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CALIFORNIA

Ride the rails to Allensworth for Juneteenth

Amtrak San Joaquins to run special trains to Allensworth State Historic Park for 2023 Juneteenth Festival, June 10

 

STOCKTON, Calif—Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park is holding its annual celebratory Juneteenth event on Saturday, June 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

In partnership, Amtrak San Joaquins has scheduled a special stop at the park for multiple trains, bookable at a 50 percent discount rate to bring travelers to the historically significant Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. 

 

The town of Allensworth was established in 1908 by Col. Allen Allensworth, who was the first Black to achieve the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army.

 

After retirement from the army, Allensworth and his family settled in Los Angeles, Calif. He was inspired by the idea of establishing a self-sufficient, all-Black California community where African Americans could live free of the racial discrimination that pervaded post-Reconstruction America. His dream was to build a community where Black people might live and create "sentiment favorable to intellectual and industrial liberty."

 

Col. Allensworth established the town of Allensworth, and at one point, the community was home to more than 300 families. The park is a California state historic treasure because it was the first town in California to be founded, financed, and governed by Black Americans.  Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park became a historical landmark in 1974.

 

The Juneteenth Festival is a key annual event hosted by Friends of Allensworth (FOA), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose mission is to support, promote, and advance the educational and interpretive activities at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.

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The town of Allensworth was established in 1908 by Col. Allen Allensworth and at one point was home to more than 300 families. The park is a California state treasure because it was the first town in California to be founded, financed, and governed by African Americans.

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Allensworth was

founded in 1908 by Col. Allen Allensworth, the first Black to achieve the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in

the US Army.

Allensworth Baptist Church was the town's sole center of worship.

501(c)(3) charitable organization whose mission is to support, promote, and advance the educational and interpretive activities at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.

The Juneteenth holiday commemorates the June 19th, 1865, arrival of Union troops in Galveston Texas, bearing news that the institution of slavery had been terminated, officially spreading news of the freedom of all enslaved people.

"Amtrak San Joaquins has been a long-time partner to the FOA in connecting the people of California and visitors with the historic town of Allensworth," said FOA President, Sasha Biscoe.

"We encourage any individual that is interested in immersing themselves in the rich, ethnically diverse history of our state to consider taking advantage of the affordable, convenient, and fun transportation option provided by Amtrak San Joaquins and join us on June 10th to celebrate this important holiday," said Biscoe.

 

Event activities will include square dancing, self-guided tours of historic buildings, historic games with prizes, storytelling, and arts and crafts. Food and refreshment vendors will also be present. Travelers can also bring their bikes and chairs aboard Amtrak trains and Thruway buses.

The southbound trains that will be running for the event include trains 702, 710, 712, 714. Northbound trains include trains 713, 715, 717 and 719. When purchasing train tickets, a 50 percent discount will automatically be applied to the ticket purchase. Additional discount programs regularly available to riders includes: 

  • Infants under 2 years of age ride for free 

  • Children 2-12 years old ride half-price every day

  • Seniors (62+ years of age) receive 15 percent off 

  • Veterans & active military members receive 15 percent off 

  • Disabled riders receive 15 percent off 

 

Visitors attending the Juneteenth Festival will be able to take Amtrak San Joaquins trains to the Allensworth station. From there, riders will be met by a free shuttle for the short ride to the main property.

The Allensworth station is normally a whistle stop on the San Joaquins available to be booked by groups desiring to visit the park. 

Train tickets to Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park can be booked online at amtraksanjoaquins.com. For more information on how to book a group trip to Allensworth, please contact Carmen Setness, community outreach coordinator for San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC), at Carmen@sjjpa.com

About Allensworth State Historic Park

The town of Allensworth is located in the heart of the Central Valley, about 30 miles north of Bakersfield, and has a rich history that is of interest to students, families, history buffs, minority community organizations, and anyone else looking to spend a fun day exploring the historic community and its restored buildings.

In 1908, Allensworth was established as a town founded, financed and governed by African Americans. There were a series of challenges impeding the town’s long-term survival, but it is celebrated as a key historic icon, and in 1974 California State Parks purchased the land in order to maintain it as a site for visitors to learn and explore the Colonel’s house, historic schoolhouse, Baptist church, and library.

Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum hosts 'La Pastorela: A Christmas tradition,' Dec. 3

COMPTON (MNS)—The Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum will host its third annual La Pastorela: A Christmas Tradition produced by Teatro Dominguez of CSU Dominguez Hills. The Pastorela is a beloved Mexican Christmas tradition that united communities to enjoy a play incorporating important messages about the pastores or shepherds, perspectives on the birth of their savior.


Pastorelas are a beloved part of Christmas festivities throughout Mexico and the Southwest. The tradition began with Spanish missionaries who brought Christianity to the indigenous people of Mexico in the 16th Century. They made their way to Alta California along with early Spanish settlers.

 

There were public performances in Pueblo de Los Angeles during the 1800s. Prominent Californios took part in pastorelas; Gov. Pío Pico portrayed el diablo, or the devil, in one of these plays. Pastorelas are told with plenty of humor, hijinks, music, and colorful costumes and masks. Hundreds of unique versions of this play exist; the moral of the tale is always the same: good triumphs over evil.
 

La Pastorela will be produced in coordination with Teatro Dominguez from CSU Dominguez Hills: a multicultural theater group that draws on ethnic folk tales to teach about social change. Teatro Dominguez has tailor-made a Pastorela that incorporates the ever-important history of the Dominguez family and the Rancho San Pedro who were integral in the development of Southern California.


The public can join us for this free event as we celebrate in community with each other to laugh, sing, and honor traditions long appreciated in history.

 

The Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum is located at 18127 S. Alameda St., Rancho Dominguez, Calif. The mission of the friends of Rancho San Pedro is to preserve and increase community awareness of the Domin-
guez family, Homestead adobe, and the Rancho San Pedro, the first Spanish land grant in California. This is accomplished through educational programs and the operation

 
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