HAYWARD -- The city's downtown street party season opens Thursday with a Juneteenth celebration.
The free party Street will have bands on four stages, including the Bay Area Blues Society Caravan of All Stars at the Bank of the West Stage.
Most of the celebration from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. takes place on B Street from Foothill Boulevard to City Hall Plaza at Watkins Street. More than 100 hot rods and classic cars will be display on Main Street.
The family-friendly event will have street performers, face painting and children's games. Merchants and local agencies will have booths, and vendors will sell food. Two beer and soda gardens will be set up.
Juneteenth, or June 19, marks the day Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas, 2¿1/2 years after the end of the Civil War to announce and enforce emancipation of slaves in the former Confederate state.
Street parties also are planned on July 17 and Aug. 21.