ICYMI: Juneteenth Festival, Make Music Day welcome celebrations of shared joys

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KENOSHA ⏤ Recently, local organizers and musicians have brought a sense of community to the city. Residents may have witnessed this particularly with the Juneteenth and Make Music Day events.

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Juneteenth Festival

On Saturday, upwards of 60 vendors took to the field across from the Boys and Girls Club of Kenosha.

The smell of barbecue pervaded the air; local businesses talked to passersby; and children played on the bounce slide stationed near 52nd Street.

Juneteenth is a celebration of the day federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, and freed the last slaves after the Civil War. Congress voted to make it a federal holiday on June 17, 2021. It is celebrated annually on June 19.

The holiday is for all intents and purposes a Black American independence day. However, that didn’t stop people of all walks finding fellowship and a good time at Saturday’s Juneteenth celebration in Kenosha.

See the Observer’s live videos from Juneteenth in Kenosha both above and below.

Speeches by community leaders, local and state elected officials during the Juneteenth Festival

Sen. Ron Johnson gives brief speech

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Musician Oscar Mercadillo wakes up downtown Kenosha Monday morning with a percussion alarm clock to kick off Make Music Day at 10 a.m. Photo property of Daniel Thompson/The Uptown Observer.

Make Music Day

As often as people remember Kenosha as a motor town for Chrysler and AMC, they should really start to acknowledge it as a music city. 

If there was any argument to be made for that, Make Music Day at Kenosha Creative Space made it. 

With local musician Oscar Mercadillo pounding on drums at the corner of 57th Street and Sixth Avenue, Make Music Day kicked off at 10 a.m. Monday.

From there, workshops and live bands filled the day. As a result, the music bounced back and forth between an outdoor stage for bands and a window stage for acoustic acts.

While the wind and weather made the later hours a little chilly, the slight cold was worth it to experience the local talent on display.

Check out Oscar opening it up above and another performance from Make Music Day below.

For more videos of performances throughout the day, visit Kenosha Creative Space’s Facebook page.

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