Jeramey Jannene
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Juneteenth Draws Thousands To King Drive

52nd annual parade celebrates Black emancipation.

By - Jun 19th, 2023 02:30 pm
Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson hands out candy during the 2023 Juneteenth Parade. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson hands out candy during the 2023 Juneteenth Parade. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee’s 52nd annual Juneteenth Day Parade and Festival drew several thousand people to N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Monday.

Juneteenth formally recognizes June 19, 1865, the day when federal troops ordered the remaining slaves held in the state of Texas to be released. The announcement occurred more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation legally freeing the slaves.

While Milwaukee’s celebration is several decades running, the day has taken on increased national focus in recent years. It was declared a federal holiday in 2021 and an official city holiday in 2022.

Northcott Neighborhood House organizes the Milwaukee celebration, which features a parade starting at 9 a.m. at N. 14th Street and W. Atkinson Avenue and ends with a celebration at N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and W. Locust Street.

The popular event draws thousands of marchers and even more onlookers. Those in the parade include politicians, community groups, area businesses and schools. The festival portion features several vendors with many family barbecues expanding the event onto the surrounding blocks.

The grand marshalls for the 2023 parade were Sheriff Denita Ball and Police Chief Jeffrey Norman.

An annual pageant takes place in advance of the event. The winner of the Miss Juneteenth 2023 is Rufus King High School graduate Adaobi Nnamuchi, who will start her studies at UW-Madison this fall. The winner of Little Miss Juneteenth is Brionna Clemons and Mr. Juneteenth Day Junior is Mason Donald. The 2022 winner of Mr. Juneteenth, Kyon Myles, held onto his crown for a second year.


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