In 2021, Juneteenth became the first new federal holiday in America since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was adopted in 1983. The day commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans, and marks the anniversary of the order issues on June 19th, 1865, which proclaimed freedom for slaves in the state of Texas.

Iowa became the seventh state to officially recognize Juneteenth as a holiday. Being that Juneteenth is still a very new federal holiday, there seems to be some confusion (from myself, admittedly, and others) regarding what is open that day, I decided to look into it through a local lens.

Here is what is open and closed on Juneteenth in Dubuque/Dubuque County:

Government offices:

Non-essential federal, state, and city government offices will not be open on June 19th. That includes the City of Dubuque offices, marking the first time they will close in observance of Juneteenth. This includes City Hall and most other City offices and facilities, including Carnegie-Stout Public Library:

There will be no service/schedule changes to trash and recycling collection and Monday routes will be collected as normal.  Additionally, there will be no schedule changes to transportation services provided by The Jule. However, Intermodal Transportation Center offices will be closed and there will be no parking meter enforcement on Monday, June 19.

Photo Credit: osbkin, Digital Team
Photo Credit: osbkin, Digital Team


Most banks and credit unions will be closed for Juneteenth, so if you have any urgent banking needs that extend beyond services generally provided by apps and online access, you will need to go to the bank the Friday before or the Tuesday after the holiday.


Like other federal holidays, there will be no mail nor packages delivered on June 19th, with post offices around the country closing. However, neither FedEx nor UPS have Juneteenth listed as a holiday on their websites.

Grocery Stores:

Most grocery stores, such as Walmart, Target, Costco, and others, will remain open on Juneteenth.

A Fun Juneteenth Celebration in Dubuque:

The Multicultural Family Center (MFC) in Dubuque hosting the 13th Annual Juneteenth Celebration in Dubuque at Jackson Park (1500 Main Street). It's a three-day event this year, running from June 16th - 17th. Here's a breakdown of some of the events that will be taking place:

Friday, June 16, 5 - 9 pm Multicultural Family Center (MFC) 1157 Central Ave., Dubuque
Featuring the works of up-and-coming African American artists, Spoken Word, and Poetry. Hosted by Briana Thompson

Saturday, June 17, Noon – 3 pm Picnic in Jackson Park
Includes a talent show (cash prizes awarded), raffles, bounce house, games for all ages, community booths, local business vendors, door prizes, free food and food trucks.

Sunday, June 18, 11 am – 1 pm Community Prayer and Praise in Jackson Park Food Trucks will be available.

For more details, specifically on what local government buildings are closing on Juneteenth, head to the City of Dubuque's website.

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