Local closures in observance of Juneteenth

Published: Jun. 18, 2021 at 1:09 PM PDT|Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 1:23 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - In observance of the Juneteenth Federal Holiday signed into Federal law on Thursday, there are some local closures in place.

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office

Both the Administrative Division and Front Desk are closed at the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Friday, June 18, 2021. This closure affected the First-Come, First-Served Fridays for Carry Concealed Weapons (CCW) permits.

In a statement Thursday, Sheriff Darin Balaam said:

“Tomorrow is an historic day – marking the first time in American History our nation is formally recognizing the end to slavery. Nevada is entrenched in the history behind this day, as the making of our state allowed for President Abraham Lincoln to deliver the Emancipation Proclamation, and ultimately free the enslaved in June of 1865. I am proud that the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office will formally recognize Juneteenth tomorrow.”

Washoe County Libraries

All Washoe County libraries are also closed Friday, June 18 and Saturday, June 19 in observance of the Juneteenth holiday.

You can click here to place a hold, renew a check out, download ebooks and audiobooks, access research databases, find online articles, and more.

City of Reno

City of Reno offices will be closed Friday, June 18.

Parks & Recreation operations will remain open as scheduled, including Vacation Station camps for kids.

City of Sparks

The City of Sparks said it will honor Juneteenth as a holiday under its collective bargaining agreements and will observe the holiday next year by closing all city offices.

Mayor Ed Lawson issued the following statement:

“We recognize and honor the historical significance of this important day and applaud President Biden’s decision. This is an important step in acknowledging the painful parts of our nation’s history so we can learn and grow together as a community.”

Sparks City Hall will remain open Friday as many appointments have already been scheduled with city staff members, the city said. Summer programs for children through the city’s Parks and Recreation Department will also stay open.

“Many families rely on the city’s summer daycare programs for their children,” Mayor Lawson said. “Given the short notice of the announcement, we want to keep our facilities open and honor our obligation to serve the community.”

Churchill County

Most Churchill County Offices will be closed. The Churchill County Sheriff’s Office said the front counter at the sheriff’s office will be closed however all other functions of the Sheriff’s Office will remain open and fully functional.

The bill signing Thursday had many states scrambling to clarify their policies on the observance.

Governor Steve Sisolak’s office said Nevada state law does not allow the governor to unilaterally have this new Federal holiday observed on a weekday when it falls on a weekend date, therefore Juneteenth will not be observed as a statewide holiday on, Friday, June 18, 2021. However, the governor said he will work with state lawmakers to celebrate and observe Juneteenth as a weekday statewide holiday going forward.

The governor issued a proclamation naming June 19, 2021, as Juneteenth National Freedom Day. On Saturday, the Governor will join the DISCOVERY Children’s Museum in Las Vegas for a flag raising ceremony and poetry reading by Poet Laureate for Clark County Vogue Robinson in honor of Juneteenth.

“Celebrating Black freedom and achievement on Juneteenth is more important now than ever and is a critical part of American history,” Sisolak said. “I encourage all Nevadans to join me in observing Juneteenth this Saturday to commemorate the day when the message was delivered to the last American slaves that they were now free.”

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