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Simultaneous Car-free Celebrations in Milwaukee

Streetfilms contributor Nicholas Whitaker had the pleasure of visiting Milwaukee, Wisconsin last month and captured some classic livable streets action while there. Two events barely two miles apart from one another created a fun filled afternoon of car free celebration.

First, the Brady Street Festival, which has roots going back to the 1970s, was recently revived. Brady Street Festival is a car-free event featuring delicious fare from award winning Wisconsin cheese makers and organic, seasonal treats, live music, crafts, beer, and a camel ride!

A short distance away is the Downer Ave Race, celebrating it's 40th anniversary. Bicycle racers have chosen it frequently as one of the top races in the U.S. according to VeloNews. More than 12,000 people attend the race each year to enjoy the music, food, and fun that make this event a great neighborhood party that lasts long after the races are over.

<p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[intro music]</font> <br> </p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Jessica Schultz:</i> [00:04] Well we’re not in New York, we’re in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Brady Street on the east side, just north of Downtown. It’s Brady Street Day, and they do this every year. They’ve got three or four stages out here with music on them and they’ve got a cheese vendor, you can go around the tables and select all kinds of cheeses, sample all cheeses and sausages. You know, it’s a beer, cheese and sausage fest like good old Milwaukee, good old Wisconsin times. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Gregg Novack:</i> [00:34] It’s the fourth year of this fair. Back in the ‘70s they actually used to have like a street jam like this, it would just be crowded. Nowadays we have Summer Fest. This competed with Summer Fest back in the ‘70s and they’ve got pictures from the high-rise down at the end of Brady Street and it’s just packed with people. There’s probably three, four, five times as many people here than as there are now, but I think we’ve got a good start going here. And it’s so good to be in the neighbourhood.</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Speaker:</i> [01:06] What do you like most about it?</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Gregg Novack:</i> [01:07] I like that it’s local. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Kyle Miller:</i> [01:09] I am having a good time I must say. I’m thinking about getting a beer over here. The cheese is good as well. But the greatest thing about Milwaukee is the beer. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[music]</font> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Jessica Schultz:</i> [01:50] The Downer Avenue race is on.</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[music]</font> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Jessica Schultz:</i> [01:59] Downer Ave races. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Speaker:</i> [02:02] Say it again.</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Jessica Schultz:</i> [02:03] Downer Ave race. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Speaker:</i> [02:03] What is this?</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Jessica Schultz:</i> [02:05] It’s a bicycle race, Downer Avenue. It’s like a three block radius race for bicycles. Just a mile and a half away from the Brady Street fest that we were just at. It’s now Downer Ave race. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[music]</font> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Mark Hodgkin:</i> [02:25] My name’s Mark Hodgkin, I’m from [unintelligible 02:28], Michigan. I’ve been doing this all last week or [unintelligible 02:32] week, just cos I’m in school and I don’t have anything better to do. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[music]</font> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Mark Hodgkin:</i> [02:41] A super week, it’s a two week series, I guess it’s 40 years old now and this is the Downer Avenue race. I’ve heard they have $4,000 sprint like halfway through the race so it should be cool. I was maybe 25<sup>th</sup>. Usually I don’t like bumping elbows and sprinting and all that, but I felt pretty good, even after a whole week, so…</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Jessica Schultz:</i> [03:04] This corner right here is known as Wipe-out Corner, and as you can see the car even looks like it’s going to wipe-out, the car that’s leading the bikers around. As they come around the corner they get like inches away from this kerb, and it’s pretty frightening. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Speaker:</i> [03:20] So how do you feel about hanging out right here?</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Jessica Schultz:</i> [03:22] I’m a little nervous. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Speaker:</i> [03:23] A little nervous?</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Jessica Schultz:</i> [03:24] I think I’m going to keep walking.</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Speaker:</i> [03:25] Here we go. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Jessica Schultz:</i> [03:32] Where did the cyclists go?</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Speaker:</i> [03:33] He ran them over.</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Jessica Schultz:</i> [03:40] The race is over I guess, huh?</font></p> Transcription Sponsored by: <a href="http://transcriptdivas.com/">Transcript Divas Transcription Services </a>
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  • Michelle Salerno

    This was fantastic footage! you did an amazing job! The woman speaking was a great choice, she has a very likable voice and a very midwestern look to her!

    GREAT job Nick!

  • http://urbanmilwaukee.com Dave Reid

    Nick,
    Thanks for pointing us (urbanmilwaukee.com) to your video it looks great and I hope to put it to use in an article discussing car-free days sometime in the future. Thanks

  • Erin

    Alright Brew City! It's nice to know there's a thriving bike community back home--wish I had ditched the car sooner.
    Boo ya! Keep it up!