Several local buildings are expected to close Monday to recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday.
The holiday remembers June 19, 1865, when a Union general told enslaved African Americans in Texas that the war had ended and the Emancipation Proclamation was in effect.
In a proclamation in June 2021, President Joe Biden declared Juneteenth National Independence Day a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in America. Before 2021, the last federal holiday to be approved was Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.
In Nevada, Gov. Steve Sisolak said Tuesday that state law prevents him from requiring all state employees to observe the holiday on June 20, the next working day. Sisolak said he planned to work during the 2023 legislative session to change the law.
“There is still a lot of work to do in our fight for equality – now is the time to renew our commitment to be a better nation, and denounce hate, racism and bigotry that is still prevalent,” Sisolak wrote in a statement.
Locally, several buildings were expected to be closed Monday in recognition of the holiday.
Las Vegas City Hall
Offices at Las Vegas City Hall and Municipal Court will be closed, the city announced. Several community centers, including Doolittle, Centennial Hills and the Howard Lieburn Active Adult Center also will be closed.
Parks and public pools, as well as the Homeless Courtyard Resource Center, will remain open, according to city officials.
North Las Vegas City Hall
The city plans to celebrate the holiday on the third Monday of every June, according to a statement posted this week. A Juneteenth flag was raised in front of North Las Vegas City Hall on Thursday, and the building will be closed Monday.
“North Las Vegas’ diversity is the true fabric of our community, and it is something we celebrate year-round,” Mayor Pro Tem Pamela Goynes-Brown wrote in the statement. “Juneteenth is a day that brings people of all races together to listen, learn and reflect as we pray for eternal peace. This is an opportunity to stand united and work together to end the cycle of racism and injustice that has plagued our society for far too long.”
Henderson and Clark County
Although no buildings were expected to close Monday in commemoration of the federal holiday, the city planned to host its second Juneteenth Festival Saturday and Sunday at the Whitney Ranch Recreation Center and Water Street Plaza, respectively.
Stacey Welling, a spokesperson for Clark County, said all county buildings were expected to remain open Monday.
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