Folsom’s third annual Juneteenth festival proved to be the most vibrant yet, drawing a jubilant crowd to Black Miners Bar State Park on Saturday to celebrate a variety of African American culture and history.m throughout the day. 

From the early morning hours into early evening, attendees reveled in a rich tapestry of activities that underscored the festival’s theme of celebration, commemoration, and education. 


The event, organized by California State Parks, California State Parks Foundation, Friends of Folsom Lakes and Natoma (FOLFAN), and Stafford Consulting Group, LLC, kicked off promptly at 10:00 a.m. as planned with the festival’s commencement for the third consecutive year.

Tracie Stafford, the event’s emcee welcomed attendees to event at the park that is so rich in African American History that has undergone a amber of improvements over the past few years, providing a great venue in what couldn’t be more of appropriate place for Folsom to host an event celebrating the week of what is now a Federal Holiday.


The day’s program began with words from Steve Hilton, State Parks Gold Fields District Superintendent, and an uplifting prayer led by Pastor Tecoy Porter of Genesis Church. 

The strains of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” often referred to as the Black National Anthem, resonated across the venue, setting a poignant tone for the day.


Throughout the day, the festival offered a myriad of attractions. Families enjoyed a bustling marketplace featuring diverse vendors, while children engaged in a menagerie of activities designed just for them. Culinary delights from local food vendors tempted taste buds, complemented by the refreshing offerings of the Beer Garden, which opened its gates promptly at 11:00 a.m.


Educational components were seamlessly woven into the festivities, including presentations on the history of Black Miners Bar and spirited soul line dancing led by Alma Redhead. Ardell Harrison, President of Greater Sacramento NAACP, also delivered a poignant address underscoring the significance of Juneteenth in today’s social landscape.

The day reached a crescendo with it’s captivating concert lineup that included a soul-stirring tribute to Tina Turner, followed by performances from LSB Band and the iconic Club Nouveau, keeping attendees on their feet until the final note.


“They’ve done a great job this year, said Deena Horton, who attended the event with her two children for the second straight year . “It’s not just a celebration; it’s a reaffirmation of our community’s commitment to unity and progress, wonderfully done this year.”

With attendance numbers surpassing expectations and spirits soaring high, organizers and participants alike are already looking forward to next year’s festivities, eager to build upon the tradition of honoring Juneteenth in a place so rich in history. 

In additions to a great amount of local families and travelers who made the trip, several of Folsom’s city leaders were on hand at the event, visiting with attendees and enjoying the day themselves. 

California State Parks didn’t report any major issues with the crowds. Attendees had to patient with parking as the parking areas filled quickly, some walked to the event from the Historic District using the trail system. The event itself was free to attend, however parking fees were required at the park gate by state parks.