It's the most wonderful time of the year. No, not Christmas (though considering the cold temperatures and chance of snow, you could've had us fooled) – Milwaukee Day!
Saturday marks April 14, the day Milwaukee celebrates itself and all the glorious people who call it home. But how should one celebrate the best day on the Brew City calendar? The official Milwaukee Day website has a full listing of events, parties, deals and other fun shenanigans planned for Saturday, but here are 10 key ways to celebrate Cream City in style.
414, let's have one more!
1. Support Milwaukee music
If you're looking for the official party of Milwaukee Day, follow the sounds of awesome beer and even better local bands over at Company Brewing in Riverwest. For $8 in advance and $10 at the door, jam out to the Milwaukee-made sounds of Tigernite, Midwest Death Rattle and Zed Kenzo while also sampling Company Brewing's latest hoppy hit: a Milwaukee Day lager.
A bunch of Milwaukeeans listening to Milwaukee bands while drinking a special Milwaukee Day beer somehow too much Milwaukee for you? (*scoffs*) Well, there's no shortage of Milwaukee musical entertainment still to find elsewhere across the city. For instance, local R&B sensation Lex Allen will combine 414 Day with the record release show for his much-anticipated debut full-length album, "Table 7: Sinners & Saints," over at Cactus Club in Bay View, featuring musical guests DJ DRiPSweat, Max Holiday and DJ Lotusmark, as well as drink specials from Lakefront Brewery.
Meanwhile, local music blog Breaking and Entering will continue its streak of awesome showcase concerts at The Tonic Tavern with a bonus Milwaukee Day show on Saturday, featuring Vincent VanGREAT, Kareem City and Yogie B & Keez from 5-8 p.m.
2. Make it a day at an MKE museum
While your ears and liver will certainly be making the most of the Milwaukee Day festivities, why not let your brain in on the fun too. The Milwaukee Public Museum, for instance, will host a collection of quests back into Cream City history, from the MKE's foundations in the fur trade to its literal founding by Solomon Juneau and more to new adventures on the classic Streets of Old Milwaukee.
If you want a museum with a little more motor for Milwaukee Day, however, the Harley-Davidson Museum will be your destination, featuring free admission for anyone wearing an article of clothing with the magic word – Milwaukee – found somewhere on it (preferably not your underwear). And if you're tragically MKE-less, the museum's shop will have Milwaukee-emblazoned gear and featured items on sale for – of course – $4.14. When your done feasting on knowledge, feel free to feast on food at Motor, which will feature a 414 Cheeseburger on Saturday's menu for just, yes, $4.14.
3. Represent your region
You're probably going to be ingesting plenty of Milwaukee's best all day Saturday, but why not pay tribute to Milwaukee on the outside as well. Too Much Metal has just the Milwaukee Day look, introducing a new collection of 414-themed shirts coming to the showroom on 4/14, each representing one's individual culture, heritage, identity or social cause with the city's area code linking them all. It's a cool look that shows just how diverse yet united Milwaukee can be.
If you're looking to represent your neighborhood rather than your nationality, however, head over to Historic Milwaukee, Inc. on the first floor of the Mackie Building. There, you'll find the organization's awesome neighborhood posters, each one beautifully highlighting a particular part of Milwaukee, discounted down from $10 to – yes, you guessed it – $4.14. And since there's no better day to be a hometown tourist, Historic Milwaukee will also offer an hour-long walking tour of the Downtown area beginning at noon.
4. Taste Brew City's best
It's a celebration of Brew City, so yes, you better grab yourself a tasty Milwaukee beer. We already mentioned Company Brewing's Milwaukee Day lager – which will also make an appearance at Snack Boys 414 festivities – but they're far from the only local brewery hopping on board this weekend with Milwaukee Day deals. Lakefront, for instance, will take $1 off full pours of Riverwest Stein and East Side Dark during the special day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., while Milwaukee Ale House will showcase its MKE IPA on draft, in bottles and in cans throughout Saturday, as well as crack open a firkin of MKE Brewing's Gin O-Gii at 11 a.m.
Meanwhile, few felt the Cream City spirit as much as Broken Bat Brewing Company which, in addition to $9 beer flights, will release an apricot pale ale ice cream (a collaboration with Purple Door Ice Cream) that it'll be selling in one-scoop, two-scoop and "beer float" serving sizes. It's Milwaukee Day, so we say go big or go home. Even the big brewery in town, Miller, isn't too big to get in on a little 414 fun, featuring discounted tours and brews from 10:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
And in case all of that Milwaukee spirit puts you in the mood for some locally-made spirits, Great Lakes Distillery will host a party from 6-10 p.m. with MKE-themed cocktails, mini-sausage apps and more. For the best of both worlds, Potawatomi will feature specials featuring local libations from Twisted Path Distillery and City Lights Beer – best of all, not just on Milwaukee Day but through the whole weekend!
5. Belly up to the bar
Four years ago, national news organizations reported that Wisconsin has a crazy bar-to-grocery store – as if that's a bad thing! (Hey, there's a pork chop in every bottle of beer!) So clearly we have plenty of options for watering holes on Milwaukee Day. Some, however, have gone above and beyond for Brew City's special day.
Rogues Gallery, for instance, will ring in Cream City Saturday with free Milwaukee Day and PBR coozies, live local art and tattoos, and live music from DJ E-Rich beginning at 7 p.m., while Snack Boys will serve up fun times, Milwaukee Day lager and music from DJ Casey Soyk.
This time of year was always going to special for Boone & Crockett as it prepares its fast-approaching move into its new Walker's Point digs, but it nicely planned its temporary going away away just in time for Milwaukee Day, as local bands Devil Met Contention and Paper Holland will help send off the Bay View hotspot with style on Saturday.
The Bottle will throw a free 414 fiesta fittingly at 4 p.m. called "We Are Milwaukee," featuring four local bands ranging from reggae to surf rock to post hardcore to just clean ol' classic rock. Meanwhile, if you prefer your Brew City with a little Big Easy, the Riverwest Public House will feature New Orleans-inspired jazz and blues performances from The MilBillies, Area Jazz Band, Lee's Cash & Carry and more, as well as special deals on MKE-made products. So get your ass in there!
And not even the miserable weather could prevent the South Shore Beer Garden from getting in on the Milwaukee Day fun, as the newly opened beer garden will knock prices down to $4.14 brats and $4.14 liter refills of Miller and Leinenkugel's items. A price so nice they marked it down twice.
Oh, and also Milwaukee Beer Week starts Saturday. In case you needed another reason to knock back a brew or two at the bar.
6. See some Cream City cinema
While we're all excited to celebrate Cream City this weekend, the forecast for Milwaukee Day looks unfortunately crummy – aka movie weather! And better yet, there's a few places where Brew City meets the big screen. For instance, while Marcus Theatres' CineLatino Film Festival, running through the weekend at the South Shore Cinema, focuses on Hispanic-focused stories from across the globe, half of the proceeds from the event go toward heath and education efforts right here in the local Hispanic community. So your ticket will do good on a macro and a micro level!
If you really want to see a Cream City cinematic connection, however, you'll have to head over to the Times Cinema for the Twisted Dreams Film Festival. The weekend-long marathon features horror movies, ranging from creepy to crazy and everywhere in between – with one movie in particular making a stop right here in Brew City. Showing at noon on Saturday, "Ashface" is a Milwaukee-made horror flick about a serial killer who falls in with an ominous masked secret society. Should go great – maybe not for the people on screen, but definitely for the MKE movie lovers in the audience.
7. Lager and laughs
Fill up on beer and belly laughs with Mojo Dojo Comedy, which will host a Milwaukee Day show Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at Urban Harvest Brewing Company. The main act is First Five, which watches the first five minutes of a video tape before shutting it off and improvising where the rest of the story will go from there, with fellow improv group Hasenpfeffer serving as the opener. Because nothing screams a comedic celebration of Milwaukee like Hasenpfeffer.
8. Support MKE creatives
Pair your Cream City celebrations with some culture on Saturday. Take, for instance, the UWM Peck School of the Arts, which will open the studio space's doors to the public on 4/14, offering a look inside live art in the making as well as hours worth of art exhibitions, performances, activities, demonstrations and film screenings from UWM students, grad students and faculty – all for free from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Wanna get more galleries in your Milwaukee Day-celebrating life? Gallery 218 in the Third Ward will pay homage to 414, as well as the venue's 28th anniversary, with free admission from 1-5 p.m. and discounted t-shirts costing – one more time – $4.14.
Milwaukee Day is perfect for the Cream City crafter in your life as well with the Milwaukee Makers Market, cramming all kinds of unique and one-of-a-kind gifts, candles, ceramics, leather goods, jewelry and more from the city's boundlessly creative artists and artisans inside Discovery World from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday. Looking for more outstanding finds? We've preached the good name of WasteCap Architectural Salvage and Reuse Warehouse before, but Milwaukee Day is even more of a steal featuring – OK, we lied; this is the last time – 41.4% off everything in the shop.
So find your new favorite thing – made or found right here in Milwaukee!
9. Hang at a hidden gem
For just over a year, we've been shining a spotlight on hidden gems from across the city – from heavenly holes in the wall to underground greats to community corner taps and everywhere in between. While other bars may have more flash, these places can make you feel like a part of the neighborhood and a member of the family before you finish your first pint. So what better time to get an authentic taste of our city's authentic bar culture than on Milwaukee Day. Plus, you might even see one of us there, which in that case ...
10. Pay it 414ward
Much like you, OnMilwaukeeans will be out and about during 414 Day – and if you see us, we'll buy you a Miller beer. There's just one catch: You have to pay it forward – or "414ward" that is – by buying somebody else in the bar a tasty brew. And then they have to pay it 414ward and so on and so forth, until everybody in the place has a free beer in their hand and a new buddy to their side. Bars, beer and being good to your fellow Brew City citizens – is there a better way to celebrate Milwaukee Day?
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.