In this episode of Brandstorm, we welcome Andy Silverman, one of the co-founders of Milwaukee Day. Andy discusses how a joke amongst friends has exploded into a mammoth annual celebration of hometown pride through fun and service.
The date of April 14th (or 4/14), is perfect for recognizing Milwaukee, home to the 414- area code. Andy’s brother Toby originally voiced the correlation between the date and the area code about 8 or 9 years ago on social media, leading Andy and some of his friends to purchase an official Milwaukee Day URL that very day and begin dreaming up the idea. A year later, commemorating the next April 14th, Andy starred in a short video, unofficially declaring the holiday. It went viral soon after, thanks to Milwaukee television anchor Ted Perry, who broadcasted the video on the FOX 6 evening news. Since then, the annual event has snowballed into a large goodwill effort to explore and experience Milwaukee’s vast history, raise funds or awareness for local charities, take in live, local music, and to do whatever one deems appropriate in celebration of the city. Andy says the Milwaukee Day movement comes from a sincere love for his hometown and embracing everything that makes Milwaukee unique.
Assistance From Local Businesses
For several years, the Milwaukee Day organizers have received sponsorships from local businesses to keep ticket prices low for those attending. Andy says his team is lucky to not only be working with these companies, but that the same organizations are often the first to reach out to them. As more companies have come on board and created their own events, it has lessened the load for the Milwaukee Day team, making the day more about inspiration and less about execution.
Fun Events and Discounts on Milwaukee Day
Here are just a few of the gatherings or special deals you can take advantage of on Milwaukee Day. More are listed on their website, found below.
- The Official Milwaukee Day Party at Company Brewing, sponsored by Gruber Law Offices and WMSE, features live music from Tigernite, Midwest Death Rattle and Zed Kenso. Company Brewing is also releasing a limited Milwaukee Day Ale.
- The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts Open House will showcase art exhibitions, film screenings and live performances from over 100 award-winning graduate students and faculty.
- The Harley-Davidson Museum is offering free admission to anyone wearing clothes emblazoned with the word “Milwaukee.”
Celebrating Milwaukee Through Service
While Andy and the Milwaukee Day team love driving traffic to their sanctioned events, part of their mission is also to bring awareness to positive causes. This ranges from park clean-ups to non-partisan voter registration to raising funds for area public charter school Escuela Verde. Andy says that Milwaukee Day is a great reason to give people guidance on how they can help out their community.
Getting Noticed Both Locally and Nationally
On top of receiving annual recognition from Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and the City Common Council, Milwaukee Day recently garnered national attention when it was spotlighted as an answer on the television gameshow Jeopardy!. Andy is proud that this mention came seemingly out of nowhere with no one on the Milwaukee Day team having any connection to the show. Clearly, the passion for Milwaukee Day is no longer limited to just Wisconsin!