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Where to celebrate Juneteenth in Snohomish County in 2023

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash., June 14, 2023—This year, in support of the Juneteenth Holiday, the Lynnwood Times compiled a list of events and ceremonies taking place around Snohomish County starting the Friday, June 16, through Monday, June 19.

The Snohomish County Government is hosting a Juneteenth Flag Raising event on the County Campus on Friday, June 16. Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers and the County Council are inviting the public to join in raising the Juneteenth flag. Attendees should expect remarks from local leaders, recognizing the progress made together and the journey ahead.

Event details are below:

  • Date: Friday, June 16th
  • Time: 2:30 pm
  • Location: Flag poles next to the Carnegie Resource Center, 3001 Oakes Ave., Everett 98201

On June 13, 2022, the Snohomish County Council unanimously approved a proclamation recognizing Juneteenth Independence Day in Snohomish County.

Juneteenth Snohomish County
Pictured are the U.S., POW and the traditional Juneteenth flags at the Snohomish County War Memorial on June 19, 2022. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

In an historic first, the Juneteenth flag was raised and flown at the Snohomish County Government campus at the county’s War Memorial on June 20, 2022, becoming the first county within Washington state to officially fly the Juneteenth flag thanks to the efforts of County Executive Dave Somers, County Councilmen Jared Mead and Sam Low, and Washington State Senator John Lovick.

Juneteenth Snohomish County
The traditional Juneteenth flag at the Snohomish County War Memorial on June 19, 2022. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

Monroe Mayor Geoffrey Thomas and wife Lara Thomas donated the traditional Juneteenth flag for the ceremony. This came just days after Governor Jay Inslee, along with members of Blacks United in Leadership and Diversity (BUILD), held the State’s official first Juneteenth flag raising ceremony on the State Capitol Campus in Olympia.

Juneteenth Snohomish County
Mary Ann Grafton, Aaliyah Earvin, Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell, DJ Doc the Lion, Keynote speaker Garry Clark, Lynnwood Councilwoman Shirley Sutton, and Lynnwood Councilwoman Julieta Altamirano-Crosby attending Friday’s Juneteenth Luncheon at the Lynnwood Senior Center on June 17, 2022. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

Other Juneteenth events in Snohomish County and Seattle

If you are unable to join this year’s flag raising event next to the Carnegie Resource Center, consider attending some of the community-led events taking place in Snohomish County over the holiday weekend, including:

  • City of Edmonds, “Juneteenth on the Beach”– Saturday, June 17th at Edmonds Waterfront Center, 220 Railroad Ave, Edmonds, WA, from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm – Includes free food, storybook reading for children, music and the 1961 classic movie “Raisin in the Sun.”
  • NAACP Snohomish County’s Annual Juneteenth Community Celebration – Saturday, June 17th at Willis D. Tucker Park from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm – Includes free food and fun!
  • Verdant Health – Monday, June 19th at Cedar Valley Community School, 19200 56th Ave W. Lynnwood from 10 am – 3:00 pm tickets on Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/Juneteenth-2023-tickets-624545130297
  • Juneteenth Songs of Black Folks 2023 – Sunday, June 18th at Paramount Theater Seattle, 911 Pine Street, Seattle at 7pm. Tickets:  www.songsofblackfolk.org

Why celebrate Juneteenth

Juneteenth dates back to 1865 when, on June 19, Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger arrived at Galveston, Texas with news of the end of the Civil War and that the slaves were free known as General Order Number 3. This news was two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, which didn’t impact Texas since there were very few Union soldiers to enforce the proclamation.

General Order Number 3, reads as follows:

“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property, between former masters and slaves and the connection heretofore existing between them, becomes that between employer and hired labor. The Freedmen are advised to remain at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts; and they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”

The surrender of General Lee in April of 1865 coupled with the arrival of Granger and his regiment finally provided the influence necessary to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation.

Juneteenth became a federal holiday on June 17, 2021, and the first known official movement to make Juneteenth a federal holiday began in 1994. All 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia recognize Juneteenth either as a state holiday, a ceremonial holiday, or a day of observance. At least 28 states and the District of Columbia will legally recognize Juneteenth as a public holiday this year – meaning state government offices are closed and state workers have a paid day off, according to Pew Research Center.

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