Celebrations marking the end of slavery to take place June 17 through 20

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City of Boulder to Mark Juneteenth as Official Holiday

The City of Boulder announced today that it will join the federal and state government in commemorating Juneteenth as an official holiday. This year, the city will observe Juneteenth on Monday, June 20. The city’s Human Relations Commission is co-sponsoring local events throughout the weekend in celebration of the holiday.

Juneteenth, which falls on June 19 each year, celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. While the Emancipation Proclamation officially ended slavery in 1863, enforcement in all the states took several years. It wasn’t until June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers reached Galveston, TX, that all enslaved people in the country were finally freed.

“Juneteenth marks not just the end of slavery, but celebrates freedom, perseverance and joy,” said Boulder City Manager Nuria Rivera Vandermyde. “In marking this holiday, the City of Boulder acknowledges the horrors of slavery, celebrates the Black community and ensures that the important lessons of our shared history live on.”

The community is invited to join in celebration and recognition of Juneteenth. On Friday, June 17, the city will raise a Juneteenth Flag at the Penfield Tate II Municipal Building at 4 p.m. Remarks from local leaders will follow the flag-raising. Local events throughout the weekend include, a Celebration of Black Excellence on Monday, June 20 which will showcase local student leadership at Boulder High School at 11 a.m. Information on this and other events is available online.

“The City of Boulder’s commitment to advance racial equity takes many forms, from the adoption and implementation of a racial equity plan, to honoring and celebrating important history like Juneteenth,” said City of Boulder Equity Manager Aimee Kane. “It is critical that we take time to recognize the contributions of Black people to our community, state and country.”

Later this month, the city will publish information about facility closures and which city services will remain open or available on June 20.