A parade of African-American cowboys from Oakland, Corvettes from around the bay, local youth associations and sports leagues and a host of others paraded through central Richmond Saturday in the city’s long-running annual Juneteenth festival. The parade was led by grand marshal Fred Jackson, a long-time community activist, and ended in Nicholl Park.
Thousands gathered to celebrate the holiday—which marks the effective end of slavery in Texas two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation—and generally have fun in the sun. Kids rode ponies supplied by the Oakland Black Cowboys Association, got their faces painted, slid down a giant slide and bounced in an inflatable bounce house. Meanwhile, teens and adults listened to live music on two stages and dug into ribs, hot dogs, funnel cakes and soul food sold by local vendors.
Richmond has put on its festival for over 20 years. “It’s gotten bigger and bigger and bigger,” said Richmond city councilmember Corky Boozé. “I just like the community coming out and working together.”