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What is Juneteenth? Celebrate June 19 with these Asheville events

When is Juneteenth?

The annual Juneteenth holiday will be celebrated this year on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth commemorates the final end of slavery in Confederate states just after the end of the Civil War. The Emancipation Proclamation officially freed all enslaved African American people in the Confederate states in 1863, but it was not enforced in areas still under Confederate control for some time. The Civil War ended in April 1865, and on June 19 of the same year, Union soldiers delivered the message in Galveston, Texas, that the war was over and the Emancipation Proclamation was now enforceable. Celebrations took place the next year primarily in Texas and gradually spread to other states. Today, celebrations often include prayer and religious services, speeches, educational events, family gatherings and picnics, and festivals with music, food, and dancing.

Why is June 19 a federal holiday?

Juneteenth became a federal holiday when President Joe Biden signed a bill on June 17, 2021.

What’s closed on Juneteenth?

As the date is now designated a federal holiday, the postal service and the stock market will be closed for Juneteenth.

What’s open on Juneteenth?

Most major retailers will remain open, like Walmart and Target. Target does recognize Juneteenth as a company holiday, however, with eligible employees offered the option of taking the day off with full pay or getting paid time and a half for working that day.

Juneteenth events in Asheville

There are a number of Juneteenth events in Asheville, with opportunities to learn, honor, and celebrate. Here are a few options:

Juneteenth Jam & Cookout at the Getaway River Bar

From 6-11 p.m. on June 19, honor Asheville’s BIPOC community and independence with 103.3 Asheville FM Live Sessions and Guest Speaker London Newton, as well as drink specials to celebrate the occasion.

MLK Association of Asheville and Buncombe County events

Several events are planned, including the Lunch and Learn Series, a Distinguished Speaker presentation and reception, and a Juneteenth Gala.

Juneteenth on the Block at the YMI Cultural Center

At 11 a.m. on June 19, the all-day “Juneteenth on the Block” celebration will be held, with various pop-in events hosted throughout the day.

Downtown After 5: Juneteenth on North Lexington Avenue

From 5-9:30 p.m. on June 21, the Downtown After 5 concert series will celebrate Juneteenth with soul and R&B artist Lyric opening for New Orleans soul, blues, and R&B band Sierra Green & the Giants.

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Author: HERE Asheville