Concerts & Events

San Jose Juneteenth 2015

Juneteenth is the oldest celebration of the abolishment of slavery in the United States. Most recently it’s celebrated in a festival-like manner, where people celebrate black culture, with performances, vendors selling clothes, jewelry, food, non-profit organization giving out information, and now even service providers offering different services for the attendee’s at the event.
I try to make it out to several different Juneteenth celebrations, but this year I only made it to one, and that was the San Jose Juneteenth festival. Often this celebration is fun and has several people attending, but this year seemed a little off.
The celebration was at a new park this year. This park was bigger than the park it is normally at, and I think it worked against the organizers. They had Keke Wyatt perform and maybe anticipated a larger crowd, but it seemed like not very many people attended the celebration this year.
The event began in the late morning, I arrived around noon and got lost. I initially went to the original park, where another festival was taking place, and so an old family friend who pointed me in the direction of Juneteenth. I finally made it to the park, after getting lost on my journey. I made it in the gate, and it was hottttttttt, I probably guzzled down a gallon of water as the day progressed.
As soon as I got in the park, I had to feed my daughter and myself. I was looking for a #PointFriendly option and noticed, the food options were very few. There was a fried food vendor (chicken, fish, & fries), a Jamaican food vendor, and a sweets vendor. I was hoping for BBQ but settled for Jamaican. I got the Jerk chicken, which was grilled, with plantain, and rice and peas! It was very tasty and filling, and the #PointFriendly option.
After getting my food, I walked around to check out all the vendors. I supported all the vendors by purchasing something from their booth including books, t-shirts, and jewelry. I also stopped by the PG&E booth and the Comcast service booth. Though I didn’t need the service that PG&E or Comcast was giving away, I went by to hear their sales pitch. After checking out the vendors and getting food, we spent the majority of our day sitting with my dear friend at her booth. She was a vendor at the event! She had a prime location booth right near the front of the entrance. Well at least I thought it was the prime location, but I noticed that a lot of people opted out of supporting the vendors, not sure why, but I would assume because they had to pay an admission fee, they decided to just eat, socialize and watch the show.
Keke Wyatt’s performance was mediocre at best. Don’t get me wrong, that woman can SANG, but she kept giving excuses and talking in the middle of the song. She was shooting for her upcoming reality show, and maybe she was directing as she was performing, but I was disappointed in her performance and left in the middle.
Overall, I’m glad I was able to support at least 1 Juneteenth celebration this year, but I wish I would have gone to another. This year’s SJ Juneteenth seemed like a waste of time, energy, and money.

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