Dozens of cars lined the parking lot of the old Wainwright Elementary School building on the south side of Lansing waiting for the city's Juneteenth caravan to begin.

They were there to honor and celebrate the day enslaved people in Texas found out they were free.

Stock markets? Open. Post office? Open.

Federal courts? Schools? Banks? Businesses? It depends.

Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the end of slavery by marking the day enslaved people in Texas learned they were free, is now a federal holiday. The move comes after growing support nationwide for observing the day of celebration and reflection.

But actual practices for marking the holiday still vary widely.

logo for the festival, a black circle contains the text, "Juneteenth Festival '21" Inside the circle is the word, "Juneteenth" in orange letters, there's an illustration of a fist and then another "'21" in a circle
Juneteenth Festival

This year, a new Juneteenth Festival is coming to REO Town in Lansing.

The annual celebration on June 19 commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

For the first time in its history, Michigan State University is hosting an in-person commemoration of Juneteenth. This celebration plans to honor one of the final acts of the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States.

Updated June 17, 2021 at 4:28 PM ET

President Biden on Thursday signed a bill to recognize Juneteenth — the celebration to commemorate the end of chattel slavery in the United States — as a federal holiday.

Federal employees will observe the holiday for the first time on Friday.

On Saturday, June 19, 2021, Michigan State University will host a  university wide andin person celebration of Juneteenth to commemorate the freeing of African  American slaves in the U.S. The week-long celebration includes virtual film screenings, panel discussions and webinars that will lead up to the in-person event.

Lansing Juneteenth Celebration

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19 every year, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. 

The first formal celebration of Juneteeth in Lansing was in 1993. This year, in-person celebrations have been cancelled due to the pandemic, but Lansing’s Juneteenth Committee is sharing a public service announcement to spread awareness about the holiday and what it represents.

Fri., Jun. 19 9am-2pm on 90.5 FM | 90.5 Classical devotes a day to feature composers from the African diaspora. 

people eating lunch
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

The city of Lansing has kicked off its annual Juneteenth celebration.