Celebrate Juneteenth in JoCo with a variety of events planned around Johnson County

Red, green and yellow stripes

This year, Johnson County is celebrating Juneteenth under the theme “Learn the Past...Change the Future.” The celebration of Juneteenth in the county will recognize the freedom for all through a variety of events.

Ongoing engagements through the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center, Johnson County Library and within the community offer the opportunity to learn more about Juneteenth, as well as the history of African Americans in the United States. We are not the first organization in the community to commemorate and celebrate this momentous day, nor will we be the last.

Learn more about all the ways you can participate in Juneteenth in JoCo on our Juneteenth webpage. We encourage everyone to be a part of the celebration by using the hashtag #JoCoJuneteenth on social media.

Our latest episode of JoCo on the Go (episode #137) highlights upcoming Juneteenth events and explores the history of the holiday.

Join Johnson County Government for the inaugural Juneteenth in JoCo

When: Sunday, June 19, 2022. Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Where: Johnson County Square, Santa Fe and Cherry Street, Olathe, Kansas 66061

Who:  Both the public and media are invited

Event details: Enjoy speakers, meaningful music and a historical reflection (listed below)

  • Virginia Sewing, Keynote Speaker
  • Rev. Bobby Love
  • Kim Warren, Ph.D.
  • Little Miss Juneteenth
  • “Step Movement”
  • Juneteenth flag presentation
  • Food trucks

Juneteenth as an official holiday

Juneteenth has been an annual celebration across the country, and it became a national holiday in 2021. Last October, the Board of County Commissioners also made it a county holiday, approving it unanimously.

In 2022, it will be recognized by Johnson County for the first time, on Monday, June 20, since June 19 falls on a Sunday.


Juneteenth is a recognition and celebration of the end of slavery in the United States. A combination of the terms “June” and “nineteenth,” this holiday – taking place on June 19 – marks the date on which Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865, ensuring the freedom of all enslaved people in the state.

The arrival of the troops came two months after General Robert E. Lee surrendered in Appomattox, Virginia. Two years earlier, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Texas became the last Southern state to be formally notified of the president’s action that freed all enslaved people in Confederate states.

The 13th Amendment abolishing slavery was ratified on Dec. 6, 1865. The following year, the first celebration of “Jubilee Day” on June 19 was organized in Texas, which is now known as Juneteenth. More information on the history of this important holiday is available on our Juneteenth webpage.

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