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Juneteenth is a time to connect to community and culture

Juneteenth commemorates the day, June 19, 1865, when more than 250,000 enslaved African Americans in Texas were finally informed of their freedom and freed by the U.S. Army from Texas slave owners—two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. 

In 2021, President Joe Biden was the first U.S. president to recognize the Juneteenth holiday federally. In December 2021, the Seattle City Council adopted an ordinance establishing Juneteenth as a legal holiday for unrepresented City employees and a parking holiday for the public. In a separate ordinance, the council authorized a memorandum of understanding between the City and the Coalition of City Unions, making both Juneteenth and Indigenous Peoples Day legal holidays for represented City employees.

All City employees and their families are invited to celebrate Juneteenth at a free event at Seward Park on Wednesday, June 19, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. In its third year, the event will again focus on community, culture, and fellowship. There will be food, music, and many activities for the whole family. Attendees can bring their own chairs and blankets, but some picnic tables will be available.