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May 22, 2024
February 17, 2022

State Holidays Made Easy: A Guide for Employers

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Managing a workforce spread across several states can get complicated. Beyond tax implications and varying regulations, there's the often-overlooked issue of official state holidays

This State Holidays Guide for Employers highlights each holiday's date, purpose, and how it is usually observed. Awardco’s prerogative is to simplify state holidays, making it a breeze to keep you and your team happy, productive, and feeling recognized on a local level.

Alabama State Holidays

Alabama Day (December 14)

This is a day to celebrate Alabama becoming the 22nd state of America in 1819.

Jefferson Davis’ Birthday (First Monday in June)

In Alabama, state offices close to honor President Jefferson Davis each June. 

Alaska State Holidays

Seward’s Day (Last Monday in March)

This day celebrates the signing of the Alaska Purchase Treaty on March 30, 1867, when America bought Alaska from Russia. State employees enjoy time off because it’s a public holiday. People join special activities like history programs, storytelling events, and more.

Alaska Day (October 18)

Not to be confused with Seward’s Day, Alaska Day is a legal holiday celebrating the completion of the formal transfer of Alaska from Russia to America. State employees have the day off, and there’s often a parade or festival. 

Arizona State Holidays

Civil Rights Day (Third Monday in January)

In Arizona, this public holiday honors all civil rights activists past and present. It falls on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and was elected by Arizonians as an official state holiday in 1992. 

American Family Day (First Sunday in August)

This holiday is meant to celebrate American families and how much family does for one another. It’s typically a day for picnics and barbecues. 

Constitution Commemoration Day (September 17)

This state holiday combines “Constitution Day” and “Citizenship Day” to celebrate the creation of the U.S. Constitution and all American citizens.

Arkansas State Holidays

Daisy Gatson Bates Day (Third Monday in February)

Daisy Gatson Bates was a prominent civil rights activist and journalist in Arkansas, and this holiday honors her work. 

California State Holidays

Rosa Parks Day (Feburary 4)

California chooses to celebrate the birth of this prominent civil rights activist. Rosa Parks Day honors the bravery Parks showed on that Montgomery bus in 1955. 

Colorado State Holidays

Colorado Day (First Monday in August)

This holiday celebrates the day Colorado became a state in 1876. State parks offer free admission to explore the state's natural beauty. 

Frances Xavier Cabrini Day (First Monday in October)

This state holiday honors humanitarian Frances Xavier Cabrini (the patron saint of immigrants), who helped the poor and sick. Some Coloradans celebrate this day by taking the Cabrini Pledge and hanging flags in her honor.

Connecticut State Holidays

Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12)

Connecticut observes former President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday every year on February 12. 

Delaware State Holidays

Good Friday (Friday Before Easter)

The Friday before Easter is significant for those who practice Christianity, but Delaware lists it as a state holiday for every employee in the state. 

General Election Day (First Tuesday in November) 

Though not a traditional holiday, Delaware ensures all those who can and want to vote in the general election every four years have the opportunity to. 

Florida State Holidays

None at This Time

State holidays are often established to commemorate significant events in the state's history, honor prominent figures, or celebrate cultural heritage. Instead, Florida prioritizes federal holidays or other nationally recognized observances.

Georgia State Holidays

State Holiday (Fourth Monday in April)

Once celebrated as “Confederate Memorial Day” to honor fallen Confederate soldiers, the holiday was changed in 2016and the original name was struck from the state calendar.

Hawaii State Holidays

Prince Kūhiō Day (March 26) 

This holiday honors Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaole, who dedicated his life to improving the Hawaiian people’s lives. Government offices and public buildings are closed, while businesses in the private sector can elect to offer this as a paid state holiday.  

King Kamehameha Day (June 11)

This Hawaiian public holiday honors King Kamehameha, known for uniting the Hawaiian Islands in 1810. State government offices, schools, and some public services close, but private sector employees decide whether or not to give their employees the day off. 

Idaho State Holidays

Idaho Human Rights Day (Third Monday in January)

In Idaho, this public holiday honors all civil rights activists past and present. It falls on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Illinois State Holidays

Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12)

The Land of Lincoln celebrates former president Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12. 

General Election Day (First Tuesday in November) 

Though not a traditional holiday, Illinois ensures all those who can and want to vote in the general election every four years have the opportunity to. 

Indiana State Holidays

Good Friday (Friday Before Easter)

The Friday before Easter is significant for those who practice Christianity, but Indiana lists it as a state holiday for every employee in the state. 

Primary Election Day (Typically in May) 

Though not a traditional holiday, this Indiana state holiday ensures that state workers get the time they need to vote in the primary.

Lincoln’s Birthday (Day After Thanksgiving)

Indiana observes former president Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (which actually happened on February 12, 1809) just in time for a long Thanksgiving weekend. 

Washington’s Birthday (December 24)

Unlike most of the country that recognizes the federal Presidents’ Day in February, Indiana celebrates George Washington’s birthday in December—on Christmas Eve!

Iowa State Holidays

None at This Time

State holidays are often established to commemorate significant events in the state's history, honor prominent figures, or celebrate cultural heritage. Instead, Iowa prioritizes federal holidays or other nationally recognized observances.

Kansas State Holidays

Discretionary Day (Any Day in a 365-Day Window)

Every year, the Governor of Kansas authorizes one floating day off to eligible state employees in Kansas.

Kentucky State Holidays

Good Friday (Friday Before Easter)

The Friday before Easter is significant for those who practice Christianity, but Kentucky lists it as a state holiday—well, a half-day holiday—for every employee in the state. 

Louisiana State Holidays

Day After New Year’s (January 2) 

Depending on the yearly calendar, Louisianans get not just one day to celebrate the New Year, but two.

Mardi Gras (Tuesday Before Ash Wednesday)

Mardi Gras is both a holiday and a festival. Its origins celebrate the beginning of Lent, though some people just know it as a big party. People celebrate by joining the various festivals and parades. 

Good Friday (Friday Before Easter)

The Friday before Easter is significant for those who practice Christianity, but Lousiana lists it as a state holiday for every employee in the state. 

Maine State Holidays

Patriot's Day (Third Monday in April)

This holiday commemorates the battles of Lexington, Concord, and Menotomy—some of the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Different ways to celebrate include battle reenactments and parades.

Maryland State Holidays

Inauguration Day (January 20 or 21, every 4 years)

This state holiday celebrates the inauguration of the president of the United States, held in the nation's capital.

General Election Day (First Tuesday in November) 

Though not a traditional holiday, Maryland ensures all those who can and want to vote in the general election every four years have the opportunity to. 

American Indian Heritage Day (Fourth Friday in November) 

While all of November is designated as Native American Heritage Month, on this day, the state holiday honors indigenous people, their heritage, and their culture. 

Massachusetts State Holidays

Patriots’ Day (Third Monday in April)

Patriot’s Day remembers the battles of Lexington, Concord, and Menotomy—some of the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Different ways to celebrate include battle reenactments, parades, and the Boston Marathon. 

Michigan State Holidays

None at This Time

State holidays are often established to commemorate significant events in the state's history, honor prominent figures, or celebrate cultural heritage. Instead, Michigan prioritizes federal holidays or other nationally recognized observances.

Minnesota State Holidays

None at This Time

State holidays are often established to commemorate significant events in the state's history, honor prominent figures, or celebrate cultural heritage. Instead, Minnesota prioritizes federal holidays or other nationally recognized observances.

Mississippi State Holidays

None at This Time

State holidays are often established to commemorate significant events in the state's history, honor prominent figures, or celebrate cultural heritage. Instead, Mississippi prioritizes federal holidays or other nationally recognized observances.

Missouri State Holidays

Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12)

Missouri celebrates former president Abraham Lincoln’s birthday each February 12. 

Truman Day (May 8)

This state holiday honors President Harry S. Truman on his birthday.

Montana State Holidays

Montana Day (April 6)

This holiday that celebrates all things Montana is on April 6th to commemorate the state’s sole area code (406). People celebrate this day by taking photos and using #MontanaDay, wearing specially branded gear, and going to various events across the state. 

Nebraska State Holidays

Arbor Day (Last Friday in April)

Nebraska values its prairies as much as its wooded areas. This day encourages tree planting and celebrates the importance of trees.

Nevada State Holidays

Nevada Day (Last Friday in October)

Originally known as Admission Day, Nevada Day marks the state's admission into the United States on October 31, 1864. It is celebrated grandly in Nevada, including parades, musical performances, food vendors, etc.

New Hampshire State Holidays

Civil Rights Day (Third Monday in January)

This state holiday in New Hampshire honors all who participated in the civil rights movement.

New Jersey State Holidays

Good Friday (Friday Before Easter)

The Friday before Easter is significant for those who practice Christianity, but New Jersey lists it as a state holiday for every employee in the state.

New Mexico State Holidays

Presidents’ Day Observed (Day After Thanksgiving) 

Unlike most of the United States, New Mexico celebrates President’s Day in November, on the Friday after Thanksgiving. They do this to give state workers a long weekend—although Presidents’ Day is also on the New Mexico calendar in February like most states. It’s just not recognized with time off at that time.

New York State Holidays

Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12)

New York celebrates former president Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12, 1809. 

General Election Day (First Tuesday in November) 

Though not a traditional holiday, New York ensures all those who can and want to vote in the general election every four years have the opportunity to. 

North Carolina State Holidays

Good Friday (Friday Before Easter)

The Friday before Easter is significant for those who practice Christianity, but North Carolina lists it as a state holiday for every employee in the state. 

North Dakota State Holidays

Bird Day (April 26)

Bird Day celebrates and honors the work of John James Audubon, a naturalist who did extensive studies on American birds. People celebrate this holiday by bird-watching North Dakota birds in their natural habitats. 

Good Friday (Friday Before Easter)

This holiday is significant for those who practice Christianity, but North Dakota lists it as a state holiday for every employee in the state. 

Ohio State Holidays

Dean Martin Day (June 7)

Dean Martin is an Ohio native and the state created this holiday to honor his achievements as an entertainer. People celebrate this holiday by listening to his music and attending various festivals in his honor. 

Grandma Gatewood Day (April 27)

This holiday celebrates Emma Gatewood, also known as Grandma Gatewood, who was the oldest woman and the first person to hike the Appalachian Trail three times. People celebrate by walking a 6-mile trail named Grandma Gatewood Trail. 

Ohio Statehood Day (March 1)

This day celebrates when Ohio became its own state and had its first meeting to conduct state business. People celebrate this day by visiting many different historic landmarks within the state. 

Oklahoma State Holidays

None at This Time

State holidays are often established to commemorate significant events in the state's history, honor prominent figures, or celebrate cultural heritage. Instead, Oklahoma prioritizes federal holidays or other nationally recognized observances.

Oregon State Holidays

None at This Time

State holidays are often established to commemorate significant events in the state's history, honor prominent figures, or celebrate cultural heritage. Instead, Oregon prioritizes federal holidays or other nationally recognized observances.

Pennsylvania State Holidays

Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day (March 29)

This holiday honors the Tuskegee Airmen, an African-American squadron of pilots, who lost their lives in World War I. 

Persian Gulf War Veterans Day (March 6)

This holiday honors the veterans of the Persian Gulf War. People celebrate this holiday by remembering the Persian Gulf War and the sacrifices veterans made. 

Rhode Island State Holidays

Victory Day (Second Monday of August)

Also known as VJ Day, this Rhode Island state holiday commemorates the victory over Japan during World War II. However, this holiday may be changed in the near future. 

South Carolina State Holidays

None at This Time

State holidays are often established to commemorate significant events in the state's history, honor prominent figures, or celebrate cultural heritage. Instead, South Carolina prioritizes federal holidays or other nationally recognized observances.  

South Dakota State Holidays

None at This Time

State holidays are often established to commemorate significant events in the state's history, honor prominent figures, or celebrate cultural heritage. Instead, South Dakota prioritizes federal holidays or other nationally recognized observances. 

Tennessee State Holidays

Good Friday (Friday Before Easter)

This holiday is significant for those who practice Christianity, but Tennessee lists it as a state holiday for every employee in the state. 

Texas State Holidays

San Jacinto Day (April 21)

Not to be confused by non-Texans with the Alamo, this day commemorates the Battle of San Jacinto in the war for the independence of Texas.

Utah State Holidays

Pioneer Day (July 24)

Pioneer Day is a big deal in Utah. It’s a celebration of the arrival of Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. 

Vermont State Holidays

Town Meeting Day (First Tuesday of March)

This Vermont holiday allows for a unique tradition where citizens gather to discuss local government issues and vote directly on proposals.

Bennington Battle Day (August 16)

This holiday commemorates the Battle of Bennington, a pivotal victory for the American colonists during the Revolutionary War. State offices close on this day. 

Virginia State Holidays

Yorktown Victory Day (October 14)

In Virginia, Columbus Day buddies up with Yorktown Victory Day. This state holiday celebrates the 1781 victory of the Continental Army against the Redcoats during the Revolutionary War. 

Washington, D.C. Holidays

Inauguration Day (January 20 or 21, every 4 years)

This is a holiday dedicated to the inauguration of the president and vice president of the United States.

Emancipation Day (April 16)

This day celebrates the signing of the Emancipation Act by Abraham Lincoln, which made slavery illegal in the United States.

Washington State Holidays

Native American Heritage Day (Friday After Thanksgiving)

Washington observes Native American Heritage Day to raise awareness and celebrate the rich heritage of its indigenous population. Tribes, cultural centers, and community organizations often host powwows, educational talks, art exhibits, and other events to celebrate their heritage.

West Virginia State Holidays

West Virginia Day (June 20) 

This state holiday commemorates the admission of West Virginia as a state into the United States of America.

Wisconsin State Holidays

None at This Time

State holidays are often established to commemorate significant events in the state's history, honor prominent figures, or celebrate cultural heritage. Instead, Wisconsin prioritizes federal holidays or other nationally recognized observances.

Wyoming State Holidays

Wyoming Equality Day (Third Monday in January)

While Wyoming observes Martin Luther King Jr. Day like most states, it has the unique twist of incorporating the recognition of equality within the holiday's name. This state holiday also commemorates Wyoming Territory's role as the first state to guarantee women the right to vote in 1869. 

Beyond Our Employer’s State Holiday Guide 

This guide is your tool to ensure your employees across the country are given the opportunity to celebrate their state holidays with their community. 

But our Employer’s State Holiday Guide is not the only way that Awardco can support recognition at your business. Check out the Awardco Rewards and Recognition platform as well as our offline award options for employees who aren’t chained to a desk. We can work together to get your workers the recognition they deserve!