CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) – Today, June 13, 2022, Governor Jim Justice officially declared that Juneteenth will be observed as a State Holiday.

Juneteenth, recognized on June 19 each year, celebrates the ending of slavery in the United States. It falls on the date of June 19 which was when Union Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and gave his subsequent orders directing federal troops to seize control of the state to ensure all enslaved people were freed.

This year, June 19 falls on a Sunday. With the subsequent Monday already a State holiday for West Virginia Day, the Juneteenth State holiday this year will be observed on Friday, June 17, 2022, as a full-day holiday for all public employees of the State.

The Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs will be hosting a Juneteenth Celebration on the Kanawha Boulevard lawns of the West Virginia Capitol Complex to commemorate the holiday. The event will be hosted on Saturday, June 18, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event is completely free and open to the public.

The celebration will include three headline bands: Hi-5, Ruff Endz, and Surface. Award-winning comedian Crystal Powell will serve as the emcee, along with local West Virginia talent and DJ, Big L. Several additional West Virginia artists will perform at the celebration. Food vendors and local organizations will also be present. Click here to learn more.