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Join a Global Celebration in Milwaukee

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By Bill Prange
Web Marketing Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

French: Coupe du monde de football

German: Fußball-Weltmeisterschaft

Korean: 월드컵

Italian: Campionato mondiale di calcio

English: The World Cup

Every four years, people across the globe turn their attention to what might be the biggest sporting event in the world – the FIFA World Cup™ soccer tournament. Starting on Thursday, June 12, hundreds of millions of people from every continent tune in to see which country will be crowned World Cup champion.

Even though this year’s World Cup is being held in Brazil, more than 3,000 miles away from Milwaukee, there are plenty of ways to join in on the global celebration right here in our own backyard!

Nomad World Pub, located toward the east end of Brady Street, will continue its World Cup celebration tradition with Nomad World Copa 2014 – a five-week festival filled with events and activities. The bar’s festivities include a daily Brazilian-themed “village” in the adjacent courtyard from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., featuring food provided by Bel Air Cantina, a full bar with drink specials, daily giveaways and more. Numerous HD TVs will be set up inside and outside the bar for viewing the games. Nomad will also be throwing two block parties outside the bar during the World Cup: One for the United States’ game against Portugal on Sunday, June 22, and one for the World Cup final on Sunday, July 13. The final event, “Brasil on Brady,” will have a stage for Brazilian dancers, a drum troop and live music by the Samba Unit and De La Buena, along with a Jumbotron for watching the final game.

Looking for something a little more family-friendly? Check out Lakefront Soccerfest, presented by the Milwaukee County Parks and Milwaukee Soccer Development Group, on Sunday, June 15 at Veterans Park on the city's lakefront. In addition to celebrating the World Cup, the festival aims to bring people together to focus on family, diversity, sustainability, health and wellness and fairplay. They will also host a day's worth of friendly tournaments for kids ages seven and up.

Another option is to head to Transfer Pizzeria, which plans to combine soccer, drinks and pizza into one fantastic viewing experience. All the games will be shown live in their newly renovated back room, with multiple TVs, including a 10-foot, high definition projection screen. Join Transfer’s Unity Club for food and drink discounts during the games.

Uihlein Soccer Park, home of the Milwaukee Kickers Soccer Club, is also getting in on the action. The Club is hosting a free viewing party for the U.S. vs. Portugal game on Sunday, June 22. This event will be held at the complex on a big screen on one of the park's indoor soccer fields from 4-8 p.m. One field will feature game viewing, on another, inflatables for children, with youth soccer matches on the third. In addition to these activities, there will be raffle prize drawings and a special appearance by Fuleco, the official 2014 World Cup mascot, who will be present to take photos with fans.

One of the best things about Milwaukee is the melting pot of cultures you can find within the city. Rarely is this more evident than during the World Cup. Walk into one of our many soccer bars and you're guaranteed to see fans wearing the colors of teams from all over the world. So whether you're a hardcore fan who can name all 32 teams in the tournament, or someone who's never watched a minute of soccer in your life, I encourage you to take part in the celebration in some way. After all, this opportunity only comes around once every four years!


Milwaukee Tourism Tournament makes way for the real thing

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By Bill Prange
Web Marketing Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

As a way to celebrate the upcoming NCAA Tournament games to be held in Milwaukee on March 20-22, we recently held our own tournament to determine the best tourist attraction in the city. Sixty-four Milwaukee-area attractions were put into a bracket, just like you'd see in the NCAA Tournament, and fans were asked to vote for a winner in each matchup. The attraction with the most votes advanced to the next round, and voting continued until we were down to our final matchup – the Pettit National Ice Center against the Milwaukee County Zoo. After voting completed, the Pettit Center collected the most votes and was named the winner of the Milwaukee Tourism Tournament!

Just like we'll see in the NCAA Tournament, there were many upsets during the competition. The Pettit Center was given a 14-seed, yet they bucked the odds and continued to beat higher seeded attractions, eventually winning the whole thing! Other examples of upsets during the competition include the Safe House taking down the Harley-Davidson Museum, and Milwaukee Food & City Tours topping Colectivo Coffee. We can't say that we're that surprised – we know that Milwaukee is a city blessed with numerous fantastic tourist attractions, and any one of them could have won the tourney.

Now that our tourism tournament has wrapped up, it's time to welcome the real thing to town. Last night during "Selection Sunday" the eight teams that will be playing in Milwaukee were announced. We're thrilled to host Michigan, Oregon, Texas, BYU, Arizona State, Wofford, American and of course, the Wisconsin Badgers, in our great city for the second and third rounds of the tournament. While we can't say that we won't cheer extra loud for the Badgers, we're excited to see fans from all over the country gathering in Milwaukee to support their teams.

Get your brackets ready Milwaukee – the Big Dance is merely days away!

Special shout out to Milwaukee's own UWM Panthers for qualifying for the school's fourth-ever NCAA Tournament, and first since 2006! The Panthers have been chosen to play in Buffalo, NY, but we'll be cheering you on back home!

Don’t Miss March Madness in Milwaukee

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By Bill Prange
Web Marketing Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

"The Big Dance"


"Bracket Busters"

"March Madness"

There is just something special about the NCAA Tournament. Whether you're a college basketball fanatic or a casual sports follower, when March Madness hits, it's almost impossible not to get swept up in the excitement of it all. From Selection Sunday through the championship game, one thing is certain - the unpredictable will happen, and everyone will watch.

What's even better than watching the games on TV? Being at the games to experience it all live. And that's exactly what you can do this year, as the NCAA Tournament is coming to Milwaukee!

On Thursday and Saturday, March 20 and 22, the BMO Harris Bradley Center will host a total of six games of the second and third rounds of this year's tournament. While we won't know which teams are coming to town until after the brackets are revealed on Selection Sunday (March 16), you can make sure you're there to witness the action by purchasing tickets right now.

I'll never forget the excitement of watching my UWM Panthers knock off Alabama and Boston College to earn the only Sweet Sixteen appearance in school history in 2005. Or watching George Mason's amazing run to the Final Four in 2006. Or watching TWO 15-seeds win their opening games in 2012. This year, I have the chance to see the next wave of history being made, up close and personal.

Don't wait until it's too late. Get your tickets today. And start doing your homework so you know which "Cinderella" team will be wearing the glass slipper come March.

Milwaukee Named Top Family Destination of 2014!

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By Bill Prange
Web Marketing Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

The nationwide love for Milwaukee keeps coming! The city has been named the top destination for family travel in 2014 by ABC Travel Guides for Kids!

Editor Matthew Rosenberger and his family visited Milwaukee in the summer of 2013 for research on the upcoming travel guide for the city. As a result of the trip, Rosenberger selected Milwaukee for the top spot on the annual list. Attractions such as the Harley-Davidson Museum, Milwaukee Public Museum, and Palermo’s Pizza tour were highlighted on the list as well as dining options of Milwaukee Food Tours, Melthouse Bistro and frozen custard.

“When we select our top picks for family travel we look at lodging choices, restaurants and family friendly attractions, and Milwaukee is well positioned in all of these areas. The city is home to some of the most successful family-run businesses in the country, and we found that most of the owners were on site when we visited,” said Rosenberger. “The energy and pride of this city are the real game changers when it comes to sending a strong message to families that, ‘We want your family to come visit our family in Milwaukee!’”

Other Milwaukee favorites are featured in the recently published ABC Travel Guide for Kids “15 Things We Love – Milwaukee” list including Discovery World, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Milwaukee Domes, Milwaukee County Zoo and more.

Other destinations that appear on the list include Washington D.C., Miami, Philadelphia, the region north of Boston, Times Square in New York City, and Baltimore. 


You Don’t Have to Leave the City to Find Fresh Cheese

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By Bill Prange
Web Marketing Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

When you think of a cheese factory, what do you think of? I’d be willing to bet you’re picturing a place in a rural area, near barns and corn fields. So you may be surprised to learn that Milwaukee is home to an urban cheese factory – Clock Shadow Creamery.

Clock Shadow Creamery, which opened in the summer of 2012, is one of only three urban cheese factories in the country (the other two are in New York and Seattle). It is there, in an award-winning sustainable building in the Walker’s Point neighborhood, where fresh cheese is made every day for distribution to many local grocers and restaurants.

The goal of the Creamery is to produce high-quality cheese that can be quickly transported to local buyers, therefore reducing transportation costs. The factory’s building is LEED Platinum certified; it’s made from 50% recycled material, holds a rooftop garden that’s part of a grey-water system, and has an elevator that regenerates electricity. Part of the building space is shared by Purple Door Ice Cream, another local favorite that makes flavors such as strawberry basil and even whiskey bacon!

Clock Shadow Creamery produces a variety of cheeses: favorites like cheddar, and newer flavors like Gouda queso and the less-familiar quark cheese, a versatile, spreadable cheese that is common in Germany and central Europe.

Tours are available at the Creamery, showing visitors a close-up look at the cheese-making process, demonstrating things such as how 10 pounds of whole milk is transformed into one pound of cheese!

Cheese products can also be purchased from the retail store inside the Creamery, including fresh food made daily like grilled cheese sandwiches, soft pretzels and bagels, as well as varieties of ice cream from Purple Door.

Let’s be honest. Cheese is basically synonymous with Wisconsin. Now you don’t have to leave Wisconsin’s biggest city to see for yourself how Clock Shadow Creamery is changing the rules of cheese making.

Clock Shadow Creamery
138 W. Bruce St.

Retail Hours:
Monday-Thursday, 10-6
Friday-Saturday, 10-8
Sunday, 12-4

The Milwaukee Film Festival Returns

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By Bill Prange
Web Marketing Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

The leaves are falling. The temperature is dropping. The days are getting shorter. It can only mean one thing… The Milwaukee Film Festival is right around the corner!

Now in its fifth year, the Milwaukee Film Festival is an annual celebration of film in the city we call home. This year’s festival, held from Sept. 26 – Oct. 10, will feature 240 films – 103 features and 137 shorts – from 44 different countries. The longest film clocks in at 168 minutes, with the shortest film lasting just 41 seconds. Screenings will be held at the Landmark Oriental Theatre, Landmark Downer Theatre and Fox-Bay Cinema Grill.

Kicking off the festivities on Thursday night will be the screening of Break Up Man, a riotous comedy that has taken its native Germany by storm, followed by the festival’s opening night party at Discovery World, featuring live music, food, drinks and raffle prizes.

Additional highlights this year include the screening of Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, from Wisconsin native director David Lowery, and appearances by writer/producer Paul Attanasio (brother of Brewers’ owner Mark Attanasio), Milwaukee-born director/producer George Tillman Jr., and Milwaukee native screenwriter Michael Starburry. Also not to be missed is the wildly popular Cream City Cinema showcase, which screens brand new work from Milwaukee-based filmmakers.

Tickets for the festival can be purchased online, by phone at 414-727-8468 or in person at any of the three participating theatre box offices. Click here for a film guide with previews and scheduled showings.

Get your popcorn ready… it’s going to be a great festival!

Milwaukee Film Festival
Sept. 26 - Oct. 10
Landmark Oriental Theatre | Landmark Downer Theatre | Fox-Bay Cinema Grill
Ticket Info
Film Guide

Make Café at the Plaza Your Next Brunch Setting

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By Bill Prange
Web Marketing Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

There are many things Milwaukee does right. One of those is brunch. There are dozens of great places to choose from around the city when you’re looking to indulge on a Saturday or Sunday morning – whether that means food or beverages… or better yet, both!

While many of these places are well known, others fly a little under the radar. One such place is the Café at the Plaza, located inside the Plaza Hotel in Milwaukee’s East Town neighborhood.

This charming café has been one of Milwaukee’s hidden gems for the past 70 years. Unlike most restaurants that offer brunch, The Café serves breakfast and lunch every day from 7 am to 2 pm. In addition to a wonderful meal, you also get the chance to see a visually intriguing hotel, with its 1920s-era Art Deco architecture making you feel like any moment Jay Gatsby is going to walk through the door.

On one recent visit, a friend and I dined outside for brunch. Tucked away on a courtyard patio with ivy-lined walls to either side, it almost feels as though you’re enjoying a day in a small European village. Should you choose to sit inside, you’ll have the option to be seated around an old-school dining counter, watching the action in front of you in the open kitchen.

The meal certainly delivered its end of the bargain. Seeing as though it was the weekend, I had to start with a Bloody Mary. Traditionally-flavored, this bloody was not overly spicy, but had just enough zest to help clear out the cobwebs of a Saturday morning. Served with a chaser (standard in these parts) of Miller High Life, I could have found worse ways to start my day.

When my attention turned to the food, I knew that whatever I picked, I would not be unsatisfied. Everything at The Café is made from scratch in-house, using locally-sourced ingredients and products from familiar Milwaukee names like Colectivo, Nueske’s and Rishi. The menu has an excellent variety of options, featuring everything from scrambled eggs with smoked trout or salmon, to a breakfast burrito with chorizo, to a veggie eggs benedict, and plenty in between.

When it came time to order, I went big, ordering the Plaza Pleaser dish of cinnamon French toast with eggs, sausage and bacon. My companion opted for the Egg Sandwich – eggs with cheese and turkey sausage on a croissant – with a side of the can’t-miss rosemary Café potatoes. Both duly delivered, as everything was well prepared and downright tasty. It wasn’t long before hardly a crumb could be found left on either plate.

Alas, all good things must come to an end. After wrapping up our meal and staying for a few minutes to take in the view, we reluctantly arose from our seats and left our table to clear some room for the next lucky diners at The Café. After a great meal, I was ready to tackle the rest of my weekend. I can’t think of a better way to have started.

Café at the Plaza
1007 N. Cass Street

Get Ready for a Great Lakefront Weekend!

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By Bill Prange
Web Marketing Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

Another great Milwaukee weekend is ahead of us! This weekend some of the best action in the city will be taking place along the Lake Michigan, so make plans to head down to the lakefront for a memorable weekend in the sun.

On Friday and Saturday, the Malibu Open Waterski Championship and Summer Festival returns to Veterans Park Lagoon for the fourth year in a row. Many of the best professional and junior water-skiers will compete in a variety of events that will award more than $64,000 in prize money. You’ll see the athletes break speeds of more than 70 mph on the water and jump distances of more than 200 feet!

On-site activities include an athlete meet-and-greet where fans can get autographs, a mechanical bull, rock climbing wall, kids’ activities, food, music, and “The Flying Sausage,” where you’ll see the Milwaukee Brewers very own Famous Racing Sausages take to the water!

Learn more about all the Malibu Open activities.

Next, head a little further south, where art will come to life at the Lakefront Festival of Art, held Friday-Sunday at the Milwaukee Art Museum. This year more than 170 jury-selected artists from across the country will have their artwork on exhibit, with much of it for sale. You’ll see a broad spectrum of art media such as painting, sculpture, photography, jewelry, ceramics and much more. Make sure to keep an eye on the “wings” of the Milwaukee Art Museum – the Burke Brise Soleil – which open and close throughout the day!

After you’ve had your fill of art and athletics, make your way to Bradford Beach for some relaxation in the sun. Grab a cocktail under the shade of a cabana bar, enjoy a massage or organize a game of volleyball on one of the dozens of beach volleyball courts. Looking for a snack? I highly recommend a visit to the Bartolotta Restaurant Group’s Northpoint Custard for some of the best burgers and frozen custard you’ll find anywhere in the city.

I’ve just got one more piece of advice – don’t forget your sunscreen! It’s going to be a terrific weekend on Milwaukee’s lakefront.

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