Denver libraries and Colorado offices have a paid day off for Juneteenth, but most Denver government is open

At least, this year…

Denver's Juneteenth Music Festival. June 18, 2022.

Denver's Juneteenth Music Festival. June 18, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
kyle harris

Update: City Council passed a bill establishing Juneteenth as a city holiday.

Only some city agencies are shut down Monday for the Juneteenth federal holiday.

Juneteenth, which took place on Sunday, June 19, marks the freedom of enslaved people in Texas, which was declared two-and-a-half years after Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

Currently, it’s a federal, state and Denver library holiday, but it’s still not a city holiday. That might change Monday night, when City Council will consider whether to make Juneteenth a city holiday starting next year.

State offices were closed Monday. Colorado lawmakers and Gov. Jared Polis declared Juneteenth a state holiday in the spring, to bring the state in alignment with President Joe Biden, who declared it a federal holiday in June of 2021.

Banks are closed, the stock market is on pause, post offices are shut down, and many federal agencies are also shuttered.

Why the discrepancy between the City of Denver and the library?

The Denver Public Library is governed by a commission, and it voted last year to observe Juneteenth and Indigenous People’s Day, which is celebrated on the second Monday of October.

Check out Kevin’s photos of this weekend’s Juneteenth celebration in Five Points.

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