City offices and facilities will be closed to the public on Friday, June 19 to observe Juneteenth, which celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. This designation comes from an executive order signed by Mayor Jim Kenney.
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the date when Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas to ensure that enslaved people were freed. The troops arrived two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Lincoln.
“The only way to dismantle the institutional racism and inequalities that continue to disenfranchise Black Philadelphians is to look critically at how we got here, and make much-needed changes to the governmental systems that allow inequality to persist.
“This designation of Juneteenth represents my administration’s commitment to reckon with our own role in maintaining racial inequities and our understanding of the magnitude of work that lies ahead.”
– Mayor Jim Kenney
The executive order designates Juneteenth as an official City holiday for 2020. In order to make this permanent, additional steps must be taken, including Council legislation and a re-negotiation of all City holidays with the municipal unions. The administration will do whatever is needed to ensure Juneteeth continues to be an official City holiday in Philadelphia for years to come.
City Services on Juneteenth
All City of Philadelphia offices will be closed and City services curtailed on Friday, June 19, 2020 for Juneteenth. All City buildings remain closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trash will not be collected on Friday. Residents who normally have collection on Friday should set out their trash and recycling on Friday evening after 5 p.m. for collection on Saturday.
In the spirit of solidarity and a continued commitment to anti-racism, the School District of Philadelphia will also be closed on Friday.