By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 01, 2023 at 12:04 PM

Parents, start your engines, because Big Truck Day is rolling back into Red Arrow Park, 920 N. Water St., and is sure to delight kids ages 2-10. OK, OK, so maybe it'll be fun for anyone who, at any age, loves honking big yellow vehicles ... and some red ones courtesy of Milwaukee Fire Department, too.

The City of Milwaukee's Department of Public Works and MFD will bring out their big municipal, police and fire vehicles of all kinds on Saturday, May 20, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., to offer a close-up look at a variety of equipment and the jobs that go along with them.

Vehicle operators will also be on hand to talk to families and offer demonstrations in honor of National Public Works Week.

There will also be food trucks, activities for children – including truck-themed arts and crafts with Artists Working in Education, free face painting, bubble and sandbox fun – and a Milwaukee Public Library book sale.

Also on hand will be the Brinn Museum's the Wonder Wagon, a Milwaukee County Transit System electric BRT bus, and food trucks like Roll MKE, Meat on the Street, Kona Ice, and Da Udder Spot Ice Cream. 

“’Big Truck Day’ is among my favorite new events in Milwaukee,” said Mayor Cavalier Johnson of the event, which debuted in 2022.

“Not only does it celebrate hardworking City employees and the important work they do, but it gives children and families an opportunity to connect with our City staff and, I hope, inspire some youngsters to become City employees one day!”

The event is free and open to all.

The first 750 kids, ages 2-10, will get a free Milwaukee Downtown-branded reflective safety vest, on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 11 a.m.  

A sensory-friendly hour is set for 1-2 p.m. and during that time there will be no horns or sirens sounding and Islands of Brilliance will provide a free activity.   

“DPW has nearly 2,000 employees from diverse backgrounds who provide committed service to the residents, visitors and businesses in Milwaukee," said Commissioner of Public Works Jerrel Kruschke.

"We look forward to a few of these dedicated professionals showcasing their specialized equipment for curious young minds.”

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.