Williamson County will celebrate Juneteenth as an official, paid holiday in line with the federal government’s list of holidays. The county plans to take away a holiday that was planned for June 3, 2023, and this would ensure the total number of official holidays remains at 10.

“I had the opportunity this year to be in Galveston on June 19, and it was an amazing celebration, a uniquely Texas day,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Cynthia Long said. “My recommendation is that we add in between Memorial Day and July 4, an Emancipation Day as a holiday which would be Monday, June 19, 2023.”

Juneteenth, short for “June 19th” commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States and has been celebrated on the federal level since June 2021. It marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure all enslaved people were freed.

“[It] serves as a reminder of the enormous power and potential of a multiracial, multicultural democracy that America has become,” Jose Orta of Taylor said. “This holiday matters to all of us, because there's still so much more work ahead of us to make this a free and just society,”

National holidays are long considered a way to recognize events in the history of the country, and Texas became the first state to designate Juneteenth as a holiday in 1980.