Fredrick Law Olmsted, born in 1822, is known as the father of American landscape architecture. His most famous projects include New York’s Central Park and the grounds outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Closer to home, Olmsted is responsible for Milwaukee’s Lake, Riverside, and Washington parks. How about that!

On Saturday, July 16, the Lake Park Friends will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Olmsted with a daylong celebration in and around the East Side park. A parade will kick things off at 11 a.m.; it will be followed by a scavenger hunt, a photo exhibit, some birthday cake, a smattering of vintage jazz, and more. The celebration is free and open to all.

“Olmsted pioneered a vision of public parks as civilizing and democratizing forces in society,” a press release says, “places where people of all walks of life could gather to enjoy the beauty of their natural surroundings, a vision Lake Park Friends continues to nurture today.”

Oh, and the Traveling Beer Garden will be at Lake Park that day, too!

Here’s the day’s schedule, courtesy of Lake Park Friends:

A parade to kick off the celebration, with noisemakers, music, and handheld Olmsted images. The parade begins at Wahl Avenue and Belleview and ends at the Summer Stage. (11 a.m.-noon.)

Milwaukee County’s Traveling Beer Garden (11 a.m.-10 p.m.)

A “Where’s Olmsted?” scavenger hunt for all ages. Instructions at the information booth, near the tennis courts (Noon-3 p.m.)

Art Tables: Artists will construct park benches and trees under the guidance of Montessori instructor, Heather Eiden. All ages. (Noon-3 p.m.)

“Frederick Law Olmsted: Landscapes for the Public Good,” a traveling exhibit made available by the National Association of Olmsted Parks, will be shown in the Marcia Coles Community Room, below Lake Park Bistro. (Noon-5 p.m.)

A photo exhibit featuring images of Lake Park will be on display at the North Point Lighthouse. (Noon-5 p.m.) Prizes to be awarded just before birthday cake cutting!

Birthday cake – and a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” for the father of landscape architecture – will be served at the Summer Stage. (6 p.m.)

And the Chicago Cellar Boys, the Windy City’s premier vintage jazz band, will wrap up the evening at the Summer Stage with a concert (6:30-8 p.m.)

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About The Author

Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.

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