OLYMPIA — 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