Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, or Emancipation, is an annual federal holiday observing the end of slavery in the United States and marks our country’s second Independence Day.  

In 1863, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared slaves living in the Confederate states to be free. However, news that slavery was abolished was widely ignored and did not reach the deepest parts of the former Confederacy in Galveston, Texas until June 19, 1865, over two years after the emancipation proclamation was signed. In 1979, Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday, and as of June 17, 2021 Juneteenth became the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was declared a federal holiday in 1986.   

We commemorate June 19 as the day slaves were truly set free and celebrate our black and African-American community members, and commit to working together toward equity for all in expanding economic, educational, and career opportunities for everyone in our community. Issaquah is committed to continue to nurture and ensure that our residents feel welcome and are treated with respect, dignity and understanding.


Mayor Pauly will issue a proclamation at the June 5, 2023 City Council meeting stating that June 19th will be known as Juneteenth Day in the City of Issaquah.

Celebrate with Community

June 16: Global Grub & Groove: Juneteenth, hosted by the Issaquah Highlands Council

June 19: Celebrate Juneteenth, hosted by the City of Issaquah

Regional Events

June 10: Celebrate Juneteenth! At the Federal Way King County Library youth and families are invited to a Juneteenth experience, including artistic performances, community partner information tables and activities in the Makerspace. Featuring exhibits from the American Traveling History Museum: The Unspoken Truths, including Mother Africa and Black Inventors by founder and curator Delbert Richardson.

June 12-16: Juneteenth Celebration – Virtual Arts and Crafts Market Place is a way to support Black owned small businesses and purchase unique, handmade items. 

June 17: Eastside Honoring Juneteenth at Juanita Beach Park in Kirkland will feature Delbert Richardson and his Unspoken Truths American History Traveling Museum. Additional speakers for the day include Paula Sardinas, President and CEO of FMS Global Strategies and the WA Build Back Black Alliance; Dwight Jones Sr., Microsoft, Author of A Black Journey in Tech. Enjoy food, music and youth performances.

June 17: Free Juneteenth celebration in Kent the Kent Black Action Commission will be hosting a Juneteenth event at the Kent YMCA.

June 17: Juneteenth Celebration Rainier Beach Community Center will be featuring local food, entertainment, raffle prizes and Black owned business shops.

June 21: SilverKite Community Arts: Celebrating Juneteenth offers online inter-generational workshops, talks, social hours and performances.

June 24: It takes a Village Juneteenth Community Fest at Othello Park is a family friendly even that celebrates the Black community and promotes community health. Enjoy soul food, artist, kids corner, photo booth, entertainment and more. 

June 25: Renton Juneteenth Celebration at Liberty Park will feature 40+ vendors, 14 performances, food trucks, career fair, basketball tournaments and more. 

Past Events

The City and its newly created Equity Board, in partnership with the Baha'i's of Issaquah, hosted an in-person educational community event in June 2022, featuring Mr. Delbert Richardson, owner/curator of the national award winning American History Traveling Museum - The “Unspoken” Truths. 


  1. Children's Literature
  2. Adult Literature
  3. Articles
  4. Movies & Documentaries

Picture books to enjoy with children of all ages to learn and celebrate Juneteenth.