COVINGTON, Ky. — Juneteenth is a day celebrated by many. Local governments and cities are jumping in to recognize it as a holiday, the latest being Covington.

What You Need To Know

  • Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday in 2021

  • It’s typically celebrated on June 19, on the anniversary that Texas told the last slaves in the state they were free

  • Covington city leaders voted to be one of the few local governments and cities that recognizes it as a holiday

  • Instead of closing City Hall on President’s Day, Covington City Hall will close on Monday, June 20 in honor of Juneteenth

City Commissioner Ron Washington said he wanted to see the city take this step.

“I had the honor of asking my fellow commissioners to approve this as a holiday that our city will observe,” Washington said.

City leaders took a vote, and now Covington recognizes Juneteenth as a holiday. This means City Hall will remain open on President’s Day, closing instead on Monday, June 20 in observation of Juneteenth.

But to Washington, it’s more than just a day off – the meaning goes deeper. Juneteenth is typically celebrated on June 19 each year, looking to honor the end of slavery and celebrate African-American culture. 

“Growing up in Covington, my background is that I was the only African-American police officer in Boone County. I was the first one hired. I was the highest ranking African American police officer in Northern Kentucky,” Washington said. “This is just one more positive step in our area, in Covington, showing that we are an inclusive community.”

It’s a step in the right direction for northern Kentucky and Covington, as city leaders said they’re joining others across the state like Louisville and Lexington in celebrating the holiday.

Washington said he and others who have a role that allows them to make change where need be in the community are always looking to make the community more inclusive. He said all walks of life exist, and they do what they can to make sure people feel welcomed and feel they can call the city home.

“We’ve got our eye on the ball and we’ve got citizens that direct us and tell us that this is the kind of community that they want and our government is here to serve them. That’s why we’re here. I believe we have a very open environment here,” Washington said.