Today is Milwaukee Day. The annual civic celebration—which was originally born out of the realization that Milwaukee’s 414 area code had a striking resemblance to the numerals in April 14 (or 4/14)—transformed from an inside joke among a small group of friends roughly a decade ago into a full-fledged local holiday that has resulted in an official mayoral proclamation, a ceremonial first pitch before a Brewers game, an abundance of city-centered specials offered by area businesses, a heft of concerts, a wide-reaching hashtag, a cameo on Jeopardy!, and the creation of Milwaukee Day Lager.
Though Milwaukee Day’s reach is now undeniable, this year’s festivities will be noticeably different than past installments for obvious reasons. As folks throughout the city (and state, country, world for that matter) are currently isolated from one another and quarantined in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, a locally-minded happening that used to be rooted in the sole concept of getting out and enjoying what makes Milwaukee great is now going to be observed indoors and online for the sake of safety. In an effort to show residents we’re “apart, but together,” during this strange, difficult, and lonely time in history, Milwaukee Day organizers have released an astounding video to mark this year’s holiday.
Milwaukee Day co-founder Timm Gable’s production company (Allies & Co.) made an absolutely captivating two-minute video that captures visuals of they city’s vacant attractions and empty neighborhoods. The haunting imagery of Milwaukee at rest is countered with footage of locals banding together…from a safe distance to weather the storm, to be there for each other in spirit, and get through this as one. If you’re anything like us, the video—which was shot and edited by Ryan Bingham and Josh Halverson—will bring a smile to your face, it will cause you cry, and it’s sure to make you incredibly proud to call Milwaukee your home. Happy Milwaukee Day.