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In a supremely cool move, the Shreveport City Council has approved the sale and use of fireworks for Juneteenth celebrations! This is the first time the city has approved the use of fireworks for Juneteenth, so take advantage of it and celebrate with a 'bang!'

Not sure what Juneteenth is? Juneteenth marks the freedom of the last remaining enslaved African Americans in the Confederacy in Texas on June 19, 1865. You might wonder why the dates don't line up. After all, President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863. So why the lag? It wasn't until April 9, 1865 that Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered in Appomattox, VA and because Texas was the furthest state away at the time, it took a while before federal troops were able to get to Galveston and make the announcement.

In essence, Juneteenth marks the end of slavery in the United States and has grown to include the exploration and celebration of African American history and heritage. The unofficial holiday is also referred to as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. It's important to note that the Emancipation Proclamation did not free slaves in Union states. It wasn't until the ratification of the 13th Amendment in December of 1985 that all formerly enslaved people in the United States were free.

Now that we've had a brief history lesson, let's get to the celebration! You'll be able to use fireworks in Shreveport now through Saturday, June 20th. However, the ordinance prohibits shooting off fireworks between 10 pm and 8 am. You'll also be able set off fireworks again during the 4th of July holiday weekend with the same time restrictions.