Since its start in 2012, Silver City International Festival has celebrated the numerous cultures that help make Silver City one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Milwaukee through food, the arts, and music. The ninth annual festival was scheduled to take place on National Avenue (between 33rd Street and 35th Street) on Saturday, September 12. Unfortunately, the event will not be happening this year on account of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Though Silver City International Festival won’t be taking place in its traditional sense in 2020, organizers have “reimagined” the festival by creating a celebration that can be experienced in a socially distant way that also draws attention to businesses in Silver City and other nearby neighborhoods.

“This year, in lieu of a big street festival, we’re bringing the festival to the people,” says Lidia Villazaez, Silver City Community Outreach Manager for Layton Boulevard West Neighbors. “We are reworking the festival into a parade of small floats traveling a set path in the Silver City, Burnham Park, and Layton Park Neighborhoods, each with live music from past festival acts.”

Villazaez tells Milwaukee Record that businesses throughout those three neighborhoods will be holding takeout specials that day to celebrate the multicultural cuisine in the community.

“Layton Boulevard West Neighbors recognizes the many challenges and hard times neighbors have been going through this year,” Villazaez says. “We want to bring an element of hope and celebration to the community, while not risking the health and safety of neighbors. This is why we’ve reimagined the festival into something that can be celebrated while maintaining social distancing and supporting local businesses.”

For up-to-date details about this year’s parade, be sure to check LBWN’s Silver City International Festival page as September 12 approaches. And for those looking for the full festival experience, Villazaez says Silver City International Festival plans to celebrate its 10-year anniversary in 2021 on Saturday, September 11.

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Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.