Earlier this week, I drove over the Hoan Bridge and my eye caught the Summerfest grounds with the marquee blinking "See ya next year!" Instantly, I felt a little sad because it's such an amazing space, and it's too bad it can't be utilized year-round.
That got me wondering: Could the city support a winter activity on the Summerfest grounds even though it seems that most Milwaukeeans hate winter? My first response was "no." Didn't we try this with Winterfest -- an outdoor music festival which took place in a variety of locations including Cathedral Square that lost too much revenue to continue after a seven-year stint?
But maybe something else could be a success, because not everyone in Milwaukee despises winter. In fact, I like it a lot, as long as I'm wearing a hat and gloves. (It took the first 25 years of my life to realize winter wasn't half as miserable when I dressed for it. Gee, what a concept.)
As I continued to drive, I babbled about the possiblity of a newfangled winter festival to my husband, and he jokingly suggested "Finnish Fest" -- the city's first winter ethnic festival -- which would include ice fishing, dog sled pulls, sauna/sweat lodges, lutefisk, snowshoeing and lots and lots of vodka. Let's get ridiculously clever and say only bands with low-temperature-sounding names can perform, like Coldplay, The Decemberists and Ice T.
Hey, it's just a thought.
I have always thought there should be a Scandinavian fest. There are way more people of Scandinavian descent in Milwaukee than there are of many of the other ethnicities that have festivals. It should be done in the winter too. It is a disgrace that a portion of our publicly funded Lakefront grounds is shut down for half the year. They need to rebuild part of the grounds with year round indoor gathering / dining spaces.
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