• Audience members browse a variety of stalls during the Juneteenth...

    Audience members browse a variety of stalls during the Juneteenth Celebration & Concert at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Photo by Raphael Richardson, Contributing Photographer)

  • People line up to get food from a variety of...

    People line up to get food from a variety of food trucks during the Juneteenth Celebration & Concert at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Photo by Raphael Richardson, Contributing Photographer)

  • Audience members listen to a band perform at the Juneteenth...

    Audience members listen to a band perform at the Juneteenth Celebration & Concert at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Photo by Raphael Richardson, Contributing Photographer)

  • Members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity from CSU San...

    Members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity from CSU San Bernardino perform a step show during the Juneteenth Celebration & Concert at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Photo by Raphael Richardson, Contributing Photographer)

  • A saxophonist from the Clayton C during the Juneteenth Celebration...

    A saxophonist from the Clayton C during the Juneteenth Celebration & Concert at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Photo by Raphael Richardson, Contributing Photographer)

  • Manhattan Beach Mayor Joseph Franklin gives a speech during the...

    Manhattan Beach Mayor Joseph Franklin gives a speech during the Juneteenth Celebration & Concert at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Photo by Raphael Richardson, Contributing Photographer)

  • A man takes a photo of a banner retelling the...

    A man takes a photo of a banner retelling the meaning behind Juneteenth during a celebration and concert for the day at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Photo by Raphael Richardson, Contributing Photographer)

  • Members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity from CSU San...

    Members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity from CSU San Bernardino perform a step show during the Juneteenth Celebration & Concert at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Photo by Raphael Richardson, Contributing Photographer)

  • Members of the Clayton Cameron Ensemble perform during the Juneteenth...

    Members of the Clayton Cameron Ensemble perform during the Juneteenth Celebration & Concert at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Photo by Raphael Richardson, Contributing Photographer)

  • (Photo by Raphael Richardson, Contributing Photographer)A saxophonist frorm the Clayton...

    (Photo by Raphael Richardson, Contributing Photographer)A saxophonist frorm the Clayton Cameron Ensemble plays a solo during the Juneteenth Celebration & Concert at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, June 22, 2024.

  • Drummer Clayton Cameron uses drum brushes as he performs during...

    Drummer Clayton Cameron uses drum brushes as he performs during the Juneteenth Celebration & Concert at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Photo by Raphael Richardson, Contributing Photographer)

  • Manhattan Beach Mayor Pro Tem Amy Howorth waves to the...

    Manhattan Beach Mayor Pro Tem Amy Howorth waves to the crowd during the Juneteenth Celebration & Concert at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Photo by Raphael Richardson, Contributing Photographer)

  • Clayton Cameron, right, performs with his band the Clayton Cameron...

    Clayton Cameron, right, performs with his band the Clayton Cameron Ensemble during the Juneteenth Celebration & Concert at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Photo by Raphael Richardson, Contributing Photographer)

  • Members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity from CSU San...

    Members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity from CSU San Bernardino perform a step show during the Juneteenth Celebration & Concert at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Photo by Raphael Richardson, Contributing Photographer)

  • Booths hosted a variety of goods, including painted artworks, during...

    Booths hosted a variety of goods, including painted artworks, during the Juneteenth Celebration & Concert at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Photo by Raphael Richardson, Contributing Photographer)

  • Clayton Cameron, right, performs with his band the Clayton Cameron...

    Clayton Cameron, right, performs with his band the Clayton Cameron Ensemble during the Juneteenth Celebration & Concert at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Photo by Raphael Richardson, Contributing Photographer)

People gathered at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach on Saturday afternoon for the city’s first Juneteenth Celebration and Concert.

The event, commemorating June 19, 1865, the day on which the last enslaved African American people learned of their freedom, included performances from Charis Reese and Band, the Clayton Cameron Ensemble, DJ Slaterrose and Positive Vibes,  as well as a step show by members of the historically Black fraternity Omega Psi Phi. There was also food and vendors.

On the actual holiday, the city held its first Juneteenth ceremony during which folks from the Manhattan Beach community and beyond, as well as those with connections to the site it took place at gave reverence to the day all formerly enslaved African American people’s freedom was set in stone.

Though the first hosted by the city, this wasn’t the first Juneteenth celebration in Manhattan Beach.

In 2020, activist Kavon Ward held a 50-person gathering at Bruce’s Beach Park to honor the day former enslaved people heard the two-year old news of their freedom and to educate people about the legacy of Willa and Charles Bruce who had once owned seaside land in Manhattan Beach.

The Bruces, a Black couple, in the 1920s, ran a seaside resort for African American people on two parcels below the land that later became the park. Manhattan Beach leadership at the time used eminent domain to take that land, as well as the homes of others, whose properties were on what’s now parkland.

That land was deeded back to descendants of the Bruce family who eventually sold it back to Los Angeles County.

In 2021, activist Allison Hales held a larger Juneteenth celebration at Bruce’s Beach Park. In 2022, a Juneteenth celebration was thwarted when the City Council reinforced a 2018 special events policy to deter large-scale events at small parks, including Bruce’s Beach Park.

In April 2023, Manhattan Beach City Council discussed sponsoring a Juneteenth celebration, but decided there wasn’t enough time to plan the event and pushed it off to the following year.