By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Burnsville City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to make Juneteenth an official city holiday.

Beginning in 2022, Burnsville offices will be closed annually on June 19. Last year, Juneteenth was declared as a paid holiday for Federal employees, yet only a few cities in Minnesota have chosen to formally recognize Juneteenth as a paid holiday.

Juneteenth, also known as “Emancipation Day,” commemorates the day in 1865 when Black Americans in Galveston, Texas finally learned they had been freed two-and-a-half years earlier, when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

The city’s decision intends to put Burnsville on path to understanding the significance of the holiday.

“This past summer, we held the City’s first-ever Juneteenth celebration and saw firsthand what Juneteenth means to the Burnsville community,” said City Manager Melanie Lee. “It’s important to us that our staff have the opportunity to celebrate Juneteenth with their families and communities as well.”

Nearly 300 people attended the city’s first Juneteenth celebration in June. The city is already planning for their second Juneteenth celebration, which will be held Saturday, June 28, 2022 at North River Hills Park.