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The Dear MKE Film Series Goes Behind the Scenes with Bill Davidson and Willie G. Davidson

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By Jeannine Sherman
Director of Public Relations
VISIT Milwaukee

Highlights include rarely-seen Davidson family home movies and photos

“All in the Family” is the latest film in the Dear MKE series and it goes behind the scenes with a father and son who share one of the most recognized names in the world. Willie G. Davidson, chief styling officer emeritus, and his son, Bill Davidson, vice president of the Harley-Davidson Museum and VISIT Milwaukee board member, give viewers an unprecedented glimpse into their personal story through family photos, home movies and a visit behind the doors of the Harley-Davidson Museum® archives. Along the way, they trace the path of one of Milwaukee’s most famous legacy brands in the latest release in the acclaimed Dear MKE Film Series.

This film, along with three previously-released films in the series can be found on the Dear MKE YouTube channel and on

“Milwaukee has always been a city that values hard work, ingenuity and creativity – we make things here,” said VISIT Milwaukee President and CEO Paul Upchurch. “The story of Harley-Davidson epitomizes those characteristics that built this city and that continue to shape who we are today. 110 years ago Harley-Davidson put Milwaukee on the map. We’re proud more than a century later to be home to this internationally-recognized brand and the world’s only Harley-Davidson Museum.” 

Dear MKE’s film crew joined Bill Davidson and his father, Willie G. Davidson, on a journey through Milwaukee’s Harley-Davidson Museum, which for Bill and Willie G. reads like a well-loved family album. From Willie G. pointing out dozens of his designs along the Museum’s tank wall, to Bill reminiscing about one of his favorite motorcycles, “All in the Family” tells a heartfelt, made-in-Milwaukee story.

This film is the fourth to be released in The Dear MKE film series, a first-ever collaborative project that brings together an all-Milwaukee creative team under the direction of VISIT Milwaukee and Hollywood producer Jack Turner, who grew up in Milwaukee.

When complete, the 12-film series and image campaign will paint a picture of Milwaukee and its many facets as told through the stories of Milwaukeeans. The project is designed to dispelold perceptions of Milwaukee, drive brand awareness, entice new talent, attract new businesses, and bring more visitors – and remind locals why we embrace the essence of what makes life good here.

To see an additional 300+ video clips, stories and photos of Milwaukeeans sharing their love, pride and stories about Milwaukee, go to

Dear MKE is on Facebook and Twitter.


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Take a Top Five Family Vacation without Your Wallet

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By Jeannine Sherman
Director of Public Relations
VISIT Milwaukee

Voted by the travel experts at as a Top Five Family Vacation, Milwaukee is a fun-filled, affordable and easy-to-get-to destination for families. With spring break on the horizon and gas prices and flight costs on the rise, finding a fun family vacation spot can be challenging. But Milwaukee is pulling out all the stops and offering a chance to take the whole family on a getaway – for free.

From a ride through space in a virtual reality chamber to family-friendly competition at one of the nation’s most popular game and restaurant experiences, there’s plenty to explore no matter the time of year. Now families can win a package to do it all FOR FREE by entering our “Great Milwaukee Family Getaway.” Click here for details on the package worth more than $1,000.

Stay in the City
The Hilton Milwaukee offers a family-friendly getaway in the heart of the city. Everyone will enjoy spacious rooms and casual dining at The Café and parents may be tempted to sneak away to the Monarch Room, a cool lounge with a Madmen vibe.

Where the Wild Things Are
See the king of the jungle, a sea of colorful butterflies, and slithering, swimming and swinging creatures at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Take a ride on the Safari Train and don’t forget to get a heaping scoop of Wisconsin ice cream at the Dairy Store located in the Family Farm area before you go! 
Discover the Possibilities
Transport the family from Portugal to outer space in seconds in the virtual reality chamber at Discovery World, featuring interactive exhibits that fuse innovation, science and education. See the inside of a nuclear reactor, view life under the sea at the aquarium and feel the sensation of flying an airplane.

From Jurassic Park to Edge of the Universe
See the kids’ faces light up as they see larger-than-life dinosaurs, brilliantly-colored butterflies and ancient mummies at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Treat them for good behavior at the candy shop in the Streets of Old Milwaukee on the way to a showing of the stars and planets in the Daniel M. Soref Planetarium, Wisconsin’s largest.

Get Ready to Rumble
The world’s only Harley-Davidson Museum offers something for the entire family through its exhibits and interactive experiences. Kids of all ages will have a blast sitting on Harley-Davidson® motorcycles ranging from the World War II era to present, or using touch screen technology to hear the signature sound of Harley-Davidson engines. Kids must stop by the Imagination Station Kids Area that includes a coloring table, motorcycle-themed books and dress-up biker clothes. After getting dressed in their riding gear, kids can hop on the kid-sized motorcycle and (pretend to) leave their parents in the dust!
Fun Under Glass
Walking in to three, 85-foot high, glass domes is an experience in itself, but once you get inside – a world of nature’s wonders awaits! Visit the jungle, the desert and see a blanket of spring color in a sea of tulips, all indoors at the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, known lovingly as the Milwaukee Domes.
Mom, I’m hungry!
After you’ve worked up an appetite visiting Milwaukee’s most active attractions, refuel at family-friendly dining spots throughout the city.
Dave & Buster’s serves up a variety of dishes like steaks, ribs and pasta that please adult palates as well as a special kids menu full of favorites. And that means everyone leaves happy. With a game arcade, shuffleboard, bowling, billiards and more, it’s a great place for an afternoon or evening of family fun!

Got picky kids? No problem! The Milwaukee Public Market’s nearly 20 specialty food vendors offer something for every taste from grilled cheese and made-to-order deli sandwiches to a full lobster dinner and Mexican fare.
After you visit hog heaven at the Harley-Davidson Museum, head to MOTOR BAR & RESTAURANT for some American Classic dining. Enjoy a bowl of Motor’s award-winning chili, house smoked BBQ pork sandwich or the monstrous bacon stuffed burger. Any choice will be a great choice within the communal atmosphere that Harley enthusiasts are known for.
Breakfast is what we’re talking about at The Original Pancake House. Its signature items include the Apple Pancake, a single large pancake smothered with sautéed apples and cinnamon sugar baked to perfection to create a deliciously rich cinnamon sugar glaze.
For details on how to experience these great family-friendly experiences in Milwaukee on us, click here

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Vote for Milwaukee to Host a National Tourism Symposium!

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By Bill Prange
Web Marketing Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee


Love Milwaukee? Of course you do! WE NEED YOUR HELP!

SoMeT is back and we need you to vote, share and talk it up so this year Milwaukee comes out on top.

In 2012, Milwaukee was second best. We fought a good fight, but El Paso pulled ahead to secure the win to host the 2012 Social Media Tourism Symposium (SoMeT). It all comes down to who has the most votes. We need your help to become the host destination of the 2013 SoMeT, which will bring 300 influential social media managers from around the country to meet here this November, pumping more than $350,000 into our local economy!

During the conference in 2012, more than 10.7 million impressions were generated from this group via social media. If we win, those impressions could be about what a great time attendees will be having in Milwaukee!

Background on SoMeT:
The Social Media Tourism Symposium – #SoMeT13US – is a combination of travel, tourism, hospitality and meeting industry professionals sharing ideas and learning more about how social media is affecting promotion within the industry. More information on the symposium can be found at or

On Wednesday, March 13, the destination voting starts again to see who will be host of the 2013 SoMeT (#SoMeT13US). Thirteen destinations will be in the running. The top eight with the most votes will advance to further rounds of 1 vs. 1 voting matchups until one destination reigns supreme.

UDPATE - Milwaukee has advanced to Round 2 of the competition! On Monday, March 18, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Milwaukee will compete with Branson, MO, to see who will advance to Round 3 of the competition! We will share the voting link as soon as voting is live.

Please help us beat Branson by casting your vote and sharing with your
networks on Monday at 9:00 a.m. Voting will continue until 9:00 p.m. on
Monday night. Each person can vote once.

Last year’s vote:
For SoMeT 2012 voting, in our first two rounds we handily beat Lehigh Valley, PA and St. Louis, MO. El Paso, TX was chosen as the destination of the meeting as they secured more votes and impressions in the contest overall.

In 2012, the voting process created more than 3 million impressions. More than 300,000 impressions were a result of efforts by @VISITMilwaukee, @MilwaukeeArt and @AJBombers alone.

Don't forget to share this with your friends and family to help us get enough votes to bring the 2013 SoMeT to Milwaukee!


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Irish for 2012 Weather!

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By Zack Zupke
Creative Services Manager
VISIT Milwaukee

My wife and I sat downtown at Café Benelux’s outdoor patio, basking in 80-degree sunshine, sipping beer as we watched the world go by. Ah, March 17, 2012. Yes, 80s in March – in Wisconsin. No matter what Mother Nature has in store for us this year, thousands will still line Milwaukee’s downtown streets and sip plenty of green beer as the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin presents its 47th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade - March 9, 2013.

Stepping off at noon at Third Street and Wisconsin Avenue, and finishing at Water and Highland, this storied parade is one of the best St Patrick’s Day parades in the country and the grandest, by far, in Wisconsin. Featuring more than 140 units, including local politicians and celebrities, floats, bagpipe and marching bands and Irish and Celtic organizations, this superb celebration reminds us, for one day at least, everyone is Irish!

The 47th Annual Parade is presented by Westown Association, The Shamrock Club of Wisconsin and Killian’s Irish Stout.

Check out the scene from the 2012 Parade:


47th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Saturday, March 9 - Noon
View parade route map


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