Jeramey Jannene
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Summer Soulstice on North Ave.

The East Side's first festival of the season keeps getting better and better.

By - Jun 23rd, 2014 03:40 pm

The Journal Sentinel ran a story last weekend about “parking challenges” for the Milwaukee Air & Water Show and the Lakefront Festival of Art, but they left out the fun that was being had on top of the bluff on North Ave, the street that marks the split between the lower and upper halves of Milwaukee’s East Side. On Saturday E. North Ave turned into a three-stage music venue complete with food, drinks and art vendors, for the Summer Solstice celebration.

Hosted by the East Side Business Improvement District, the annual event continues to improve right along with the neighborhood. This year featured a third main stage, one that we at Urban Milwaukee were happy to sponsor, located on N. Murray Ave. The parklet in front of Two Bucks and Divino was packed throughout the event. More and more bars and restaurants in the area have built temporary patios on the street, creating outlets for drinks beyond just the central bars. Perhaps the most noticeable improvement this year was what seemed to be a coordinated effort to cluster vendors together by what they sold. In past years it felt like vendors were scattered throughout the area, but this year N. Murray Ave became “Arts Avenue” with the food and clothing vendors clustered together between N. Murray Ave. and N. Oakland Ave.

And as the street changes, with such new buildings as The Overlook on Prospect, The Standard at East Library and 1800 E. North Ave. apartments all finishing up soon, next year’s festival is likely to have a different feel once again.

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