Juneteenth takes place on Wednesday this year, meaning many government facilities and services will be closed or have modified hours in observance.

As the newest federal, state and city holiday, you may have some questions about what the day commemorates and when it became a holiday.

Juneteenth — also called America’s second Independence Day — marks the day when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 and informed the last enslaved African Americans there that they were free.

In 2021, President Joe Biden made the date a federal holiday, Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state holiday and Seattle and King County later finalized the date as a holiday for government workers.

More about Juneteenth

Here’s what you need to know about Juneteenth, what’s open and closed in the Seattle area and answers to other popular Google searches about the holiday.

Why is it called Juneteenth? 

The name “Juneteenth” refers to the date of the holiday, combining the words “June” and “nineteenth.”

Is the post office open on Juneteenth? Will mail be delivered?

Mail will not be delivered Wednesday as the U.S. Postal Service, along with other federal, county and city government facilities, will be closed.

Are UPS and FedEx operating on Juneteenth?

Private package delivery companies like UPS and FedEx will still operate normal hours.

Will banks and the stock market open on Juneteenth?

The Federal Reserve System and the New York Stock Exchange will be closed on Wednesday, along with the majority of banks, including Bank of America, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase and Citibank, as most financial institutions follow the federal holiday schedule.

Will garbage be picked up on Juneteenth?

In King County and Seattle, garbage collection will operate on a normal schedule and transfer stations will be open.

What about parks and recreation?

Many Seattle Parks and Recreation facilities will be closed Wednesday, according to the department, including:

  • All recreation programs
  • Community centers and teen centers
  • Environmental learning centers
  • Indoor swimming pools
  • Outdoor swimming pools (closed regularly on weekdays until daily operations begin Saturday, June 22)
  • Green Lake Small Craft Center
  • Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center
  • Amy Yee Tennis Center

However, the following will be open on regular schedules: 

  • Parks
  • Seattle Japanese Garden and Volunteer Park Conservatory
  • Preseason beaches (Madrona Beach and West Green Lake Beach)
  • Boat ramps
  • Sprayparks
  • Interbay, Jackson Park, Jefferson Park and West Seattle golf courses

What about state parks?

Juneteenth will also be a free day at Washington state parks, meaning visitors do not have to display a Discover Pass on their vehicles for parking access Monday.

What about transit?

The Vashon water taxi will operate. The West Seattle water taxi will operate on a Sunday schedule, departing from downtown Seattle every hour on the half-hour and from West Seattle every hour on the hour from 8:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. The connecting No. 773 and No. 775 shuttles will run on adjusted schedules to meet water taxi arrivals in West Seattle. King County Metro transit will run on a normal weekday schedule.