By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 10, 2021 at 10:02 AM

After missing a year due to the pandemic, Milwaukee’s Juneteenth Day celebration and parade is back on in-person for 2021.

When the parade steps off at 14th and Atkinson Avenue, headed toward Dr. Martin Luther King Drive at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 19, it will mark the start of the 50th anniversary of the city’s Juneteenth Day celebration.

Milwaukee’s event, on King Drive between Burleigh and North, is one of the longest-running Juneteenth Day celebrations in the country.

Juneteenth Day – also known as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day and Jubilee Day – marks the anniversary of the date in 1865 when the Union Army alerted the last group of slaves in Texas to the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation.

The event runs until 4:30 p.m.

The parade will be broadcast live on WTMJ-TV.

As always, there will be the Miss Juneteenth contest, hosted by Northcott Neighborhood House, Inc. and Jammin’ 98.3, and this year there will also be Litle Miss, Mister and Mister Jr. titles awarded.

Although the in-person pageant won’t take place this year, awards – including scholarships of up to $1,500 for kids ages 7 to 18 – will be given based on entries.

Complete details and the online entry form are here.

In addition to the usual cultural and culinary highlights, there will also be a fun zone for kids at the festival.

As part of the 50th anniversary, a group of Milwaukee dignitaries will be honored, including Clayborn Benson, Milele Coggs, Spencer Coggs, Gwendolyn Moore, Reuben Harpole, David Crowley, June Perry-Stevens and numerous others.

Northcott Neighborhood House collaborated with the Milwaukee Health Department and the Milwaukee Heritage Health Center on safety standards and will follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

Masks and social distancing are recommended at the festival, which is held outdoors, and organizers will have around 75 volunteers reminding folks to wear their masks and keep safe distances. They will also have masks to hand out.

Juneteenth Day Virtual Takeover

Safe & Sound hosts the second annual Juneteenth Virtual Takeover, "a celebration of history and freedom through the arts."

The online event takes places at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. via the Safe & Sound Facebook and via YouTube.

If you're interested in participating, use the QR code in this post:

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.