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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, April 18, 2014

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In Holiday Guide

Hundreds of Santas will turn out to spread holiday cheer through the city. (PHOTO: Dave Schlabowske - CC by SA 2.0)

In Holiday Guide

The Santa Cycle Rampage weclomes The English Beat to Turner Hall Ballroom. (PHOTO: Dave Schlabowske - CC by SA 2.0)

In Holiday Guide

Baby it's cold outside, so there are plenty of stops to warm up and have a drink. Santa Rampage. (PHOTO: Dave Schlabowske - CC by SA 2.0)

In Holiday Guide

The Rampage is not just for Santa. All holiday themes are welcome. (PHOTO: Dave Schlabowske - CC by SA 2.0)

Hundreds of Santas to cycle for spirits, support and ska


The Santa Rampage is coming back to Milwaukee on Saturday, Nov. 30. The Santa Rampage is an annual event in Milwaukee that features hundreds of people in Santa suits – as well as a wide swath of various holiday-themed costumes – riding their bicycles across the city. Over the last five years it has reached such an esteemed cult-status that even the dodgy weather of the season does not detract from the merriment or the number of riders who participate in these festivities.

And this year these Santa's will ride for more than a few laughs.

"Our bike crazy friends at the Lowlands Restaurant Group, Turner Hall and a few of the other stops on the Rampage wanted to give back for all they have benefited by this ride," said Rampage coordinator Dave Schlabowske.

Misters and misses Claus can purchase an optional wristband that riders can cash in for beverages from Lowlands Brewing Company (Cafe Hollander, Cafe Centraal) or Lakefront Brewery at many of the stops throughout the day. The wristband costs $20 and all of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Wisconsin Bike Fed – a non-profit organization that uses education and legislation to make biking in Wisconsin a safer and more enjoyable activity.

"In the same way Santas rely on the kindness of strangers to set out cookies and milk on Christmas Day, they also rely on cafe and tavern owners to provide for them on the Rampage," said Schlabowske. "This year all the business owners are on the Bike Fed's 'Nice List' for offering various donations."

Food trucks will also be setting up shop at several stops along the route.

The wristband isn't just good for a few drinks. It can also be used for entry to the final stop, the Rampage Santa Gala at Turner Hall. The Gala will feature live music from The Crombies and The English Beat.

"In addition to a mosh pit of sweaty, skanking Santas, there will be DJs, a silent auction, food and other surprises," Schlabowske added.

Didn't join the ride but still want to enjoy the evenings festivities? You can still purchase a ticket to the Gala from the Pabst/Riverside in advance or at the door for $25.

The ride length varies, depending on which feeder route you select, but expect to put on 15 to 20 miles at a comfortable pace by the end of the night.

The full ride schedule is below. Bookmark it on your mobile device and never get left in the cold.

The Ride:

  • Wristbands for sale at each location (day-of only) for $20
  • Good for a free Lowlands Brewing Company bier
  • Good for a free Lakefront Brewery beer
  • Entry to Turner Hall for the Gala and The English Beat concert

Feeder rides begin at 9 a.m.

All Santas meet at Lakefront Brewery at 11 a.m.

  • Lakefront Brewery, 1872 N. Commerce St.
  • Santa Rampage Tees for sale
  • Free beer with purchase of a wristband

Great Lakes Distillery at noon

Optional Ride Locations (choose your adventure) at 1:30pm

Final stop is Turner Hall at 3:30pm for the Santa Rampage Gala!

  • Turner Hall Ballroom, 1034 N. 4th St., doors open at 3:30
  • 3:30 p.m. – DJ Marcus Doucette from 88.9 RadioMilwaukee, silent auction, food, drinks
  • 5:30 p.m. – Opening band: The Crombies
  • 6:30 p.m. – Live auction
  • 7 p.m. – Headliner: The English Beat
  • Merchandise for sale

Bike parking at Turner Hall and along the route provided by Wheel & Sprocket.


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