City of Asheville to observe its first Juneteenth holiday 

City Hall summer



On June 18, Asheville City offices will be closed in observance of Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. Technically on June 19, it marks the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas, were finally  told they were free. These enslaved people learned they were free two years after the Civil War was over. A century and a half later, people in cities and towns across the U.S. continue to celebrate the occasion.


Earlier this year, City Manager Debra Campbell designated Juneteenth as a City holiday. On June 8, Mayor Esther Manheimer issued a proclamation acknowledging Juneteenth as a day of celebration for Black Americans.


Here is how Juneteenth will affect City services and information about a celebration at a City park.


Sanitation and ART bus services will not be affected. The buses will run on their normal schedule.


All parks will be open on a regular schedule. Recreation Park and Malvern Hills pools will be open on a regular schedule. The WNC Nature Center, Aston Park Tennis Center and Municipal Golf Course will be open on a regular schedule.

All community centers will be closed June 18.


The Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville box office will be closed June 18 and reopen at 10 a.m. June 22. As always tickets are available for purchase on Ticketmaster.


Juneteenth celebration

There will be music, children’s activities, vendors and motivational speakers at a Juneteenth Celebration from noon to 8 p.m. June 19 at Martin Luther King Jr Park, 50 Martin Luther King Jr Drive. The event is sponsored by My Daddy Taught Me That in cooperation with the City of Asheville.


Emergency services

All public safety services, including police, fire and emergency response, will operate to normal schedule – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Water Resources staff will be available for water related emergencies 24 hours a day over the holiday weekend.  Customers can call the customer service line at 828-251-1122 to report water related emergencies, leaks, breaks and no water calls.