In honor of Juneteenth, Irmo Mayor Barry Walker declared June 19 as a town holiday during a press conference held at the town hall last Friday, June 19.

Mayor Walker asked the council to honor the holiday during a town council meeting held on Tuesday, June 16. 

“I proclaim June 19 as Juneteenth an official Irmo holiday,” said Walker. “I’m not asking this as a vote but as a proclamation, I’d like to put forth”.

“Some of the council was surprised by the request but supportive.“It’s being recognized in 47 states around the country,” said Councilman Erik Sickinger. “I’m very glad that Irmo has chosen to honor it.”

On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX, and announced the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery in Texas which was 21/2 years after President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The Texans began celebrating Juneteenth in 1866 with community events, parades, cookouts and musical performances. 

Although Juneteenth is not a federal holiday, most states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation recognizing it as a holiday or observance. The town will not close on the holiday.