What’s Up, South Milwaukee? Your Rolling Local Events Calendar

A rolling update of major South Milwaukee events …

You can always find this at the top of South Milwaukee Blog, so you can stay informed about what’s happening around town. Check back often for updates! For future events, visit the Events page.

  • Thursday, August 11: South Milwaukee Downtown Market. Music by Big Style Brass Band. Website and Facebook
  • Sunday, August 14: Suburban Soles “Woodn’t You Like to Know “Photosynthesize Connections, with Leaves & Trees.” 10 a.m. to noon, Grant Park Picnic Area 7. Details
  • Thursday, August 18: South Milwaukee Downtown Market. South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center Summer Concert Series music by De La Buena. Website and Facebook
  • Thursday, August 18: Free Community Dinner, First Congregational Church. Details


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It’s Election Day. Vote!

Today is Election Day. Please vote in the Fall Partisan Primary if you haven’t already!

Here is a sample ballot, with the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and Republican primary for governor the two biggest contested races. Milwaukee County Sheriff is also on the Democratic ballot.

In two of the contested Democratic races, here is who I’m supporting: Angelito Tenorio for State Treasurer and George Christenson for Clerk of Milwaukee County Circuit Court.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Here is where you vote …

  • District 1 (Wards 1 through 4): South Milwaukee Public Library, 1907 10th Avenue
  • District 2 (Wards 5 through 8): Divine Mercy Gathering Room, 800 Marquette Avenue
  • District 3 (Wards 9 through 12): City Administration Building, 2424 15th Avenue
  • District 4 (Wards 13 through 16): Grobschmidt Senior Center, 2424 15th Avenue

More details on the city’s Elections page.

And look for election updates on the city website (and the blog) later tonight.

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Downtown Progress: Bucyrus Commons, 7th Avenue RFP, Styled Aesthetic

Great to see continued progress in the redevelopment of downtown South Milwaukee. Here are a few quick updates from the city’s Facebook page

More on Styled Aesthetic’s expansion — and how they came oh so close to moving to Oak Creek — here. Here is the RFP for the former Masonic Lodge site. And see Bucyrus Commons renderings here.


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Wednesday Is Community Night Out!

Find more information about this and other events on the Events page, and on the post pinned to the front page of the blog. Check back often, as I will be frequently updating this list.

Have an event to share? Send a flyer and copy my way to erikbrooks32@gmail.com.

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It’s Heritage Days Parade Day!

The festivities begin at 11 a.m. See you along the route! More details here.

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Help Wanted: Lionsfest Needs Volunteers!

The South Milwaukee Lions need your help. It’s last-minute, but the Lions are looking for volunteers — both individuals and groups — to work this weekend’s festival.

From Lion Chelsea …

Each volunteer receives a volunteer t-shirt and meal ticket. Please consider helping us put on our largest event for the year, so that we can help within the South Milwaukee community. Please feel free to send us a message if you need help with scheduling using our sign-up link — or email Lion Chelsea at caweirich@gmail.com.

Sign up here. And thanks for stepping up to support this iconic local event.

You’ll probably find me working in the food tent …

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Fall Primary: Early Voting Underway At City Hall

From the City Facebook page …

In-person voting is from Tuesday, July 26th – Friday, August 5th. Cast your ballot before Election Day by voting an in-person absentee ballot at our office. Our hours are 7:30-4:00 Monday-Friday.

Here is a sample ballot, with the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and Republican primary for governor the two biggest contested races.

More details on the city’s Elections page.

Primary election day is August 9. The general election is Nov. 8.

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Headlines: Flags At Half Staff For Jeff Plale, American Legion Post Air Conditioning, Bucyrus Apartment and Retail Project, And More

Rounding up news from around South Milwaukee and the South Shore …

For more on Jeff Plale, please see this story. And here is his obituary.

Please continue to keep his family and friends in your prayers. Jeff lived a life of public service in support of South Milwaukee and the entire South Shore. He will be missed.

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Happy 125th! Celebration Kicks Off This Week With Pop-Up Theater Performance

It’s South Milwaukee’s sesquicentennial, and the city formally begins its celebration this week.

You can check out the full schedule of events here, starting with a pop-up theater performance. From the 125th Committee …

As part of South Milwaukee’s 125 Anniversary celebrations we will be performing an original short (15 min) play about South Milwaukee history! The first performance is open to the public on July 27th at 6:30 pm at the Downtown Market stage (or the senior center if it rains). The second will be the evening of August 10th at South Milwaukee’s Board and Commission banquet at the Bucyrus Club.

Check out the flyers below for more. And we’ll see you Wednesday!

The celebration extends beyond events, too. Stay tuned for more details.

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Hello Again, South Milwaukee. It’s Been a While.

I started South Milwaukee Blog in 2009 as a source for local news and information you couldn’t get anywhere else — or at least not in one place.

More than 1.7 million page views, 529,000 visitors, 4,000 posts, and 900 followers later, I set it aside last fall, as I stepped away from my role as mayor to refocus on my family, career and self and explore new passions. It was, and still is, absolutely the right call.

I always had plans to relaunch the blog. I do today.

A lot of has happened since November.

First, I was proud to lead a terrific group of young women to new heights on and (more importantly) off the basketball court at Saint Anthony High School in Milwaukee. We set a school record for wins and hosted our first-ever WIAA playoff game, and we’re just getting started. Go Roman Legion!

Then, over the winter, I reunited with my former college roommate and longtime friend to launch Carl Collective, a new student-powered communications firm in partnership with our alma mater, Marquette University. That journey, too, is still beginning, but the start has been incredibly rewarding and fulfilling.

Still, I remain as committed to this community as ever, and this blog is my way to show it.

Now, I need your help.

  • First, I need content. Have an event to promote? Send me a flyer and copy ready to post. The same goes for other content — the more copy-ready information you can share, the better. This makes my life so much easier.
  • Story ideas. I welcome these too, but, again, please send content along with them.
  • Sponsorship. For the first time, I will be seeking sponsors for the blog. Please consider becoming one and lift up your business, organization or event. More details to come on this.
  • Lastly, please be nice. I am going to turn commenting back on, but will monitor it closely and disable it again if I see it going to the negative place it had gone to in 2020 and 2021.

So, here we go, telling the South Milwaukee story, together.

As I state on the About page

Here is some of what you will find here: Event information, city and school news, local sports, and coverage of the people, businesses, organizations and institutions that make South Milwaukee uniquely South Milwaukee … with a clear focus on positivity. What you won’t find? The negativity and personal attacks so prevalent elsewhere on the internet and social media. If you want screaming and yelling, go somewhere else.

Look for my first posts this weekend, and we’ll start with information about some of the upcoming Heritage Days and 125th anniversary events around town. Forward!


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Thank You, South Milwaukee

My time as South Milwaukee’s mayor has officially ended, and I want to thank everyone who has reached out since my announcement with well wishes and kind words. 

While I have not been able to respond to everyone, please know your messages have been cherished, humbling and much appreciated. 

I’m not naive — I know there are some who are clearly happy I’m leaving this job, and that’s how this works. I was proudly their mayor, too, while recognizing the haters often aren’t the most prolific voices in the room. They are just the loudest. 

As I walk away, my love for this city and positive feelings about where we are headed have not subsided. Our future has never been more promising. 

I leave the city in great hands. 

To our first-class city department heads and front-line workers, thank you for delivering every day, especially during the incredibly challenging times of the past 18 months. 

To Alderman David Bartoshevich, I wish you nothing but the best as you assume the role of acting mayor until April. With your experience, good heart and love of this city, you will serve South Milwaukee well.

To the rest of the council, I offer the same good feelings. We may not have agreed on everything during my tenure (and that’s a good thing), I thank you for your leadership and wish you wisdom as you wrestle with some big decisions you will be asked to make in coming months and years. 

I also offer thanks to our volunteer board and commission members for your continued service. Be proud of the difference you are making.

Here is the good news: South Milwaukee is just starting its ascendency. 

The opportunity in front of us is historic.

I firmly believe 2022 and the years ahead will be critical for this city, as public and private investment pours into South Milwaukee and leaders make difficult and defining decisions around how to best use those funds to solve longstanding problems and build for the future. 

  • The $10 million Bucyrus Foundation investment in our city and schools begins next year — funds that will touch so many people and institutions across our community.  
  • Downtown redevelopment is just beginning, with new businesses coming online, existing ones choosing to grow locally, and hundreds of new apartments planned. 
  • New life continues to come to the former Bucyrus campus — almost vacant a year ago, it is now almost fully leased, sold or planned to be, with key decisions yet to be made.
  • The $2 million Bucyrus Commons public event space should be reality by next fall, in time for Crusherfest.
  • The Oak Creek Watershed restoration plan is finally complete — giving communities across the watershed the roadmap they need to make investment decisions around this critical resource (and air cover to seek that money). 
  • Federal infrastructure and stimulus dollars coming will have an impact, too, hopefully delivering big solutions to big problems like (too many) homes with lead water lines. 

And that is just the start. My hope and ask going forward is that elected leaders of this city build on the foundation we’ve laid, thinking and acting boldly, and with urgency, to seize on the opportunities in front of us. I’ll be rooting hard for their success, as I refocus my energies on my family, my small businesses and the St. Anthony High School girls’ basketball team. 

As for what’s next for this platform and my mayoral Facebook page, both will go dormant for a time, as I determine plans for both. Until I have that final decision, I will keep the blog published, but not be updating it. I will (at least temporarily) unpublish my mayoral Facebook page.

That said, I’m not going anywhere. I’ll find other ways to give back to my community, and already am. I got into politics to help people, and I will do just that — outside of City Hall. 

Have a blessed holiday season, South Milwaukee. Forward!

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This Saturday, November 20: Christmas in South Milwaukee Kicks Off With Old Fashioned Christmas Activities, Lions Lighted Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting

We will see you Saturday!

And there is still time to sign up to join the parade. We need parade volunteers too!

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No One Injured, But Fire Causes Extensive Damage to Sherman Avenue Home, Displaces Occupants

From the South Milwaukee Fire Department …

At approximately 9:17 PM on Monday, November 15th, SMFD responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting a house on fire in the 1300 block of Sherman Avenue. Upon arrival, SMFD units encountered a fully involved garage attached by a breezeway to a single-family dwelling. Fire was extending through the breezeway into the house. The occupants reported smelling smoke, discovering the fire, and evacuating everyone out of the house. The fire was quickly knocked down and extensive overhaul operations took place. The fire caused extensive damage to the entire structure. No injuries were reported. The American Red Cross was called for the displaced occupants.

The fire is currently under investigation by the SMFD.The SMFD would like to remind everyone to install and maintain working smoke alarms. Early detection and notification of a fire could mean the difference between life and death, especially when you are asleep and would be unable to smell the smoke.

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What’s Coming up at the South Milwaukee PAC? A Lot: Student Theatre Productions of “Harvey,” Return of the South Milwaukee Municipal Band, Holiday Shows and More

Here is what’s coming up at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center …

  • Friday-Sunday, November 12-14: South Milwaukee Theatre presents “Harvey.” Get details and buy tickets here.
  • Tuesday, November 16: The South Milwaukee Municipal Band returns with a free concert. Details below.
  • Friday, November 19: “Shake and Holla — North Mississippi Allstars and Rebirth Brass Band.” Get details on this SMPAC season performance and buy tickets here.
  • Saturday, December 4: Studio K presents “The Flamenco Nutracker.” Get details and buy tickets here.
  • Sunday, December 12: The Texas Tenors — “Deep in the Heart of Christmas.” Get details on this SMPAC season performance and buy tickets here.

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Veterans Day 2021: Events Planned Thursday at American Legion Post and High School … and Support Honor Flights at the Knights of Columbus Vegas Night This Saturday!

There are several ways to celebrate our veterans this week …

Veterans Day (Thursday, November 11)

The public is welcome as the South Milwaukee Veterans Council is holding a Veterans Day event on Thursday, Nov. 11. The event is being held inside the American Legion Post #27 hall, due to weather concerns. The event will start at 111 a.m. hours, with a short ceremony followed by a luncheon served by AMVETS Post 4 AUX.  

And this, from the South Milwaukee School District, with information on a short parade on 15th Avenue …

South Milwaukee High School will host its annual Veterans Day celebration on Thursday, November 11, 2021 at the high school. This year’s event will be conducted 100% outside to maximize social distancing and to protect the safety of our honored guests. If you are a Veteran or have a Veteran family friend or relative, we would love for them to participate in this year’s event which will include a parade. We are asking our guests to arrive around 1:00 p.m. (1300). Veterans and guests should report to the east parking lot where they will be directed to go to the staging area for the parade. Fifteenth Avenue will be shut down for about an hour in order to give our honored guests the recognition they deserve as our elementary, middle, and high school students line the parade route. If you would like to attend the event (or invite a guest), please let Mr. Grassl, Mrs. Biskobing, Mr. Larson, Ms. Moll or Mr. Cleveland know at the high school (or just show up at 1300 on November 11th). Family members and friends are invited to line the parade route or ride in the car with a Veteran. Hope to see many of you then!

Saturday, November 13

Continue to celebrate and support our veterans at the Knights of Columbus’ Viva Vegas Night, to benefit Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. Get more details and purchase tickets here.

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