Anybody with a large lizard, snake, even an alligator/crocodile or a bunny rabbit with a pierced ear brought them
out for display on Juneteenth Day. The organizers had long before banned the dog-walkers, whose vicious pitbulls, rottweilers,
and assorted mutts angered festivalgoers, who normally number about 80,000 throughout the 9 hours of the gathering.
It all takes place along half a mile of Milwaukee's Martin Luther King Jr. street, led by a street-opening
parade of marching bands, classic cars, a Corvette Club, Civil War Reenactors, Vietnam Veterans, Drill Teams, and Harley Hog
We have seen 3-foot iguanas carried in arms like babies -- and fed from bottles like them too. Large real boas
and such were draped around the necks of the exhibitionists as they paraded back and forth along King Drive in Milwaukee's
African Descended community.
>> This young lovely actually isn't the owner of the snake. The young gentleman on the left is, and
presented the snake to her thinking she'd yelp like the other girls. Not so, as her acquaintances told us when they saw this
picture. She's known for her daring, they say.
She petted the snake, then accepted as the owner offered to drape it over her shoulders. It takes all kinds to
make a Juneteenth Day.
>> BELOW: Here she is again with another gent with a Lemon (or is that a Banana?) snake on his bare
shoulders. Juneteenth Days can be hot or sometimes so cold you can see your breath if the breezes are off Lake Michigan, only
about a mile away to the east. One thing it hardly ever does is rain during Juneteenth Day in Milwaukee, which has some of
the best weather of any outdoor festival.
Of course, Oklahoma takes a full week for their state-wide celebrations, since they originally hail from the
West, when the brave Federal couriers sent out to trumpet Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 reached the end of the
Slaveholding territories on the Island of Galveston, Texas two years later, under escort by General Granger and his hard-riding
Their exploits are well worthy of a film, with their hairsbreadth escapes from hostile towns, lynchings, notifying
posters ripped down, and Southern plantation owners who had no intention whatsoever of freeing their enslaved Africans.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA ended up with the largest street festival celebrating Juneteenth when one
of Jan Kemp's Girl Scouts spent the summer in Oklahoma and came back with the story of how Juneteenth Day, also called
Jubilee Day, was celebrated down there.
One thing led to another, and a street celebration was planned by Northcott Neighborhood House and the Social
Development Commission. Since Milwaukee has, or had wretched Winters, we tend to put a lot into our Springs and Summers, because
they aint that long!