Juneteenth will now be a free day at Washington state parks.
The day — which falls on June 19 and is also known as Emancipation Day and Freedom Day — commemorates the day when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 and informed the last enslaved African Americans there that they were free.
“The new designation reflects a commitment among state lands agencies to promote diversity, equity and inclusion as core values,” Washington State Parks and Recreation said in a news release.
Other free days next month include June 5 for National Trails Day, June 12 for National Get Outdoors Day and June 13 for Free Fishing Weekend.
On non-free days, visitors must display a Discover Pass on their vehicles on the dashboard or on the rearview mirror for parking access. The pass cost $30 annually, or $10 for a day permit.
Earlier this month, Gov. Jay Inslee officially declared Juneteenth a paid holiday for state workers in Washington starting in 2022.
According to state law, Washington State Parks is allowed to designate up to 12 days when a pass is not required for a day visit. Free days later in the year include:
- Aug. 25: National Park Service birthday
- Sept. 25: National Public Lands Day
- Nov. 11: Veterans Day
- Nov. 26: Autumn Day