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Leimert Park Juneteenth celebration goes on with a scaled-back version

Leimert Park celebrates Juneteenth
Leimert Park celebrates Juneteenth 01:26

After organizers canceled the annual Leimert Park Juneteenth Festival earlier this month, merchants in the area banded together and are putting on a smaller-scale celebration Wednesday.

The festival's website explained that "Due to unforeseen circumstances and the rising costs required to ensure a safe and compliant event, we have decided to postpone this year's Leimert Park Juneteenth Festival to 2025." It's reported that 50,000 people attended last year's festival.

Wednesday morning, vendors were out in Leimert Park Village, setting up their booths and goods for a "Black Family Reunion," a scaled-back version of the Juneteenth Festival.

"It's going on whether we organize it or not, people are coming to Leimert Park," Queen Aminah, Leimert Park Village Merchants Association president said. 

Juneteenth's origins date back to June 19, 1865, when the last group of people enslaved in the southern U.S. were informed of their freedom under the Emancipation Proclamation.

The holiday was added to the national calendar in 2021.  A bill to solidify Juneteenth National Independence Day as a legal public holiday passed almost unanimously through both chambers of Congress before being signed by President Biden on June 18.

Wednesday's Juneteenth Celebration in South Los Angeles is from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Leimert Park Village, on 43rd Street and Degnan Boulevard. There will be vendors, food, entertainment, and a women's drum circle. 

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