Juneteenth is now an official city holiday in Bloomington

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — City employees in Bloomington will have another day off next year. On Monday the council voted to make Juneteenth a city holiday.

The idea came from council member Mboka Mwilambwe as he believes added attention will help community members understand and appreciate the history the day represents. June 19th 1865, marks the official end of slavery.

The city plans to hold both educational and celebratory events each year to promote awareness for community members.

“I believe that we can bring the community together by learning about each other,” said Mwilambwe. “I am beyond excited, and I cant wait for 2021.”

The new holiday will come at a hefty price community members. According to city leaders the cost to give city employees the day off would be north of $160,000, money that will come from taxpayers.


Despite a back and forth discussion, the city of bloomington now has a new commission, a seven-person body made up volunteers whose job is to overlook art installations in public places.

A majority of the council areed with the vote, saying this is a way to revitalize the downtown area. However, others say because the commission will require taxpayers money to operate, it’s not worth it.

The group will include two people living in the ward where the art projects will be placed.

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