On Friday, June 19, in celebration of Juneteenth, all on-street metered parking will be free of charge and Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) offices will be closed for the City of Portland holiday. Parking meters and the Parking Kitty app will not take payments for on-street parking, but regular parking rates will still apply at PBOT’s five SmartPark parking garages.
Also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Cel-Liberation Day, Juneteenth -- a blending of the words June and nineteenth -- is the oldest known U.S. celebration of the end of slavery. It commemorates June 19, 1865. That's the day that Union Major General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, and told slaves of their emancipation from slavery. "In accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free," Granger read to the crowd that day. It came more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. This year is Juneteenth’s 155th Anniversary.
The Juneteenth Oregon Celebration was founded 45 years ago by the late and beloved community leader Clara Peoples. The celebration of Juneteenth Oregon dates back to 1945 when Peoples introduced the tradition from Muskogee, Oklahoma, to her co-workers at the Kaiser Shipyards in Portland. Upon moving to Portland in 1945, Clara Peoples was surprised to learn that the Juneteenth holiday was unknown in this part of the country. She introduced the holiday to her co-workers at the Kaiser Shipyards during their break being the first Juneteenth Celebration in Oregon. Later Clara helped to initiate Portland’s annual citywide Juneteenth celebration in 1972. Learn more about Juneteenth Oregon at https://www.juneteenthor.com/.
This year’s Juneteenth Oregon celebration will be going virtual with a livestream celebration on Saturday, June 20 from 1-4 p.m. Watch the event live on Facebook at facebook.com/juneteenthoregon15 or facebook.com/PDXJazzPortland Watch the event live on Instagram at instagram.com/juneteenthor or instagram.com/pdxjazz.
On Wednesday, June 17, 2020, Portland City Council voted unanimously to adopt Juneteenth as an annual Day of Remembrance and paid holiday.