LOCAL NEWS

Utahns to celebrate Juneteenth for first time as state holiday

Jun 17, 2022, 1:27 PM | Updated: 1:53 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Juneteenth will take on extra special meaning this year as Utah recognizes it as a state holiday for the first time.

From the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City to the Ogden City Amphitheatre, there are activities across the state Friday through Monday to celebrate America’s second Independence Day.

“Being a federal and now a state holiday is so important,” said Betty Sawyer with the Ogden Chapter of the NAACP.

For more than three decades, Sawyer lobbied Utah lawmakers to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday.

“It’s a celebration of freedom which started in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 when those enslaved got word that they had been freed two years before.”

Her efforts paid off this past legislative session.

With backing from Gov. Spencer Cox and Rep. Sandra Hollins, D-Salt Lake City, lawmakers made it official.

“Over the past few years, we have seen a lot of our history, particularly black history come under attack,” said Hollins. “This is one way that we can go about acknowledging our history.”

It’s a historic step that Juneteenth organizers want Utahns to embrace. At the Ogden City Amphitheatre, there will be music, food and fun.

Spring Up with Casey: Celebrating Juneteenth in Utah

“We’re going to have spades tournaments, Bingo, dominoes, corn hole. We’re gonna have all kinds of kids activities,” said Sawyer.

In Salt Lake County, parties will be held in downtown Salt Lake City, at the Real Salt Lake game in Sandy and a health and wellness expo at the Gallivan Center.

“This is a big party so come from the north, the south, the east and the west,” said Sawyer.

Hollins invites everyone to come out and celebrate.

“Take your family. Eat a lot of food and have a lot of fun.”

Click here to see a list of events taking place across the state this weekend.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

First responders on the scene of the single vehicle crash that injured two people....

Michael Houck

Two hurt after a single vehicle crash on Trapper’s Loop

One person was flown to the hospital after crashing into a guardrail on Trapper's Loop Monday afternoon. 

4 minutes ago

A reflective monolith found by Vegas Metro Search and Rescue near Gass Peak over the weekend....

Michael Houck

A reflective monolith appears in outskirts of Las Vegas

Three years since a mysterious monolith appeared in the Utah wilderness, a new one was found in the mountains near Las Vegas.

38 minutes ago

Rep. Celeste Maloy, R-Utah, the incumbent candidate running for the 2nd Congressional District, spe...

Mary Culbertson

Trump endorses Celeste Maloy for re-election ahead of GOP primary

Former President Donald Trump endorsed Congresswoman Celeste Maloy just over a week ahead of the GOP primary.

56 minutes ago

FILE — police lights...

Mary Culbertson

Toddler severely injured in Draper crash

A toddler was severely injured in a Draper crash Monday.

1 hour ago

Officials at Grand Canyon National Park say a hiker died at the parkon Sunday, June 16, 2024. (Nati...

Mark Jones

Hiker dies at Grand Canyon National Park

Officials at Grand Canyon National park say a hiker died over weekend inside the park.

2 hours ago

(File)...

Eliza Pace

37-year-old man accused of sexually exploiting 17-year-old girl in Cedar City

A Las Vegas man has been arrested and accused of sexually exploiting a 17-year-old girl at a hotel in Cedar City.

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Utahns to celebrate Juneteenth for first time as state holiday