whose diligent work to bring culture and healing to Marin City and the rest of the Bay Area was life changing for many youth who grew up in the community. It introduced them to a larger international consciousness outside of their village. It was hugely successful for decades.
The MC Juneteenth Festival highlights local vendors and small businesses who come together in an African Marketplace to share knowledge, food, fashion, jewelry, art, books and more for all who attend an opportunity to experience African Culture, shop local and enjoy top-notch performances.
Supervised Child-Care is provided in a gated playground. Jumping tent, Face Painting, an arts creation table, and horse rides make for a magical experience for children, and a relaxing time for parents and family.
The event begins with a community prayer breakfast hosted by the Marin City Community Service District at the Marguerite Johnson Senior Center.
Followed by an Opening Ceremony where we honor & remember the ancestors, acknowledge the eldest and youngest person of African descent, sing the traditional United States of America Negro Anthem, and crown the community king and queen.
The Negro Anthem, Lift Every Voice & Sing was written when African people born in the United States were not considered citizens and who rather than bemoan created their own.
Out of respect, to those ancestors, we continue to honor their tradition of self reliance and fortitude in the face of adversity.
Our Theme for 2023 is"Ascension"
and Still We Rise.
MC Arts and Culture
Marin City Juneteenth Festival Committee 2023