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Celebrate Juneteenth on June 19, as Milwaukee marks its 53rd annual observance

Juneteenth National Independence Day is Wednesday, June 19, 2024.On Wednesday, June 19, celebrate Juneteenth! Milwaukee this year will be holding its 53rd annual Juneteenth observations, one of the longest running such celebrations in the country.  

Juneteenth commemorates when U.S. troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, which ended slavery of African Americans. The next year, the first official Juneteenth celebrations took place in Texas, and over the next decade, celebrations such as family gatherings, prayer, educational events, and festivals sprang up across the country.  

Juneteenth officially became a federal holiday in 2021, when President Joe Biden signed legislation into law. Formally, it’s known as Juneteenth National Independence Day. 

One way to celebrate Juneteenth is to take in the Jubilee Parade on Milwaukee’s north side. (One of the early names for Juneteenth was Jubilee Day.) The parade steps off at 9:00 a.m. at N. 14th St. and W. Atkinson Ave. and continues down N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to W. Locust St.  

TMJ4 will again broadcast the parade, which is expected to end about 11:00 a.m. Among the participants will be members of the Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks, Green Bay Packers, and Marquette University’s men’s basketball team. 

The Juneteenth festival continues until 4:00 p.m. along King Drive from Concordia Ave. to Center St., with more than 450 vendors, children’s activities, and places to eat. The city’s Juneteenth celebration draws tens of thousands every year. 

Another way to observe Juneteenth is to support a Black-owned business. Find restaurants, shops, services, and more on the MKE Black organization’s business directory.  

Banks and the U.S. Postal Service are closed for the federal holiday, and City of Milwaukee services also are pausing. Milwaukee Public Schools offices will be closed on Juneteenth, as well. 

Visit juneteenthmilwaukee.com for more information about the day’s celebration, and learn more about Juneteenth at juneteenth.com

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Stephen Davis, Media Relations Manager

davis2@milwaukee.k12.wi.us
(414) 475-8675
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