By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jul 10, 2004 at 5:24 AM

A fixture in the Lake Park for more than three-quarters of a century, lawn bowling is still going strong in the East Side's best park.

Similar to Italy's bocce and France's boules, Lawn Bowling came to Milwaukee in 1919, four years after the American Lawn Bowls Association was founded in Buffalo, N.Y. A group of Scots and English men established the Milwaukee Lawn Bowling Association in Wauwatosa before relocating to Lake Park in 1920, where the group has remained ever since. Sharing their two pitches of well-tended grass is the Lake Park Lawn Bowling League.

The game has continually enjoyed popularity in Milwaukee and Lake Park even hosted the sport's National Open Tournament in 1980.

If you'd like to give it a whirl, head over to Lake Park every day (except Monday) at 1:15 p.m or Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Players will be pleased to teach you the basics and lend you some equipment (be sure to wear flat-soled shoes). If the relaxing, but very competitive, sport tickles your fancy, you can join one of the league's teams.

The Lake Park Lawn Bowling League's pitch and office are located just a few yards northwest of the Lake Park Pavilion. For more information on Lake Park Lawn Bowling call (414) 961-9851.

If you prefer to spend your time inside with the lovely scents of an Italian restaurant filling the air, perhaps you'd prefer bocce at the Italian Community Center, where there are indoor courts that host leagues for adults and children all year long. For more information on the ICC's leagues, call (414) 223-2180.

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.