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On March 17, 2016, Gov. Ducey signed Rep. Bolding's HB2226 recognizing June 19 as Juneteenth Day in Arizona – making Arizona the 45th state to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday or special day of observance.
The National Juneteenth Observance Foundation has advocated for the recognition of Juneteenth Freedom Day for more than 25 years. NJOF has been instrumental in the passage of 43 Juneteenth bills in 47 states and the District of Columbia.
The annual Valley of the Sun Juneteenth Celebration has been held at Eastlake Park as a time to celebrate this historic moment for the state with guest speakers, music, dance, sports activities, vendors and more! Eastlake Park, now Eastlake Park Community Center, opened in 1914 and provided a gathering spot for local African American residents when Phoenix was segregated. Juneteenth was originally held at Eastlake Park then moved to South Mountain Community College in 2004.
While this year is cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, we invite you to continue the celebration in a safe and memorable way. There are a number of in-person and virtual events throughout the Valley of the Sun and beyond. But please be careful! We want you to join us next year for this one-day free festival: Saturday, June 19, 2021.
Juneteenth is the oldest celebration of the ending of slavery in the United States. It specifically celebrates the state of Texas announcing the abolishment of slavery in 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863. But Juneteenth offers a time to come together and celebrate the rich cultural history of African Americans and to reflect how we can continue to create our freedom.
Valley of the Sun Juneteenth Celebration
Arizona State Director
National Juneteenth Observance Foundation