(WGHP) — Juneteenth is now a federal holiday, codifying the annual celebration commemorating the end of slavery.
President Joe Biden signed the bill Wednesday. Juneteenth is the first national holiday since MLK Day in 1983.
Governor Roy Cooper shared a video message on Saturday, commemorating the holiday.
“Emancipation was made possible by the work of Black activists and abolitionists. As we celebrate Black heritage, history and freedom, it’s critical that we also take this opportunity to reflect on our country’s past and present. By addressing the systemic racism that has been in our communities for centuries, we can create a more just and equitable future,” Cooper said.
Juneteenth commemorates the 1865 date when the last enslaved Black people in the U.S learned from the Union soldiers in Texas they were free, more than two years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
“As we celebrate Juneteenth this year, let’s commit to work even harder building a North Carolina that works for everyone,” Cooper said.
Festivities are usually held to commemorate the milestone in American history. Here’s a rundown of what the Piedmont Triad has in store.
Saturday, 10:30 a.m., at Greensboro History Museum: The guided Green Book Bike Tour will cover 2.5 miles with four stops. It will include an introduction to the Green Book in North Carolina by historian Lisa Withers,
Saturday, 5 p.m., at Lebauer Park: Black Food Truck Festival featuring live music
Saturday, 5 p.m. at Green Level Municipal Park: Inaugural Juneteenth Celebration including fireworks, music, vendors and more.
Saturday, 10 a.m., at Oakwood Cemetery: African American History Walking Tour with the Talik’s African American Art & Cultural Movement
Sunday, 2 p.m., at Morehead Recreation Center: Uniting Black Men for Change to host Walk for Change and Father’s Day Festival on Washington Street.
Friday, 12 p.m., at St. Philips Church: Opening Ceremony of Juneteenth Celebration
Friday, 8:30 p.m., at MUSE Winston-Salem: Aperture Cinema presents screening of “Miss Juneteenth”
Saturday, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Biotech Place and Bailey Park: Juneteenth Festival in the Innovation Quarter, including performances, panel discussions, heritage demonstrations, vendors, displays, music and food.