Hundreds of Milwaukee vendors celebrate culture through their crafts

"I'm giving people a little bit of my culture with my food."
Posted at 10:27 PM, Jun 19, 2022

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee's 51st Juneteenth celebration drew thousands of locals to celebrate unity.

The Juneteenth Festival followed the parade, inviting locals to taste and support vendors ranging from food to art.

Fresh, smokey BBQ aroma filled the streets as dozens of food vendors fired their grills. Jermaine Price, a local chef, was among the many.

"I'm making jerk chicken, garlic butter chicken, I have honey garlic chicken and roasted corn," exclaimed Price.

Price was inspired to season his soul food with spice blends that reflected his African roots.

"I'm giving people a little bit of my culture with my food. I'm trying to share our culture with everybody," said Price.

It wouldn't be a celebration without sweet treats. Along the streets, locals set up stands selling homemade baked goods.

Tonya Mccarty, owner of Ainnie's Sweets, was excited to bring her desserts to the parade.

"I have caramel cakes, my German chocolate cakes, lemon pound cake," said Mccarty as she explained to customers.

As a black-owned business, her sweets go beyond sugar, and she's sharing recipes that were passed down generations.

"I come with the old-school sweets that we had from my grandmother," said Mccarty.

One business that saw an influx of customers eager to show off African heritage was Carol & Hugh.

Owner Marjorie Hillocks-Mcfarlane is originally from Ghana. Her tent displayed bright colors and patterned children's clothing inspired by her African roots.

"My whole goal is to make kids appreciate African culture. You see lots of grown folks in the prints but you hardly see kids at the park or at school with the prints," said Marjorie.

Every business showcased something for everyone to experience and enjoy.

"This is the time to become a family on this day and support our own," said local resident Devan Smith.

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