By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Feb 26, 2018 at 9:03 AM

Peep this, Milwaukee. Historic Milwaukee Inc. is hosting its third annual Peep Diorama Contest and has asked me to be a judge!

The competition, which takes place from March 12 until April 6, invites contestants to create a shoebox-sized diorama of some part of Milwaukee’s built environment and history, using those colorful, squishy little Easter treats as characters.

So, think a pink chickadee Solomon Juneau canoeing through wild rice in the Menomonee valley or perhaps a sprayed yellow Increase Lapham surveying Kilbourntown. Maybe a pink Henry Koch observing the construction of his shoebox-sized City Hall.

Or maybe something a tad more obvious, like a Peeps Oriental, Usinger's or Summerfest (though those have been done already).

You get the idea.

You must submit photos of your entry by March 12, and then HMI Executive Director Stacy Swadish and I eat, I mean rate, your Peeps dioramas.

Afterward, some of the best, most interesting entries will be on public display in the HMI office/store at 235 E. Michigan St. for the public to vote on.

Then, on April 6, winners will be announced.


Peeps March on Milwaukee.

Here are the official rules...

  • Create a scene referencing Milwaukee’s built environment and rich history. Get creative!
  • Construct your diorama using a shoe-box or other comparably-sized item, not to exceed 3 feet wide by 2 feet deep by 2 feet tall
  • Use Peeps to represent the characters in your scene
  • Submit up to 5 JPEG images of the diorama on our website
  • Provide relevant information: name, age, hometown, phone number, email address
  • Title of diorama
  • Description of scene
  • Entry photos must be submitted by March 12, selected entries need to be delivered to the HMI office by March 23


The attempted assassination of Teddy "Peeps" Roosevelt.

Everyone who enters will receive a Historic Milwaukee baseball cap. And there will be prizes, like HANmade Milwaukee Lakefront jigsaw puzzles or $25 gift certificates to HMI Store for first prize in the kids 12 and under and teens categories, and gift certificates to the shop for adult winners ($100 for first prize; $50 for second; and $25 for third).

Submit your entries here, and good luck

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 OnMilwaukee.com 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.