Celebrate Juneteenth in the historic Black town of Allensworth

Allensworth-State-Historic-Park-sign-store-by-KBAK-KBFX-Bakersfield, Celebrate Juneteenth in the historic Black town of Allensworth, Culture Currents Local News & Views News & Views
Allensworth was founded and governed by Blacks. – Photo: KBAK-KBFX, Bakersfield

Amtrak San Joaquins to run special trains to Allensworth State Historic Park for 2022 Juneteenth Festival on June 11

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. Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park became a historical landmark in 1974.

Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park is holding a celebratory Juneteenth event on Saturday, June 11, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In partnership, Amtrak San Joaquins has scheduled special trains, bookable at a 50 percent discount rate, to bring travelers to the historically significant Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.  

The Juneteenth Festival is one of four major annual events 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. According to FOA, “Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery. It was on June 19 that the Union soldiers, led by Major Gen. Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas, with news that the war had ended and that all slaves were now free.”

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.

“Amtrak San Joaquins has been a long-time partner to the FOA in connecting the people of California with the historic town of Allensworth” said FOA President Sasha Biscoe. “We encourage anyone who 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 11 to celebrate Juneteenth.”

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% discount will automatically be applied to the ticket purchase and on up to five companion tickets.

Additional discount programs regularly available to riders include:

●     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% off

●     Veterans and active military members receive 15% off

●     Disabled riders save 10% 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.

About the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA)

Since July 2015, SJJPA has been responsible for the management and administration of Amtrak San Joaquins. SJJPA is governed by board members representing each of the 10 member agencies along the 365-mile San Joaquins Corridor. For more information on SJJPA see www.sjjpa.com.

Amtrak San Joaquins is Amtrak’s 6th busiest route with 18 train stations throughout the Central Valley and Bay Area, providing a safe, comfortable and reliable way to travel throughout California. Amtrak San Joaquins is currently running six daily round-trips. In addition to the train service, Amtrak San Joaquins Thruway buses provide connecting service to 135 destinations in California and Nevada including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Napa Valley, Las Vegas and Reno.