The holiday commemorates June 19, 1865, when the Union army arrived in Texas bearing federal orders proclaiming the end of slavery. The orders arrived nearly two-and-a-half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation declared that enslaved people living in the secessionist Confederate states were now free.

In July 2020, the Mayor and Council approved a resolution making Rockville the first municipality in Maryland to recognize Juneteenth as a paid city holiday.

The City of Rockville will observe Juneteenth, Saturday, June 19, as a city holiday for the first time this year with a panel discussion and community service activities.

Still have questions? Contact: 

Event Coordinator
Allison Hoy
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Local Events on Juneteenth

  • The City of Rockville panel discussion will focus on racial equity, social justice and economic development as a means toward achieving equity and justice. Panelist will include community members, members of Rockville’s Mayor and Council, and city staff. The discussion will premiere on June 19 at 10 a.m. on Rockville 11 (channel 11 on county cable) and on the city’s YouTube channel.
  • Take a self-guided African American Heritage Walking Tour that documents the people and places in the city's downtown core that played significant roles in black history from the 18th through the 20th century. You can use an online map or print out a historical guide.
  • Visit the Peerless Rockville exhibit “Forging Freedom: Endurance and Escape on Rockville’s Underground Railroad,” which explores life under slavery in Rockville, the courageous stories of fugitives from Rockville, and the network of abolitionists, agents and conductors who assisted slaves in their flights to freedom. Peerless will open the exhibit, at the Red Brick Courthouse, 29 Courthouse Square, to groups of 12 every 30 minutes from 1-4 p.m. Register at peerlessrockville.org
  • Attend the Montgomery County Juneteenth Celebration at the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown on June 19 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Find more information here.
  • Join Step Afrika!'s Juneteenth Virtual Celebration on Saturday, June 19, 2021 at 8 p.m. Find more information and register here.
  • The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is hosting a day of events exploring African American cultural traditions to commemorate Juneteenth. The museum’s virtual programming and new educational resources can be found on its Juneteenth webpage. Registration for the virtual programs is free and open to the public.
RedBrick Courthouse
Step Afrika Juneteenth Flyer
Montgomery County Juneteenth Flyer

Volunteer on Juneteenth

  • Volunteer for service activities to maintain sites important to Rockville and its African American community. Community cleanups will be held in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, at the Mount Calvary Baptist Church cemetery and at Haiti Cemetery.  
  • Volunteer at locations around the city to educate people about Juneteenth and why it is important to celebrate, and about services in the City of Rockville. Volunteers will also help community members complete a city community survey. Adult volunteers will register community members for appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • Most volunteer activities are family-friendly and open to all ages, and Student Service Learning hours are available. Find more information and register at www.rockvillemd.gov/volunteer.

Learn More

  • Learn more about the Emancipation Proclamation that was signed by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. Through the National Archives, you can view a digital copy of the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • Check out the City’s reading list on Juneteenth, racial equity and social justice.

For ADA modifications, please contact the city’s Americans with disabilities coordinator at 240-314-8304, ahoy@rockvillemd.gov, TTY 240-314-8137 or Relay 711 by June 1.