Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

The State of Oregon and the City of Bend have declared Juneteenth a holiday, and this will be the first year that the City of Bend observes Juneteenth. Since Juneteenth falls on a Sunday this year, the City will observe this paid holiday on Monday, June 20, by closing administrative offices.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. It marks the anniversary of June 19, 1865, the day the last African American slaves were freed in Texas two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. Juneteenth was declared a federal and a state holiday in 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was declared a holiday in 1983.

It has become a day for African Americans to celebrate not only their freedom but their history, culture and achievements.

The City is a sponsor for a Juneteenth event that is being hosted by The Fathers Group June 18 and 19 in Drake Park where people can learn more while they support local organizations and vendors.