Juneteenth in The Cov: weekend events, City Hall closed Monday

Juneteenth flags were recently raised in Randolph Park and on the Sixth Street Promenade in MainStrasse Village, shown here.

COVINGTON, Ky. – Offices at City Hall will be closed on Monday, June 19, as the City of Covington celebrates its newest official City holiday for the second year in a row.

To help in that celebration, the City’s Economic Development Department is sponsoring one of the Juneteenth celebrations being held in Covington this weekend.

The “Fatherhood Program” of the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission (NKCAC) is partnering with St. Elizabeth Healthcare to host a Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 17, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at NKCAC’s Lincoln Grant Scholar House at 824 Greenup St.

The celebration will feature free food, drinks, music, African dancers, a guest panel, community social services and agencies providing information about their services. In addition, free onsite screenings and information about blood pressure, breast cancer, cardiac disease, colon cancer, diabetes management, and lung cancer will be available through St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

Also participating is the City’s early childhood literacy program, Read Ready Covington.

Separately, there’s a Juneteenth Freedom Day Parade that starts at 10 a.m. Saturday at 9th and Greenup Streets, followed by a family-friendly Northern Kentucky Juneteenth Festival at Covington Landing that features music, games, vendors, community resources, and recognition of the 2023 Black Excellence Awards honorees.

About Juneteenth

Early in 2022, the Covington Board of Commissioners voted to recognize Juneteenth as an official City holiday.

The day, observed on or around June 19, has long been celebrated by many African Americans as “Freedom Day” or “Juneteenth Independence Day,” marking the end to slavery in the United States.

Though President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, it wasn’t enforced in a number of places until the Civil War ended two years later. Slave owners in Mississippi, Louisiana, and others migrated to Texas to escape the Union Army’s reach.

The last of the Confederate forces didn’t surrender until June 2, 1865. Then on June 19, U.S. Army General Gordon Granger (who is buried in Lexington, Ky.) took 1,800 Union soldiers to Galveston to share the news that the war was over and that enslaved people were now legally free.

A year later, the first celebration of “Jubilee Day” was held in Texas. But on a national level, Juneteenth – a combination of June and nineteenth – didn’t become a federal holiday until 2021, when President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law. All 50 states recognize Juneteenth as a holiday or day of observance.

This year marks the 158th anniversary of Juneteenth.

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