Santa Ynez Valley Celebrates Third Annual Juneteenth Event at Solvang Park | Local News

Residents gathered at Solvang Park on Saturday afternoon as part of a number of countywide events to celebrate June 19 National Independence Day – a federal holiday established in 2021 that commemorates the emancipation of the last enslaved African Americans in 1865.

Solvang’s third annual event was presented by Madi’s Treasure Chesta non-profit association imagined by a primary school student Madi Wilson, who at the age of 8 envisioned a more inclusive world with the debut of skin-colored pencil colors. Its line of multicultural products aims to promote literacy and inclusion in schools and libraries across America.

“At a time of great discord across the world, I am thrilled that in this community, Madi, with the help of our wonderful sponsors, has been able to bring her vision to life,” said Vashti Wilson, local resident and activist, CEO. of Madi’s Treasure Box and mother of Madi.

“Juneteenth is a time of great food, joy and laughter as we honor the long-awaited freedoms of our enslaved African-American ancestors,” she added.

The family celebration included live music from local artists, dancing and a children’s zone which included a special performance and story time by Princess Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog”.

Former owner of Rideau Winery and Vineyard in Solvang, Iris Duplantier Curtain – the first black winemaker in the United States – was also honored with words, and her new book “From WHITE to BLACK: A Life Between Two Worlds” went on sale.

Attendees enjoyed a pre-ordered Southern cuisine picnic-style dinner prepared by the event’s co-sponsor High on the Hog Restoration while local musician Talitha Gabrielle sang a trio of songs, including her single “Pretty Bird”.

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Erica Flores, Director of Communications and Development of Santa Ynez Valley people help peopleco-sponsor of the event, applauded Madi’s Treasure Box, both for the success of the event and for fostering conviviality.

“The guests, the entertainers, the children’s activities and the decadent Southern-inspired meal were thoughtfully curated, every detail intentional,” Flores said. “Madi’s Treasure Box continues to inspire us to nurture a community of belonging.”

Flores noted that the annual vacation represents PHP’s mission to cultivate a community where everyone is respected, connected and affirmed.

“It’s a day to celebrate and promote awareness and keep moving towards lasting change,” she said.

Lisa André covers lifestyle and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record, editions of the Santa Maria Times.

Joseph K. Bennett