Concord Mayor Edi Birsan enjoyed a free haircut from Urban Barber College at Sunday’s Juneteenth celebration. (Tamara Steiner photo)
Tamara Steiner photo.

CONCORD, CA (June 23, 2024) — Concord’s Todos Santos Plaza hosted the city’s Juneteenth celebration Sunday while Pleasant Hill held its own event last Wednesday.

Sunday’s event was organized by the Concord Communities Alliance (CCA) along with local leaders and business owners. The event focused on the theme of freedom, culture, and community.

Dr. Jag Lathan served as master of ceremonies. She has over two decades of teaching and leadership experience and is the founder and CEO of New Generation Equity. She’s also a newly elected board member of the Antioch Unified School District.

Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the U.S. It highlights the ongoing struggle for equality and justice and celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the Black community.

The Essence Dance Club from San Leandro joined the entertainment along with spoken word artists and musicians. Urban Barber College provided free haircuts, and even gave one to Concord Mayor Edi Birsan.

Those looking for some good food enjoyed a great selection including seafood, jambalaya, and comfort food. A majority of the vendors and entertainment were by Black-owned businesses.

The CCA, a volunteer-based organization dedicated to fostering community and promoting civic engagement, proudly hosted Concord’s event. Support from sponsors like NAMI Contra Costa and John Muir Health helped make the celebration possible.

Pleasant Hill

Photo courtesy Pleasant Hill Recreation and Parks District.

Meanwhile, Pleasant Hill had their Juneteenth event on Wed. June 19.

Visitors enjoyed good food from Off the Grid food trucks. Princess Ariel (from the live-action Little Mermaid) paid a visit and attendees enjoyed high-energy fun with from Unique Derique and Metropolis Dance Complex. From Africa to the Caribbean & Beyond provided a thrilling drum presentation.

As evening fell, the West African Highlife Band took the stage to round out the festival.