What is Juneteenth?

On June 19, 1865, the last of enslaved Black people living in Galveston, Texas, were told the Civil War had ended; the Emancipation Proclamation had been signed in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln; and all Black people were now free from the bondage of slavery.

This date came to be known as Juneteenth and in modern times, became a day to celebrate freedom and resiliency after 246 years of enslavement; appreciate African American history and culture; and encourage continuous self-development.

Commemorate Juneteenth with the Park Authority

The Fairfax County Park Authority commemorates Juneteenth with a series of programs, tours and  lectures. 

Throughout June, the Park Authority's "Our Stories and Perspectives" blog is highlighting some of the impactful stories of Black history in Fairfax County.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. ~ Nelson Mandela

Juneteenth Holiday

Fairfax County declared Juneteenth a county holiday for the first time in 2020, following Virginia's declaration that a state holiday be observed. Juneteenth is now observed annually.

“Please use this day to reflect on and to take actions that promote the unity we embrace here in Fairfax County,” County Executive Bryan Hill said on observing the county holiday. “We are on this One Fairfax journey together.”


Juneteenth Resiliency Award

About the Award

The Resiliency Award will recognize both youth and young adults (ages 13-21) who have exhibited true resiliency (also known as grit, determination, dedication, perseverance and persistence) to make meaningful contributions and outcomes in their lives and/or the lives of others in the Black community.

Watch the 2023 Juneteenth Resiliency Award Ceremony

Fairfax Virtual Assistant