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RiverSplash is done.

Milwaukee Riverwalk District kills RiverSplash


"After 20 years of providing free entertainment along the Milwaukee RiverWalk, the Milwaukee Riverwalk District will discontinue the three-day RiverSplash celebration held in early June."

So reads a news release sent by the Riverwalk District today. It continues ...

"Challenging economic times combined with increasing administrative and operative costs were factors in the decision. The organization hopes to develop new initiatives in 2010.

"'The decision to discontinue RiverSplash has not been an easy one," said Marsha Sehler, board member of the Milwaukee Riverwalk District. 'RiverSplash has had a successful 20-year run, but festivals are costly ventures and have their life cycles. It's time for us to redirect our energies.'

"RiverSplash began in 1989 as a way to introduce the community to Milwaukee's expanding riverwalk system and its neighboring businesses. As the unofficial kick off to Milwaukee's festival season, RiverSplash grew to attract 165,000 attendees annually. Last year, the event was restructured to better control crowds and help monitor alcohol consumption. In addition, larger name acts were hired to help drive food and beverage sales, yet another year of inclement weather continued to damper the festival's profits.

"'When you're in the event business, weather can make you or break you,' said Sehler. 'Unfortunately, with several years of bad weather and our increasing costs associated with producing a free, family-friendly event, the return has not been sustainable. Within the last year, other veteran events across the country have fallen victim to tough economic times. It's forced us all to be savvier in how we market our neighborhoods and cities.'

"Moving forward, the Milwaukee Riverwalk District will evaluate new opportunities to showcase the vitality of the Milwaukee RiverWalk and attract visitors downtown.

"'2010 will be a new year for the Milwaukee Riverwalk District,' said Sehler. 'So much of our time was consumed planning for RiverSplash. We now have time to take a fresh look at things.

"Since its inception in 1992, the Milwaukee Riverwalk District has served as a catalyst for development along the Milwaukee River. Flourishing with the creation of attractive housing and exciting pubs and restaurants, the Milwaukee Riverwalk District helps maintain the RiverWalk's infrastructure, sponsors permanent and temporary art installations such as River Sculptures, River Gems and the Milwaukee Plein Air competition, and organizes the mid-September Milwaukee River Challenge."

Talkbacks

speakthetruth | Dec. 28, 2009 at 8:59 a.m. (report)

Let me get this right, LakeMichiganGirl, you seriously believe that "it isn't their fault" when ghettofabulous future felons of America end up the way that they do? Two words: birth control That's the only thing that can fix the ghetto--white, black, yellow, or brown.

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lakemichigangirl | Dec. 26, 2009 at 12:01 p.m. (report)

"Ghetto": people of poor economic status who (typically) dress in a certain way, but most importantly, share a set of behaviors that infringe on other people's rights (violence, excessive drinking, threatening words/gestures, etc.). This infringement reduces or eliminates other people's ability to enjoy these social/communal events and furthers "us vs. them" ego-trips and even hatred, and certainly fear. "Ghetto" people are not of a certain race or color. They are people who grew up without proper love, nutrition, attachment protocols and little to no exposure to beauty in nature, the arts, in literature, music, etc. Their lack of bonding/attachment ability causes them to be unable to feel empathy or basic human universal connection to others. They have impoverished minds, spirits and love maps. Sadly, this underlying issue of the dearth of bonding/attachment ability is also present in middle and upper class groups as well, but not as prevalent as in the poor classes (who also suffer from the additional lack of health care, maybe racism/classism or more). Our ability to feel loved and share love and feel connection to others is what makes human civil society possible. The adults who are "ghetto" are not absolved from responsibility for their actions, and are certainly unpleasant and yes, do ruin things. But understanding some of the reasons why and participating in private, public and community initiatives (like parenting groups,classes, Big Brother/Big Sister) is far better than prejudice, hatred and feeling superior to others. Milwaukee: Start helping, stop hating. Work with kids, young adults, or other community groups. Love Milwaukee and help us make it better. :)

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speakthetruth | Dec. 24, 2009 at 8:46 a.m. (report)

This is no grave loss for the community.

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Hckyboy00 | Dec. 23, 2009 at 2:12 p.m. (report)

bingo. education. i appreciate your post player, and even more so that you aren't offended, and realize that there is a problem out there. As far as 'free will' is concerned in the immigration of europeans, yes, they do come of their own accord, but it's not like they are moving from one great situation to another. they are leaving famine, persecution, unemployment, sickness and their families to try and make a life in a 'better' place that is full of famine, unemployment, persecution, sickness and no family. That might sound like a great idea to you, but i assure you, people came to america under the pretense of a land of opportunity, and found something much different. Many of these people didn't have a choice but to leave their homes in this respect, but since they still left, albeit without being whipped and traded along the way, it makes it 'free will'. Would you now like to make an argument that without slavery, africans would ave never immigrated to the US?

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PlayerGotGame | Dec. 23, 2009 at 12:08 p.m. (report)

I'm black and I hate to admit this, but I agree with the assessment that the "ghetto" element tends to ruin events like Riversplash. Even if there aren't shootings or fights, that type of crowd tends to become a self-fulfilling prophesy simply because those folks tend to keep large numbers of decent people AWAY from events where they congregate. Call it racism, call it fear, call it whatever you want--when most people see a bunch of young black men with baggy pants, ball caps turned sideways, etc. they are less likely to want to be in that environment. I can honestly say that I've never been the victim of the type of racism that truly adversely affected my life. Sure, people asked me what sport I played in college and I've been asked if I'm the doorman or valet a few times, but I don't feel like I've ever been denied a job or not received a loan because of the color of my skin. I'm not saying that it doesn't happen, but I'm saying that it doesn't have to happen. I learned long ago that speaking proper English and dressing well in fitted clothes is a huge step in the right direction to being treated just like anyone else. That might be "acting white" to some black people, but it isn't like that in my book. I want to be taken seriously in the professional world, so I look and act the part. If a bunch of black bankers and lawyers showed up in Zegna suits after work, would you feel the same uncomfortable feeling that you feel when a bunch of ghetto thugs saunter into your favorite haunt?

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