facebook tracking pixel ‘An opportunity to celebrate’: Color Me Human hosts first Juneteenth event in Nevada City | TheUnion.com

‘An opportunity to celebrate’: Color Me Human hosts first Juneteenth event in Nevada City

Vegan Chef GW Chew helps dish up a barbecue meal along with other members of the community Saturday afternoon in Nevada City during what was being called the community’s first Juneteenth celebration.
Photo: Elias Funez

Members of the community came together Saturday afternoon to celebrate Juneteenth, and to honor freedom and the continued fight for liberation, at the Pioneer Park picnic area during a free event hosted by members of local nonprofit Color Me Human.

The smells of a summer barbecue filled the air while children played in the cool waters of Little Deer Creek.

Youngsters enjoy some shaved ice during Saturday’s Juneteenth celebration at Pioneer Park.
Photo: Elias Funez

Chef GW Chew, founder of Veg Hub, worked up his specialty of vegan ribs while Marlon Cook dished up the beyond meat burgers.

The sounds of a live DJ set by Mecca Don as well as African drumming with Moussa Camara and an open mic session filled the air.

An African American vegan starter guide was made available during Saturday’s Juneteenth event.
Photo: Elias Funez

June 19, 1865, is regarded as the day all enslaved people in the nation were finally free, a powerful moment in Black history and an important one in American history.

“This is an opportunity to celebrate our ancestors,” Color Me Human Director Tracy Pepper said. “This is really for them to thank them for getting us here.”

Tracy Pepper, Nevada County Juneteenth event coordinator and director of local nonprofit Color Me Human, plans to continue to observe the new holiday every year.
Photo: Elias Funez

Pepper elaborated on the need to celebrate despite the continuous struggles for equal rights.

“It doesn’t negate the fact that LGBT folks are being terrorized, or Asian Americans, or voting rights,” Pepper said. “But it’s necessary to celebrate.

Children and families play in the waters of Little Deer Creek in Pioneer Park Saturday.
Photo: Elias Funez

On Thursday President Joe Biden signed a law making Juneteenth a federal holiday, a pleasant surprise to event organizers who had already planned to make Nevada County’s Juneteenth celebration a regular thing.

“We’re calling it first annual,” Pepper said. “This will be a yearly event.”

Marlon Cook fires up the beyond meat burgers on the grill during Saturday’s Juneteenth celebration at Pioneer Park in Nevada City.
Photo: Elias Funez

After the barbecue lunch was served, the group heard from a handful of speakers, as well as held an open mic session.

To contact Multimedia Reporter email, efunez@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230

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