MILWAUKEE — Plans for Milwaukee's Juneteenth Day Parade were announced on Tuesday. The parade not only plans to bring joy to the community after a difficult year, but hopes to bring customers back into businesses along the route.
"We're really excited at the Historic King Dr. BID to be able to help support the businesses, because part of Juneteenth is also commerce," said King Drive BID Executive Director Dashea Agee.
Sam's Place Jazz Cafe opened its doors on MLK Drive just a few months ago. Owner Sam Ed Belton said the community has already been very supportive, but he's looking forward to the extra boost the parade will bring.
"I'm excited about Juneteenth and the parade that's going to be coming through this year. It's going to allow people to know that there's a new business on this route," Belton said.
He's hoping to get involved during the day's festivities as well.
"We want to be able to participate with, maybe even doing some things outside, while the parade is going on," he said.
And just a few blocks down, also on MLK Drive, Rise and Grind Cafe is planning to re-open its doors just in time for the parade.
"The last year has been pretty challenging," said Rise and Grind Cafe owner Baboonie Tatum."It's been kind of dead on King Drive since the pandemic."
Tatum didn't realize the Juneteenth parade would be in full swing this year, and now the date she chose for re-opening is even more significant.
"Rise and Grind is really a community space. And seeing familiar faces, and just the community, and people gathering for such an occasion is just going to be amazing," she said.
And after the last year, the financial boost is also certainly welcome.
"We're still covering bills here. Although we were closed, we still have the rent, we still have the electricity," Tatum said.
Tatum said she hopes people attending the parade will not only support Rise and Grind, but all vendors along the route.