Were you disappointed when this year’s Locust Street Festival of Music & Arts was abruptly canceled? You’re not alone. But while most of us were content to simply grouse about this unfortunate news, Locust Street business Black Husky Brewing (909 E. Locust St., 414-763-4141) decided to do something about it.

Enter “Milwaukee’s Worst Locust Street Festival,” an alternate, grassroots festival set to take place in and around Black Husky from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on the same day of the canceled Locust Street Festival: Sunday, June 12. (The “Worst” part of the name is a nod to Black Husky’s so-called “Worst Brewery Tours” and “Worst Trivia” competitions.)

“The community deserves this,” Black Husky co-owner Tim Eichinger tells Milwaukee Record. “We’ve all had a rough couple of years. I think this is just something that we need to do, given how things have been. People were really, really looking forward to [Locust Street Festival], and it was canceled so quickly and abruptly, and so late in the game, that I felt like we should keep it going.”

At the moment, Black Husky’s “Worst” Locust Street Festival includes music from Sugar Bush (featuring members of Chicken Wire Empire and The MilBillies) and food from Italian deli Scardina Specialties and the Roll MKE food truck. But Eichinger is open to any and all additions, and envisions the event as more of a grassroots community celebration than a proper festival.

“I think it’s probably going to look a lot more like the Riverwest 24, where it’s going to be things happening around the community, people having their own little block parties, and stuff like that,” Eichinger says. “So it might actually be going back to how [Locust Street Festival] used to be 30, 40 years ago.”

But what about Locust Street Festival’s ever-popular Beer Run/Walk? That, too, could see a second life as a grassroots community event.

“The biggest question I keep hearing from people is about the Beer Run,” Eichinger says. “The Beer Run is not going to be something that can happen officially, where we can close down the street. But there may or may not be people at different spots on the sidewalk with cans of Hamm’s. I don’t know about that, but these things might happen, right?”

Black Husky opened in the Riverwest neighborhood in 2016. Since then, it has hosted firkin tappings for mayoral candidates and offered free beer for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Stay up to date with “Milwaukee’s Worst Locust Street Festival” HERE.

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