Brady Street Festival: Party in the Street!
Thanks to the hard work
of forward-thinking Milwaukeeans like Julilly Kohler, the city makes use of
action-packed festivals to highlight its unique locales, like the lakefront
and, in this case, the Brady Street neighborhood.
Shops and restaurants up
and down Brady Street
will offer specials on the day of the festival. “The retailers are going to be
out en masse,” says Steph Salvia, from the Brady Street Business Improvement
District. “It has become a great day for a sidewalk sale.”
Restaurants, too, will
have several festival-day offerings to satiate the hungry throngs.
More than 60 outside
vendors will be selling their wares alongside the street's regular merchants.
According to event organizer Michael Short of the Hunter Group, “There is a
much broader assortment of vendors than last year, comprised of everything from
arts and crafts to local culinary food booths.” Some of the new food vendors
include Bolzano Artisan Meats, Fajitas Grill, Wisconsin Fried Cheese Curds and
Immy's African Cuisine.
Wisconsin cheese-makers will once again be
included as a mainstay of the festival. “Cheesefest” is the legacy of the
Artisan Food Festival, predecessor to the current Brady Street Festival.
Visitors to the cheese tent will have the opportunity to learn about and sample
cheeses. Patrons can purchase their favorites right there, or skip the cooler
and have them shipped home.
Kids and kids-at-heart
will appreciate the incredible feats of the Division BMX stunt team, as bikers
wow the crowd with their talents on the half-pipe until dusk. You can burn off
the adrenaline from the BMX show by taking a turn on the Adventure Sports
rock-climbing wall. Low-key kid-friendly activities include face painting and
What festival in Milwaukee would be
complete without beer? In addition to the usual options, the beer tent will
offer six new selections. Sprecher, New Glarus Brewing and New Belgium Brewing
will each have two microbrews on tap. The inclusion of microbrews is especially
fitting on Brady Street
where, according to Short, “more micro and specialty beers are poured by bars
throughout the year than in any other area of the city.”
If beer isn't your
thing, check out the drink specials being shaken, stirred and blended along the
sidewalk as the street's bars take advantage of the expanded outdoor patronage.
At 6 p.m. stylish
festivalgoers will appreciate the annual fashion show. “Virtually every
clothing store on Brady Street
showcases several outfits and accessories,” Salvia says. At 7 p.m. the fun
continues with the divas featured in the always-popular drag show. “Truly a
unique offering of the Brady Street Festival,” Short adds.
Music Plays an Instrumental Role
Brady Street Festival
features three music stages and a wide variety of tunes. Things kick off at
11:30 a.m. at the Knight-Barry Title Stage with the R&B/funk/blues blend of
the Charles Walker Band. The crowd will be jumping when award-winning ska band
Primitive Culture hits the stage at 3 p.m. The dulcet tones of headlining
Motown tribute band The Tempters will win the hearts of the audience at 8 p.m.
“They have choreography
and matching attire—quite entertaining,” Short says.
Together with 88Nine
Radio Milwaukee, the Bud Light Stage opens at noon with Midwestern folk-rock
band Will Phalen and The Stereo Addicts. At 4 p.m. reggae fans will sway to the
beat of Dubtonic Kru, direct from Jamaica.
“This takes the festival
to a new level,” Short says. “For the first time we are featuring an
international group, where in the past we've only had regional talent.”
At 8 p.m. headliners U2
Zoo will offer a celebration of U2 as they pay homage to Bono and the gang.
The Humboldt Stage
features a noon show by blues/rock band Altered Five and a 3:30 p.m.
performance by The Carpetbaggers. Headliner Alex Wilson, a Brady Street favorite, will be singing
the blues at 7:30 p.m.
When asked what makes
the Brady Street Festival so special, Salvia responds, “It's one day that everyone
can set aside their differences and just celebrate what Brady Street is.”
“It's an intermingling of a diverse group that speaks to the best qualities of Milwaukee,” Short adds.