Local Juneteenth celebrations in the Capital City
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– Today is the first time Juneteenth is being widely observed with closures of federal agencies, banks, schools and more. The official holiday was on a Sunday, so the closures are happening Monday. Last year, Juneteenth became a federal holiday just two days earlier. The short notice meant many organizations didn’t have time to prepare for it.
Monday, local city offices and U.S. Post Offices are closed. The New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ don’t have active trading hours. Most federal offices and schools are also shut down. So is the Federal Reserve, along with most banks.
Here at home, many celebrated the holiday over the weekend. A big crowd was at Benedict College for their 6th annual Juneteenth Freedom Festival, which featured food, drinks, music, and traditional African style dancing.
The celebrations continued on Main Street Monday morning with the Juneteenth Freedom Festival Parade, which kicked off at 10 a.m. ABC Columbia’s Miya Payton was live there as many community members, groups and businesses came out to support.
Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States, commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.
One lady watching the parade says it is surprising to know all of the people who still don’t know this part of history. It is being publicized more after becoming a federal holiday last year.
People say more people need educated on this important piece of history. These ladies also say everyone can play a role in helping this holiday grow and educating others.