Wisconsin Avenue Bridge Celebration to promote downtown vitality

ART Milwaukee and NEWaukee are teaming up to unite Milwaukee for a Saturday of live music, live art and even a live yoga lesson on the Wisconsin Avenue Bridge. The first annual Wisconsin Avenue Bridge Celebration, to be held Saturday, Sept. 22, will include performances by Milwaukee-area bands, a Riverwalk Art Walk showcasing more than 50 Milwaukee artists, and dancers featured on two stages.

The celebration will cover the Wisconsin Avenue Bridge, which recently reopened after a year of reconstruction, and the Milwaukee Riverwalk between N. Plankinton Avenue, N. Water Street, Wells Street and Michigan Avenue.
While the event will certainly inject some fun into the city, it also is intended to highlight the vitality of downtown Milwaukee and connect community members with Wisconsin Avenue businesses.
“Our goal is to celebrate downtown, erase misconceptions about the area and build momentum to restore the reputation of Wisconsin Avenue and downtown Milwaukee as central to the region,” said NEWaukee President Ian Abston.
Both NEWaukee and ART Milwaukee hope to revive some of Wisconsin Avenue’s historic charm.
“I hope people realize that it’s safe and it’s fun and that there’s a lot of stuff going on around down here,” said Angela Damiani, vice president of ART Milwaukee.
“The people who work, live and recreate downtown have pulled together for this event to send the message that Wisconsin Avenue’s best days are still ahead of it,” Damiani said.
Other highlighted activities at the celebration include a flotilla parade of decorated boats, kayak and stand-up paddle board lessons, a bazaar featuring local businesses and a tug of war competition on the bridge in honor of Milwaukee’s “bridge war” of 1845 that demolished two bridges.
Mayor Tom Barrett will also take part in the celebration with a ceremonial rising of the lift bridge over the Milwaukee River at noon on Saturday.
The event is free to the general public. Food and drinks will be available to purchase. Attendees relying on bicycles, buses, boats and kayaks for transportation to the event will receive a free drink.
For more information about the bridge celebration, visit http://www.bridgepartymke.com.

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