Photo of 2022 Juneteenth Freedom Festival

Bremerton, WA: All are invited to Juneteenth Freedom Festival 2022, a Saturday, June 18th community celebration in Evergreen Park, preceded by a “People’s March.” This annual event commemorates Juneteenth, or June 19, 1865, the actual day that chattel slavery in the United States ended, over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. Kitsap community will gather to honor that historic step of liberation, to celebrate Black culture and excellence, and to recognize the work for equity and justice that still lies ahead, for Kitsap and beyond.

In celebration of the 20th year of this community-planned event, the weekend will kick-off the evening of Friday, June 17th with the inaugural “Black Brilliance Film Festival” at Historic Roxy Theatre, with a social at 5 p.m., followed by films from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.

A “People’s March” to Evergreen Park will open Saturday’s festivities. Community is invited to gather, beginning at 10 a.m., on 5th ST between Washington AVE and Pacific AVE (downtown Bremerton). There will be no announcements or program at this location. The march will step off at 10:15 a.m. Faith leaders, youth dancers and musicians, and a “Drumline For Freedom” will lead the march, followed immediately by a “Juneteenth Brothers” contingent to honor fathers, brothers, and sons on this Fathers’ Day weekend Youth musicians, as well as any drummers available for the “Drumline For Freedom,” should contact derickpolk@ymail.com by 5 p.m. Monday, June 13th. Community is invited to fall in behind these contingents to join the march. Any signage participants bring should be related to Juneteenth, a celebration of Black Liberation. This march is not a place for political campaigning or for messages unrelated to Juneteenth and Black Liberation. Let’s amplify these things as we march through the streets together to Juneteenth Freedom Festival!

Juneteenth Freedom Festival 2022 will offer entertainment and performances, activities for all ages, a resource and information fair, Black Wall Street, education and opportunities for reflection, and, as always, a free cookout! Attendance is free of charge. Performers, speakers, and others hoping to join the day’s program should contact tomvargas@msn.com by 5 p.m. Monday, June 13th.

Juneteenth Freedom Festival 2022 will also host the 7th Annual Latricia Mathis Walk 4 Sickle Cell. For information on this walk, contact Carol Riley-Wilkerson at lovedalord@hotmail.com.

Juneteenth Freedom Festival 2022 is a collaborative effort, organized by a local community planning crew, convened by Akuyea Karen Vargas, Director of Living Arts Cultural Heritage (a program of New Life Community Development Agency). The robust, accessible welcoming of Juneteenth Freedom Festival depends upon the organizing efforts of a community planning crew and on the financial support of local governmental jurisdictions, businesses, nonprofits, grassroots groups, and individuals. Donation checks or money orders can be made out to New Life CDA, 725 Park AVE, Bremerton, WA 98337. Please be sure to include LACH - Juneteenth Freedom Festival 2022in the memo line.

Directquestions to JuneteenthKitsap@gmail.com.

For updates, stay tuned to the online event listing at https://www.facebook.com/events/536727644582825/.