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Effervescent Juneteenth Festival Returns to S. Oregon Coast's Coos Bay

Published 06/03/22 at 4:55 AM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Effervescent Juneteenth Festival Returns to S. Oregon Coast's Coos Bay

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(Coos Bay, Oregon) – One part of the southern Oregon coast is about to whoop it up in style. (Coos Bay's Cape Arago Lighthouse, courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast)

Coos Bay's Coos History Museum will be putting on the second annual Juneteenth Celebration on June 18 and 19, with a special talk held on June 14. It's going to be a great party with outstanding music, but also a chance to learn new things, watch some history happen, and honor a special day that memorializes the freeing of black slaves in the U.S.

The Coos History Museum will put on this festival in partnership with the Juneteenth Celebration Committee of Coos County.

Juneteenth is also known as Jubilee Day or Freedom Day, the oldest national celebration that marks the end of slavery in the U.S. It's been commemorated every year since June 19, 1865, when the last slaves in the country found out they were free. It happened in Galveston, Texas, two years after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. Now, it's observed all over the United States.

It's a free weekend event with a variety of activities.

There's a kind of pre-celebration in the form of the museum's Tuesday Talk on June 14, on the subject of how white people can become more understanding about black America's experiences.

Then on June 18, the parties begin with some special foods and programs of music and dance by various performers, and the dedication of a southern Oregon coast historic site.

June 19 brings more music and food, as well as arts and crafts.

On both days, festivities run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It all happens at the Coos History Museum, 1210 N. Front Street. Coos Bay, Oregon. 541-756-6320. https://cooshistory.org/juneteenth-celebration/

Getting Deeper into the Event


June 14. The Tuesday Talk is a discussion hosted by Oregon Humanities Community Conversation's Emily Drew on the subject of “ White People Helping Each Other to Understand and Interrupt Racism.” 7 p.m. Registration required. https://cooshistory.org/juneteenth-celebration/

June 18

Juneteenth Food Demonstration. You'll get to watch, taste, and learn about some delicious foods created by Jamar Ruff from Coos Head Food Co-Op and Chef Jardin Kazaar from Black Market Gourmet. They'll be something most people haven't had: traditional Juneteenth dishes.

Beaver Hill Mine Historical Marker Dedication. A new marker will be placed at Beaver Hill Mine, and you'll be able to learn about the unique historic nature of coal mining in Oregon and the south coast, and about the diversity of miners at the site. It happens in Coquille.

Music on the Plaza. Take in the acoustic jazzy and soulful duo of Allison Scull and Victor Martin featuring guitar, saxophone, and vocals in a fusion of jazz, folk, blues, and a little funk. This will include some of their newly released music and title track called “Entitled Nation of Jubilation.”

Guinean Dance Master Class & Drumming Demonstration. Instructor Alseny Yansane will show you plenty about traditional Guinean dance, drumming, and culture. You can be part of a dance class at the Pacific School of Dance in Coos Bay, then later Yansane performs.

June 19

Opening Ceremony. An opening bell of sorts for the south Oregon coast celebration, but it begins on a somber note. There will be a remembrance of Alonzo Tucker, who was a victim of the only-known lynching of an African-American man in Oregon. There will be a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation and more music.

The Visit on the Plaza. Music again from local artists Madi Christina Barrena and Micahael Somers.

A Snippet of the Story Art Class. Create artwork alongside Josie Keating from Josie's Art Lab with a class inspired by African American artist Kara Walker. You'll get to do your own personal take on the medium.

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Coos Bay photos above courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more

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