August 1: Get Your Bike, and Take a Slow Roll Through South Milwaukee


I just heard about the concept of “Slow Rolls,” and I’m happy to see one is coming to South Milwaukee.

From organizer James Davies: “Join us for a short (4 mile) bike ride through South Milwaukee. Short safe riding guidelines and minor bike repair from 5:00pm to 5:30pm.”

The ride begins at 6 p.m. from Avenue Coffeehouse, 911 Milwaukee Ave.

More details on the Faceook event page, and more information on what the concept looked like in Detroit here. From the Detroit site …

Slow Roll is for everyone; all ages, all skill levels and every type of bike is welcome. Our slow pace keeps the group safe and gives riders a unique perspective of our great city and its neighborhoods. Slow Roll is far more than just a bike ride, in its 7th year, this unique nonprofit brings together thousands of people from all over the region during 25 weekly bike rides a year to discover more about our city and each other. 

In 2016, Slow Roll grew to over 12,000 registered riders and that number continues to increase. In 2017, Slow Roll is focusing on continuing to educate people about Detroit, engage riders with local businesses and charities, and create the cohesive and peaceful community we all strive for. 

We believe that Slow Roll is transforming Detroit through exercise, education, experiences, and community. 

Let’s do it here!



Filed under South Milwaukee

“This Was the Homecoming I Never Received”

Those were the words of Gary Wetzel, who we welcomed home today with an escort featuring the South Milwaukee Police and Fire Departments, as well as more than 20 motorcycles from local riding clubs.

More than 200 people cheered the Medal of Honor recipient on as we made our way down 15th Avenue and west on Menomonee to his home, where South Milwaukee veterans, Wetzel family members and workers from Bartelt Remodeling met him as he took his first steps into his newly remodeled house — a place he hadn’t been in months.

It was an amazing tribute, something I’ll never forget, and it took the work of lots of people to make this day happen. I want to specifically call out …

  • The Gary Sinise Founation, which provided all the funds for the renovation of Gary’s home, plus new appliances.
  • Bartelt, The Remodeling Resource. Owner Rick Bartelt and his team renovated Gary’s house at no profit to his company. Danny Paulus was the finish carpenter. Home Depot provided materials.
  • Fisher House Foundation. They provided all the funds to reside at Staybridge Suites-Milwaukee Airport South during the remodeling process.
  • The Milwaukee Zablocki VA Medical Center and Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, N.M., which provided excellent care from last August, when Gary was in his motorcycle accident, to this spring.
  • Those who were part of the procession: the South Milwaukee Police and Fire Departments, and all of the motorcycle clubs that sent riders.
  • Mara’s Sewing Shop, for providing free flags for the occasion.

You can see Facebook live video of the escort on my mayoral Facebook page. Also, check out coverage in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WISN and TMJ4. CBS 58 and Fox 6 were also on hand.

Gary, it was an honor honoring you. We thank you for your service, bravery and heroism. All of South Milwaukee is proud. Welcome home.

Leave a comment

Filed under South Milwaukee

Changing the Way People Connect: NEWaukee Brings 7 Bridges BBQ to Grant Park on August 30


Celebrating Grant Park and local businesses, while showing off the best South Milwaukee has to offer to potentially hundreds of new people.

Welcome to South Milwaukee: NEWaukee and 7 Bridges BBQ!

From the NEWaukee event page

NEWaukee presents a progressive dinner and music event on the Seven Bridges trail within Grant Park. Guests will wander through the forest, sip and sample local food and beverages from South Milwaukee as they make their way to the beach to enjoy the beautiful views of Lake Michigan on a warm summer evening.

Tickets are $25 each and include five food and beer samples. A cash bar will be available on the beach at the end of the trail.

For just $25 you will be treated to:

  • Illuminated night hike down to Lake Michigan
  • 5 food sampling stations from local restaurants
  • 5 beer/beverage sampling stations
  • Pop up live acoustic music
  • Awaiting you will be a good old fashioned beach BBQ with live music, brews, and bonfires.

Participating Restaurants:

So, what is NEWaukee? It’s a “social architecture” firm founded in 2009 “where people (young and old) find a sense of place and a charge to take action to make Milwaukee the best city it can possibly be.” From its website

Put simply — it is the conscious design of an environment that encourages a desired range of social behaviors (How People Work, Live & Play) leading towards a goal (To Make Our City More Awesome!). NEWaukee’s programs and initiatives motivate Milwaukeeans to look critically at the city in which we live, to realize its potential and to empower folks to shape a city of which we all want to be a part. We hope that whether you’re new to Milwaukee or simply ready to look at Milwaukee through a new lens, NEWaukee can help you fall in love with this city.

I’m certain they will find lots love in South Milwaukee, and at Grant Park.

1 Comment

Filed under South Milwaukee

Welcoming Home Gary Wetzel Today? A Few Updates

Things will happen around 12:30 p.m. Join us!

More details here. And here are a few updates from Facebook

  • Mara’s Sewing House is giving away a limited number of American flags today for those welcoming home Gary Wetzel. Stop by the shop at 915 Milwaukee Avenue between 10 and noon to get one, and wave it proudly along the route. Thanks, Mara, for your support!
  • Suggestion: Make a “Welcome Home!” sign and hold it up on the route.
  • Don’t have a house on the “Welcome Home Gary Wetzel” route? Consider standing along the high or middle school property or in front of City Hall on 15th Avenue.
  • I’m also told a group of motorcyclists from the Patriot Riders will be joining the escort. And the South Milwaukee veterans have mobilized to present colors at Gary’s house as he arrives. This will be a great tribute.

See you along the route!

Leave a comment

Filed under South Milwaukee

Here is Your 2017 South Milwaukee Heritage Days Schedule

It’s the best week of the year to be a South Milwaukeean … see you around town!

From the Heritage Days website

D.A.R.E. Golf Outing
Monday, July 24, 2017 at 8:00 a.m.

Oakwood Golf Course, 3600 W. Oakwood Road in Franklin
Organize your foursome now and support the South Milwaukee Police Department’s youth anti-drug efforts.

Ice Cream Social
Tuesday, July 25, 2017 – 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.

St. Luke’s United Church of Christ, 2200 18th Ave.
Enjoy hot dogs, sloppy Joe’s and, of course, ice cream — along with a South Milwaukee Municipal Band Concert at 7:00 p.m., and raffle.

Firehouse Spaghetti Dinner
Wednesday, July 26, 2017 – 4:30 to 8:00 p.m.
South Milwaukee Fire Department, 929 Marshall Court
Pasta, salad and garlic bread from Trattoria di carlo top the menu at this terrific annual tradition.

Evening on the Avenue
Thursday, July 27, 2017 – 4:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Downtown South Milwaukee
Celebrate our city center with our annual street festival feature, food, music, games, demonstrations and more.

South Milwaukee Farmers’ Market
Thursday, July 27, 2017 – 3:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Hours will be extended from 3pm to 8pm on that night to accommodate the increase in shoppers and traffic.

2017 Car Cruise
Friday, July 28th, 2017
16th & Rawson Avenues
Registration at 12th & Milwaukee – Stan’s Automotive
4:00 – 7:00 pm

2017 Lionsfest
Friday, July 28, 2017 – Sunday, July 30, 2017
16th & Rawson Avenues
Enjoy three days of music, food, rides, games and more!

Heritage Days Parade
Saturday, July 29, 2017 – 11:00 a.m.

Starts at 8th and Milwaukee to 16th North to Rawson Avenue
South Milwaukee’s biggest annual parade is bigger and better than ever for 2017.

The Great Duck Race
Saturday, July 29, 2017 – 2:00 p.m.

Milwaukee Avenue at 15th Avenue
Sponsor a duck or three as they float down Oak Creek toward prizes.

Leave a comment

Filed under South Milwaukee

This Wednesday: Help Us Welcome Home a Local Hero!


Gary Wetzel is coming home.

Gary, South Milwaukee’s Medal of Honor recipient for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War, is returning to his South Milwaukee home this Wednesday, July 19, almost a year after a motorcycle accident left him seriously injured and in need of rehabilitation. He had been staying at a hotel in Franklin awaiting completion of accessibility upgrades to his house.

We are making his homecoming a little more special with a police and fire escort once he hits the South Milwaukee border, to his house in the 2500 block of 17th Avenue. South Milwaukee veterans are also bringing a color guard to his house.

We want your help! It’s a simple request: Please head out to the street along the route and cheer as Gary goes by.

Here are details …

  • What: Welcome Gary Wetzel to his newly remodeled home
  • When: Gary will arrive at 15th and College Avenues around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 19, to meet a police and fire escort, starting a ride to his house.
  • Route: The escort will head south on 15th Avenue, west on Menomonee Avenue, then north on 17th to his house.
  • Join us: Please stand anywhere along the route and cheer Gary on. Please keep disruption near his house at a minimum.

Thanks, Gary, for your service and your bravery.

Please join me in welcoming this hero back to South Milwaukee.


Filed under South Milwaukee

South Milwaukee Fire Department Helps Distressed Boater

From the South Milwaukee Fire Department …

SMFD responded to a request from the US Coast Guard to assist a distressed boater south of Bender Park in Oak Creek. Upon the arrival of our rescue boat at the distressed boat, it was learned the vessel was without power and drifting towards the rocks along the shoreline. Although SMFD does not routinely tow boats unless they are at risk of harm, it was determined that the safest option in this case was to remove it from the hazard area and tow it back into the marina.

Nice work, guys!

Leave a comment

Filed under South Milwaukee