Juneteenth, the country’s youngest federal holiday, arrives next week.

The day commemorates the day the slaves liberated by the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation — an executive order that freed “all persons held as slaves” in the secessionist Confederate states during the Civil War — were finally freed.

Though Juneteenth celebrations were documented as early as 1866, it wasn’t until 2021 that the day was officially recognized as a federal holiday by President Joe Biden.

The day gained prominence in 2020 amid nationwide protests after Minneapolis man George Floyd and Louisville, Kentucky, woman Breonna Taylor were killed during encounters with law enforcement, USA Today reports.

Increased awareness of and opposition toward Confederate monuments, flags and symbols also occurred during this time as the country grappled with its long-standing history of systemic racism.

Despite Juneteenth’s attention in mainstream culture in recent years, many people may be unaware of when it is, its history or how it got its name. As always, we have you covered. Here’s everything to know about Juneteenth 2024.

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday, the History Channel reports.

On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which effectively freed enslaved persons in the Confederate states during the Civil War. Enslavers were responsible for telling enslaved people they were free, but many ignored the order.

Texas was the last Confederate state to announce the proclamation. It happened on June 19, 1865, when Union leader Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger informed a community in Galveston, Texas, that President Abraham Lincoln had freed enslaved people two and a half years earlier, per USA Today.

Where does the name ‘Juneteenth’ come from? Why is it called Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is a combination of “June” and “nineteenth,” in honor of June 19, 1865 – the day that Granger announced the abolition of slavery in Texas. The holiday is also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day.

The day has come to symbolize freedom and equality for all.

“Juneteenth is a unifying holiday. It is the completion of the celebration of freedom in America,” Steve Williams, president of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation, told USA Today in 2020.

Texas was the first state to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday in 1980. Other states followed suit in subsequent years. It became a holiday in Ohio when the day received federal recognition in 2021.

When is Juneteenth 2024?

Juneteenth is observed annually on June 19, which is a Wednesday this year. As it’s a federal holiday, most banks and mail services will be closed Wednesday.

Nigerian cultural dancers Ijo Ugo preform at the 35th annual Juneteenth festival, Eden Park, Cincinnati.

How do people celebrate Juneteenth?

Early Juneteenth celebrations involved prayer services, guest speakers and annual pilgrimages to Galveston by formerly enslaved people and their descendants, according to Juneteenth.com. Today, the holiday is often commemorated with outdoor cookouts, music and parades.

The official Juneteenth website outlines several ways you can celebrate the new holiday in your workplace, community or home, starting with a reading of its history to learn how Juneteenth celebrations have evolved over the years.

Supporting Black-owned businesses and organizations is one of the most important ways to observe the holiday. There are plenty of Black-owned businesses in Greater Cincinnati that you can support in honor of Juneteenth. But in case you don’t know where to start, here are a few:

Dancers perform one last dance at the end of the 2nd Annual Cincinnati Official Juneteenth Parade along Court Street in Cincinnati on Monday, June 19, 2023.

2024 Cincinnati Juneteenth festival and parade

The 2024 Cincinnati Juneteenth Festival will be held Saturday, June 15, from noon to 9 p.m. and Sunday, June 16, from 2-6 p.m. at Eden Park, 950 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams.

Events begin Saturday with a parade of flags representing the African diaspora, followed by an afternoon of historical reenactors, shopping, art, food, health screenings, a chess tournament with cash prizes, supervised children’s area with activities, and two stages of live music and entertainment. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit juneteenthcincinnati.org.

The 2024 Cincinnati Juneteenth Parade will take place on Sunday, June 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The parade begins at Linn and Court streets, steps off from West Court at Linn and follows Court Street to the intersection of Plum and Richmond streets. For more information, visit thecojp.com.

Events will continue throughout the weekend and through Wednesday. Check out the full list of Greater Cincinnati Juneteenth events here.