Marsha Ambrosius & Rahsaan Patterson Headlined the 2nd Annual Long Beach Juneteenth Celebration (PHOTOs)

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Welcome signage Juneteenth celebration: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

*(Long Beach, CA) a large diverse, multicultural crowd, an estimated 9,000, attended the 2nd Annual Long Beach Juneteenth Celebration. The event, founded by Carl Kemp is fast becoming a premier and welcome addition to the entertainment and tourist core of the City of Long Beach.

Entrance to Long Beach Juneteenth Celebration: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Entrance to Long Beach Juneteenth Celebration: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

The festivities were held on Saturday, June 18, from 10:30am – 7:00pm at Rainbow Lagoon Park, in the City of Long Beach. The event was free, guests had to RSVP online for a ticket for entry. Music, food, step show, art, culture, and activations were the order of the day.

Rainbow Lagoon Signage: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Rainbow Lagoon Signage: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

A large blue and silver cake emblazoned with ‘Happy Birthday Long Beach’ was a fitting intro for my attendance at the Long Beach Juneteenth Celebration. It was a sign that I was in for a joyful, Juneteenth celebration. The cake sits outside of the Long Beach Terrace Theater. I can only imagine how nice the cake would look glowing at night enhanced by the lights of the fountain.

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Long Beach Decorative Cake: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Long Beach Decorative Cake: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

DJ JiJi Sweet greeted the crowd with an array of old school classic jams. Aundrae Russell, KJLH Radio, 102.3FM and Pastor Wayne Chaney, Antioch Church of Long Beach welcome the crowd to the joyous celebration of Juneteenth in Long Beach. Pastor Wayne Chaney gave Opening Prayer. Cyrus Payne, Cal State Long Beach student, led the crowd in singing the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

DJ JiJi Sweet: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
DJ JiJi Sweet: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Cyrus Payne: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Cyrus Payne: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Carl Kemp, Long Beach Juneteenth Founder greeted the audience and gave an overview of where the idea originated to produce the Long Beach Juneteenth Celebration and gave a brief history of Juneteenth. Mr. Kemp got the show underway way by honoring Ancestors during the Libation ceremony.

Pastor Wayne Chaney and Carl Kemp: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Pastor Wayne Chaney and Carl Kemp: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Carl Kemp conducts Libation Ceremony: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Carl Kemp conducts Libation Ceremony: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

There was a variety of vendors on-site with unique gift items. I’m glad that Long Beach Juneteenth allowed young entrepreneurs a booth. Keep on the lookout for this visionary young small business owner, Zuriah Causey at an upcoming festival near you, or check her out on Social Media platforms.

Zuriah Causey: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Zuriah Causey: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Dembrebrah West African Dance & Drum Ensemble showcased the energetic and vibrancy of West African drumming and dancing.

Dembrebrah Dance and Drum Ensemble: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Dembrebrah West African Dance and Drum Ensemble: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Antioch Church of Long Beach Mass Choir jubilantly sang Praises “How Great is Our God,” “I’ll Praise the Lord,” and “The Lord Our God is Wonderful.”

Antioch Church of Long Beach Mass Choir: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Antioch Church of Long Beach Mass Choir: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Dorsey High School Drumline greeted the crowd with a thunderous entrance and fabulous dance movements by the Drill Team. The talented students exited the stage to the roaring sound of applauses after their crowd-pleasing performance.

Dorsey High School Drumline: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Dorsey High School Drumline: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Dorsey High School Drill Team: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Dorsey High School Drill Team: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

The previous performance served as a perfect segue to the Black Greek Step Show performed by superbly by Fraternity and Sorority members from Cal State Long Beach.

Cal State Long Beach Sorority Sisters: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Cal State Long Beach Sorority Sisters: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

 

Cal State Long Beach Sorority Sisters: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Cal State Long Beach Sorority Sisters: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

 

Cal State Long Beach Fraternity Brothers: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Cal State Long Beach Fraternity Brothers: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Cal State Long Beach Fraternity Brothers: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Cal State Long Beach Fraternity Brothers: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

DJ Senay stepped on deck to play a timely soundtrack of tunes that kept the crowd moving, featuring members of the Long Beach Police Department.

DJ Senay: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
DJ Senay: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Long Beach Police Officers moving to the beats: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Long Beach Police Officers moving to the beats: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Rahsaan Patterson delved into his catalog of music to entertain the crowd with some of his popular songs “Sent from Heaven,” “Spend the Night,” “Where You Are,” and “Stop Breaking My Hearth” to name a few.

Rahsaan Patterson: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Rahsaan Patterson: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Philosophy, spoken word artist, along with vocalist Jessica Lange dropped two relevant and timely pieces in celebration of Juneteenth, followed by comedian Megann Jenkins.

Philosophy: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Philosophy: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Megann Jenkins: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Megann Jenkins: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Katalyst Jazz Collective had the crowd grooving to “Leimert Day,” “WhatsAname,” and “On My Way to You” from their debut CD Nine Lives.

Katalyst Jazz Collective: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Katalyst Jazz Collective: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Gee Mack and Asia Raye rocked the celebration with a set of classic R&B hits from back in the day. “I Can Love You” by Mary J. Blige, “Don’t Waste my Time” by Usher, “Before I Let Go” and “Happy Feelin’s” by Frankie Beverly & Maze.

Gee Mack (right) and Asia Raye: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Gee Mack (right) and Asia Raye: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Carl Kemp, Founder, Long Beach Juneteenth was joined onstage by elected officials and sponsors. Mr. Kemp acknowledged and thanked each one for their monetary support and resources. In attendance were Vice Mayor Rex Richardson (no relations), City Councilmembers Cindy Allen, Al Austin, Dr. Suely Soro, Mary Zendejas and Suzie Price, City Manager, Tom Modica, City Auditor Laura Doud, Steve Goodling, President and CEO- Long Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Wayne Chaney, Pastor Antioch Church of Long Beach and Eric Miller, Long Beach Unified School District.

Carl Kemp and Long Beach elected officials: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Carl Kemp and Long Beach elected officials: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Carl Kemp and Long Beach elected officials: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Carl Kemp and Long Beach elected officials: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Marsha Ambrosius brought down the house as she had the crowd vibing as her set closed out the celebration on a good note.

Marsha Ambrosius: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Marsha Ambrosius: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Visit www.lbjuneteenth.com and follow @lbjuneteenth on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and visit https://www.visitlongbeach.com so that you can stay in the loop for the exciting and inviting upcoming events in Long Beach, CA.



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