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Santa Monica Commemorates Juneteenth with City Closures


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By Lookout Staff

June 18, 2023 -- City Hall and other public facilities will close on Wednesday and municipal services will be scaled back or suspended as Santa Monica commemorates Juneteenth, which marks the emancipation of Black slaves after the Civil War.

To celebrate Juneteenth, Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier will join other Southern California landmarks to observe the holiday with the Ferris Wheel’s display of red, white and blue patterns representing the official Juneteenth flag.

The 174,000 LED lights on the world's only solar-powered Ferris Wheel will feature animations and transitions in green, red and gold, the colors and the original Pan-African flag.

On Wednesday, in addition to City Hall, the Transit Store, City Yards Operation Center and Santa Monica Public Library will be closed for the Federal Holiday.

Parking meters will not be enforced on Juneteenth, except for meters that are enforced daily according to posted signage. Meters that are enforced daily must be paid.

However, preferential Parking (residential/visitor permits) will be enforced on Wednesday.

All City of Santa Monica beach lots and pay-by-space lots are enforced 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, including Juneteenth.

There will be no refuse, recycling, or yard/green waste collection or street sweeping on Wednesday. Street cleaning regularly scheduled for Wednesday will take place on Thursday.

Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus lines will also reduce service, and the Transit Store and Customer Service will be closed.

Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas became the last to be officially notified of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Union troops informed them that on September 22, 1862 President Abraham Lincoln had signed the proclamation, which was issued on January 1, 1863.

Celebrations commemorating the date began in Texas in 1866 and involved church-centered community gatherings. The observances spread across the South, centering on food festivals in the 1920s and 1930s.

In many parts of the country it has become a celebration of Black culture.

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