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May festival honors Col. Allen Allensworth


Runaway slave to Army chaplain

Celebrate the summer of 2024 at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park, the only Black township established in California. Friends of Allensworth and CA State Parks will be co-hosting a May Festival on May 18 and a Juneteenth Festival on June 8. Both events will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the park, 4011 Grant Dr., Allensworth. From Southern California, Allensworth is 12 miles west of Delano; and for those coming from the north, Allensworth is 10 miles west of Earlimart. 

In 1908, Col. Allen Allensworth, a slave who escaped during the Civil War and became a chaplain for the U.S. Army. On his retirement, The Colonel created a township where retired Buffalo Soldiers and other African Americans could own property, learn, thrive, and live the “American Dream” away from the White society and its racism. Allensworth was named a state park in 1974. 

On May 18, guests are invited to learn about Black history and enjoy tours, entertainment, kids’ activities, and horse & buggy rides through the historic town. Park staff will give free tours of the restored buildings and historic house museums. Educators will speak to visitors on the settlement of Black townships like Allensworth across the United States.

Known as “freedom towns", or "all-Black towns", these municipalities were established by or for African-Americans. Many were established or populated by freed slaves. In Texas alone, 357 such "freedom colonies" have been located and verified. 

Craft and food vendors will be on hand at Allensworth, along with performers Shawn Raiford Sax; soloist Elisha Curtis; soloist Shatierra Crawford; Shayla Trumpetmaster Bell and award-winning talk show host Doc Lewis.

The Juneteenth event on June 8 will also include food vendors and entertainment celebrating the freedom, resilience, and wellness of the Black community.

Vehicle fees range from $10 per car; $50 and $75 for buses. Bookings on Amtrak San Joaquins are available only for events at The train will stop at any Allensworth festival if one person purchases 15 tickets.

The Friends of Allensworth host four events each year to preserve the town’s history. The other two are Black History Month in February and Founders Day in October – both held on the second Saturdays of the month. For more information, visit