SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Thousands of federal government employees are off work on Friday to mark Juneteenth. In South Dakota, many state workers also have the day off following a declaration by Gov. Kristi Noem.
Her office announced the vacation day late Thursday afternoon. State law says state government follows federal law or presidential action or governor’s action on official holidays.
The new federal holiday is being recognized on Friday because June 19 falls on a Saturday this year.
A Juneteenth event was already planned for Sioux Falls, even before this week’s legislation was signed.
“This is Juneteenth, this is our Freedom Day, our celebration, there’s absolutely no reason why everyone in the community should not be celebrating with us,” Julian Beaudion, event organizer said.
Activities get underway Saturday morning at 10 a.m. with a Freedom Walk at Terrace Park West. We’ll tell you how organizers hope future Juneteenth celebrations will be equal to other summer events like the Fourth of July, tonight on KELOLAND News.