The Valley of the Sun Juneteenth Celebration is committed to the preservation of the historic contributions of African Americans by promoting and cultivating knowledge and appreciation of African American history and culture.
Celebrating Juneteenth has been a Phoenix tradition since 1957.
The Valley of the Sun Juneteenth Celebration was formed in 2005 after the historic event was moved to the month of February by the City of Phoenix to be included as a part Black History Month celebration. The VOS Juneteenth committee returned the event to its original month to offer this one day diverse celebration of African-American culture and celebration of freedom and liberty.
ABOUT THE CELEBRATION
The free event features fun for the entire family. The event features local known musical performers mixed with community groups and schools. Other highlights include live entertainment, free health screenings, educational workshops, youth essay contest, childrenʼs activities, ethnic arts and crafts, vendors, games and the finest authentic soul food.
PURPOSE OF THE CELEBRATION
A cityʼs quality of life is not measured by wide streets and shopping malls. It needs community events that bring people together in celebration.
This event is a celebration of the resilience of the African American people. The celebration has come to symbolize for many African Americans what the Fourth of July symbolizes for all Americans... freedom. Juneteenth is the oldest known event celebrating the ending of the unique institution referred to as “slavery” and beginning of what African Americans called Black Independence Day. Juneteenth today celebrates African-American freedom while encouraging self-development and respect for all cultures. Special events like this impact the quality of life for all of Phoenixʼs citizenʼs young or old or in between.
WHY THE MOVE?
The Valley of the Sun Juneteenth celebration had nine great years of attendance at South Mountain Community College. But for Eastlake Park’s 100th anniversary in 2014, it was very fitting to return to tradition. In recent years Eastlake Park Community Center has been revitalized offering limitless possibilities in a beautiful corner of the city. This Central City location has been a part of African American community since 1914, at times offering the only gathering location for Black families. Now, home to African dance lessons, ballet classes, youth sports and community gatherings, the facility has help spark community activities for local school age children to nonprofit organizations. Juneteenth will be at its best, while attendees will have easy walking distance by taking advantage of the city’s metro light rail.