City of Longmont officials and members of the public gathered outside the Longmont Civic Center to celebrate the raising of the Juneteeth flag.
Madeline Strong Woodley and Glenda Strong Robinson reminded gathers that while enslaved people were declared free in 1863, the word did not come to those in Texas until June 19, 1865.
June 19, is now referred to as Juneteenth in celebration of all enslaved people receiving the notice of freedom.
For the past two years, the city of Longmont has celebrated the holiday with a flag-raising ceremony. This year, President Joe Biden recognized the holiday, observed on June 20, as a national holiday.
Colorado and the city of Longmont also recognize the holiday and all city, state and federal buildings will be closed Monday.
In addition to raising the flag, gatherers listened to or sang the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
“I am so proud to be a Longmonster. I am so proud to be a council member. I am just so proud that we are now at a time in our lives in this country that we can celebrate and recognize true history, that means a lot,” said Councilmember Shaquita Yarbrough. “Freedom day is important. It is important for those who live here and for those who are represented.”
The weekend is packed with events to celebrate the holiday.
On Saturday, a celebration of youth 8 to 21 years old will take place at the Longmont Museum through the arts. Patrons will learn African dance, African drumming and singing. A showcase will begin at 4:30 p.m. for participants to share what they learned. Registration is required but the event is free to the public.
Sunday, Congressman Joe Neguse will be the keynote speaker at a celebration in Roosevelt Park beginning at 1 p.m. The day will be filled with a variety of entertainment and will end with a line dance.
Yarbrough said the line dance symbolizes coming together as brothers and sisters and as one and that she is looking forward to dancing with all the people of Longmont.
Monday, the 2022 BVSD and SVVSD graduates will be celebrated at Boulder High School at 11 a.m.