Let’s do this: Milwaukee Day goes big, grows up
- Teams to watch at this weekend’s WFTDA Roller Derby Championships
- Nick Sanborn explores collaboration, playing well with others with Lend Me Your Voice
- Drinking our way through Milwaukee’s airport (and airport-themed) bars
- Cinco de MONDO LUCHA! Milwaukee’s alternative variety show celebrates five years of masked mayhem
- The A.V. Club’s guide to the 2013 Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival
It’s no secret that many of the world’s greatest ideas were inspired by mundane events. Newton’s interest in gravity was piqued after he observed an apple falling from a tree (yes, that’s how it really happened), while NBC president Brandon Tartikoff’s memories of his childhood teachers led to the creation of Saved By The Bell. The same “starting small” origin story holds true for Milwaukee Day, the April 14 “holiday” that began as an area-code-based joke (4/14 = 414) but has since turned into a legitimate citywide celebration. Three years after Milwaukee Day was first hatched, the holiday is going big and growing up.
Created in 2010 by a group of friends including Brent Gohde, Sam Macon, Justin Kay, Timm Gable, and Toby and Andy Silverman, Milwaukee Day was originally intended as nothing more than a DIY holiday. Brew City denizens were urged to devise and share their own party plans, or take a few pointers from the sparse Milwaukee Day website. (“Ride the Bronze Fonz” and “Participate in a Gene Wilder meme” were just some of the suggestions.) Things got a little more serious in 2012 when Mayor Tom Barrett issued a proclamation declaring April 14 to be Milwaukee Day, but the holiday still managed to retain much of its homegrown, kitchen-sink charm.
For Milwaukee Day 2013, however, a handful of outside groups are giving the holiday a high-profile boost. Historic Milwaukee is organizing a series of free walking tours through the Downtown, Third Ward, and Brady Street neighborhoods. Networking group NEWaukee is using April 14 to kick off its own Young Professional Week, if you’re into that sort of thing. Toss in a short film fest and a fashion show at Hotel Foster, a day party outside of Lucky Joe’s Tiki Room featuring Hugh Bob And The Hustle, and a wrap-up show at Stonefly featuring Vic And Gab, and you have all the makings of a Festivus-rivaling phenomenon.
Check out the official Milwaukee Day website for a full and ever-expanding list of sponsored events; and, in the words of the holiday’s organizers, let’s do this.