Montgomery County will hold its 25th Juneteenth celebration at the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., according to county officials.

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich described Juneteenth as a chance for Montgomery County residents to gather as a community, celebrate diversity and remember history.

“We reaffirm that we are stronger as a county because of our diversity,” Elrich said in a press release. “This year’s Juneteenth activities are designed to engage and educate, as well as entertain, because this holiday is a reminder that we can’t take freedom for granted.”

This is the first time Juneteenth is observed as a paid holiday at both the national and county level, the county’s press release said.

Juneteenth, short for “June Nineteenth,” marks the end of slavery in the United States after the Civil War. Last year, President Joe Biden signed legislation declaring Juneteenth a federal holiday.

In addition to the county’s festivities, the town of Kensington will hold its inaugural Juneteenth celebration from noon to 4 p.m. June 18 at St. Paul Park. The event will include live music, food trucks, a beer and wine garden, historical and educational presentations and family activities, according to organizers Jamie Boston and Kenna Barrett.

This year, the county celebration includes an educational passport activity. By traveling the BlackRock campus, visitors can participate in activities to earn stamps and learn about Juneteenth.

Art pieces by Alonzo Davis and a slave museum display will be available all day, according to the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights.

Davis is a Southern California-based artist whose work draws inspiration from travel to the Southwest United States, Brazil, Haiti, West Africa and the Pacific Rim, according to his artist statement. He tries to integrate LED light elements in his sculptures and installations “whenever possible,” he wrote.

The Sandy Spring Slave Museum and African Art Gallery features opportunities to learn about Black history through the Middle Passage, Underground Railroad, Civil Rights movement and more.

Groups will perform soul, jazz and Caribbean music throughout the day, according to the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights.

Langston Hughes II, a young saxophonist, flutist, bandleader and composer performs at 12:30 p.m. Hughes is an award-winning musician studying jazz performance at Howard University, according to his website.

Black Broadway on U, a multiplatform storytelling project investigating the Black history and legacy of U Street in the District, will present the sounds of Pearl Bailey and Ella Fitzgerald at 8 p.m. The project aims to connect audiences with the “unsung” influence and civic impact of the Black U Street community, its website said.

There will also be a series of poems, films and documentaries honoring Black accomplishments, according to the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights. Selections include a monologue about Josiah Henson, the escaped slave who inspired “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe, at 10:15 a.m.; the Disney and Pixar movie Soul at 1 p.m. and Marvel Studios’ Black Panther at 7:30 p.m.

The event is free. Vendors selling food and arts and crafts will be on-site.

Parking is available at the Upper County Regional Services Center, as well as Montgomery College and Seneca Valley High School from noon to 11:30 p.m. with shuttles to BlackRock leaving every 15 minutes, according to the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights.