Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces Juneteenth as New City Holiday

Burlington, Vt. – Today, Mayor Miro Weinberger announced that for the first time the City of Burlington will observe Juneteenth, June 19, as an official municipal holiday this year, and add the holiday to the municipal holiday schedule in years to come. Last year on June 17, President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act and Congress acted nearly unanimously to make Juneteenth a national holiday, the first time a new national holiday has been created in almost 40 years.


Juneteenth celebrates June 19, 1865, when the news of the end of the Civil War finally reached Galveston, Texas, three years after the Emancipation Proclamation, and the enslaved people there learned that they were free.  More than 200 cities across the country now host Juneteenth celebrations to promote knowledge and appreciation of Black American resilience, culture, and history.


Juneteenth is a day of celebration – and also one of reckoning,” said Mayor Weinberger “It is celebrated along with our other great milestones, as a day when the struggle to end slavery triumphed.  It has taken far too long for basic freedoms -- and the broader rights of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness – to be shared equally among all people in our country, regardless of race and ethnicity and there is still so much left to be done to achieve these ends. I encourage all employees to set aside time on Juneteenth to reflect on our country’s history, including the parts that are painful, to help us work together to forge a more racially just future. Thanks to the REIB Department for their leadership on helping us to recognize and celebrate this important day.”


The City will also be hosting the second annual Juneteenth Celebration, which will take place over the full weekend. The full schedule of events, which includes free music, performances, speakers, and food can be found here.


This year, because Juneteenth falls on a Sunday, the City holiday will be observed on Monday, June 20. All City offices will be closed on June 20, with the exception of summer camps, which will continue to operate. City Council President Karen Paul has canceled City Council meeting  scheduled for June 20 to observe the federal and municipal holiday.


Press Release Date: 
City Department: 
Mayor's Office