The Beach Party

Urban Island Beach Party time already!? It feels like just yesterday that we were setting up for the first Night Market of the summer! Summer has definitely flown by at NEWaukee.

The sixth annual Urban Island Beach Party was on Aug. 5 and it was another successful event. The weather was perfect for the party; sunny and not too humid. Just the right temperature!

Urban Island is more than just a party though! As a fundraiser for the Friends of Lakeshore State Park, the funds raised benefited the group’s “Sustain and Maintain” campaign, which helps preserve the park and provide educational opportunities for the community. Their current funds are going towards a new building on the island’s north side with a ranger station, classroom, bathrooms and fishing station. The building is going to be fully sustainable on its own, creating more energy than it consumes. You can donate to their efforts on their website here.

After a day and a half of setup, it was time to party! People slowly began to trickle in on bike or foot into the park on the sunny Friday afternoon. All of a sudden, the island was filled. People enjoyed food, drink and music all night long. The perfect trio.

Different from last year, we decided to scale back vendors at Urban Island and only provide a few food truck options. Red Light Ramen, Iron Grate BBQ, Pete’s Pops, Happy Dough Lucky donuts and ice cream were available for the crowd to enjoy. And there was, of course, beer and wine available. Urban Island is really about enjoying music and relaxation at the park and that’s what everyone did.

We set up cabanas on the beach for lounging next to fire pits, perfect for later on in the night when it cooled down. Kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding on the beach was provided by Milwaukee Kayak Co. Coast In Bikes also provided a bike valet service for those who biked onto the island.

Across the grass was the stage, bringing us some island music from Ocean Rush, Natty Nation, Foreign Goods, RAS Movement and DJ Marcus Doucette.

Back by popular demand, sunset yoga happened again on the north side lawn, led by OmTownYogis. Tucked away beyond Summerfest grounds, the park at sunset is a perfect place to feel zen and peace.

Like many of our events, Urban Island Beach Party was another place for people to be together. It didn’t matter skin color, age, sexual orientation, economic status, political viewpoints and physical abilities. Attendees just came to have a good time. And that’s the method behind our madness – to create a public space where everyone feels welcome and connected to our great city we are honored to call home!

Check out more photos here!

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