2024 Juneteenth Celebrations in Corpus Christi

TABPHE-CC Gears Up for its Annual Juneteenth Festival

The local organization's annual Juneteenth Festival in Corpus Christi includes big name headliners, a 25th anniversary celebration of the nonprofit and more.

Claudia Melton performs at the 2022 Corpus Christi Juneteenth Festival.

Local musician Claudia Melton will perform at the 2024 Corpus Christi Juneteenth Festival. | Photo by Debbie Noble

Beginning on June 9, the annual 10 Days of Juneteenth Jubilee Celebrations and Juneteenth Festival Weekend, organized by the local nonprofit Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education-Corpus Christi (TABPHE-CC) will kick off its celebration of the holiday.

The significance of the ten-day celebration leading up to the June 19 holiday is commemorative of the ten days it took Major General Gordon Granger to ride to Galveston, Texas where he would read and announce the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865.

This order informed Texans of the Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, thereby freeing all slaves. It was then that Juneteenth was born, annually commemorating the freeing of slaves, with Texas being the first state to declare the celebration a state holiday. Despite its historical significance, Juneteenth wasn’t recognized as a federal holiday until 2021, when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law.

2023 Juneteenth Celebrations in Corpus Christi
Community members dance and enjoy the live performances at the 2022 Corpus Christi Juneteenth Festival. | Photo provided by Debbie Noble

“It is our hope that the community walks away with information on the holiday itself and TABPHE-CC’s efforts,” TABPHE-CC President and festival coordinator Simone Sanders shared of this year’s Juneteenth programming. “We hope [people] will then want to join in on future celebrations and events that are held besides Juneteenth.”

This year’s lineup of events leading up to the festival includes information sessions and forums regarding education issues and the annual Black & White Comedy Show & Dance. “We are excited to get Rodney Perry back to Corpus Christi,” Sanders said of the Comey Show. “He is a well-known comedian in various movies, but he also lived in Corpus Christi during his time in the Navy.”

2024 Juneteenth Celebrations in Corpus Christi
Shop a wide variety of vendors at the Corpus Christi Juneteenth Festival on June 25. | Photo by Debbie Noble

The Juneteenth Festival will serve as a special celebration in honor of TABPHE-CC’s 25th anniversary. Staying true to the organization’s motto, “We Exist to Assist,” the team has chosen to commemorate this milestone through community service. At the festival, there will be an increased focus on community service efforts and strategic planning related to the state of education in the Coastal Bend.

“Sanders’s response when asked about what the organization feels most proud of in the last 25 years reflected the servant leadership within the organization and its willingness to always go the extra mile in the name of bettering our community.”

2024 Juneteenth Celebrations in Corpus Christi
Live music is always something to look forward to during the festival. | Photo by Debbie Noble

“We are proud to have consistently stepped out of our comfort zones and areas of expertise to help where needed,” she said. “We are a higher education association but we have had the pleasure to step outside of that lane and provide multiple programs for youth, social justice initiatives, food security and many more. We are proud to say that, whenever our community has called upon us, we have been able to assist or fill a void where support was lacking.”

The Juneteenth Festival will be held on June 15 at Water’s Edge Park from 4 – 11 p.m. and include food trucks, vendors, a Kids Zone, several new organizations participating for the first time and live entertainment, including Hilda Lamas, The Revalution, Claudia Melton, JenniP & The Four Men and the Bayou City Brass Band. The festival’s headliners are Tweet and Slim Thug.

For Sanders, the significance of these gatherings lies in uniting as a community and fostering meaningful connections that can lead to future actions.” This is a time where any divide in our community can be healed with conversation and by working together on common causes,” she shared.

2024 Juneteenth Celebrations in Corpus Christi
It’s a family affair! Enjoy live music and dance all night during the festival.| Photo by Debbie Noble 

The schedule of events is as follows:

JUNE 9 – The 2024 Juneteenth Kickoff will be held at the Boys & Girls Club of the Coastal Bend from 4 – 7 p.m. and includes guest speakers and vendors.

JUNE 11 – A Townhall Forum titled, “Where Are We Headed?” No More Casualties, Part II, will take place at the Retama Room on Del Mar College’s Heritage Campus from -7:30 p.m. and include a panel discussion focused on helping the next generation with breakout sessions to formulate action items.

 JUNE 12 – The State of Black Business Juneteenth Luncheon sponsored by the Corpus Christi Black Chamber of Commerce, will be hosted at the Emerald Beach Hotel beginning at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $60 and may be purchased by calling (361) 434-0275 or emailing cctxblackchamberoc@gmail.com.

 JUNE 14 – The Annual Black & White Comedy Show & Dance will be held at the Solomon P. Ortiz Center and features a stand-up performance from comedian Rodney Perry. The event will start at 7 p.m., and tickets and tables can be purchased online.

 JUNE 15 – From 4 – 10 p.m. at Water’s Edge Park, the 2024 Corpus Christi Juneteenth Festival will include food trucks, vendors, live performances, social services booths and a Kids Zone. The festival is free to attend and open to all.

JUNE 16 – To wrap up the TABPHE-CC 2024 Juneteenth calendar, join the organization at Dr. H.J. Williams Park starting at 4 p.m. for the Family Fun Day. Here you’ll find a free BBQ meal (while supplies last), fellowship and fun.