A Summer with NEWaukee
By Claire Neville, 2019 Communication & Events Intern
I joined the NEWaukee team in January of this year, and I had never even attended a NEWaukee Night Market as a guest. The thought of then jumping in and helping to produce them felt daunting. There is so much more that goes into a massive festival like that than someone on the outside could even imagine.
The July Night Market was the biggest one we have had to date. With over 130 different vendors, fun performances and amazing DJs, it was amazing to see people from all walks of life coming together and having a great time dancing, singing and drinking downtown on W. Wisconsin Ave. Even though the most recent September Night Market was closed early because of storms, we had a great turnout despite the weather. Milwaukeeans are brave!
On one of the hottest days of the summer, we packed up an ART Bus (a school bus loaded with beer, wine and music!) and ventured to Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel, MIAD, Arts @ Large Community Center and 5 Points Art Gallery & Studios. Saint Kate had just had their grand opening and offered art in the forms of galleries and the decor of the hotel itself. Arts @ Large was a new space as well, that provided interactive experiences throughout the building. African drum lessons were a major highlight! By the end of the evening, everyone on the bus was friends, singing along to the musician.
Other than the Night Market, the Urban Island Beach Party was the biggest event of the summer, and I had the opportunity to produce it myself. The event is a fundraiser for the Friends of Lakeshore State Park, which is where the floating lanterns come in. It was beautiful to see the lanterns reflecting off of the water as they floated across the lagoon. In addition to a floating lantern celebration, we also had a multitude of food trucks, a rock wall, musicians, DJs and beers from six local breweries. People danced the night away surrounded by the city skyline, and we were treated to a perfect sunset.
Perhaps the most delicious event of the summer was the 7 Bridges BBQ located on 7 Bridges Trail in Grant Park. We partnered with 6 local restaurants and paired food samples with different Sprecher beers as guests traveled down the trail to the beach for bonfires, music and s’mores. By the time you reached the end of the trail, you were stuffed with delicious food!
This summer has been an amazing one full of fun events, but we aren’t slowing down any time soon! Check out the great events coming up this fall such as On the Table, Northern Pike and Sensorial: A Masquerade Ball!