Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

First 2016 NEWaukee Night Market on Wednesday

Popular series returns to W. Wisconsin Ave. on June 15th

By - Jun 14th, 2016 03:39 pm
NEWaukee Night Market

NEWaukee Night Market

NEWaukee‘s Night Market returns for a third year on W. Wisconsin Ave. starting Wednesday night. The outdoor event will close W. Wisconsin Ave. to vehicular traffic from N. 2nd St. to N. 4th St., replacing cars with thousands of people, a dance floor and arts and craft vendors. The market has something for everyone, ranging from food and music to a temporary park (with fire pits and s’mores) and a Boston Store sidewalk sale. Entertainment acts cover the whole spectrum ranging from a performance by members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at 7:00 p.m. at the June event to a regional break dancing tournament at the September event.

The event also coincides with two Westown Association events, the farmers market in Zeidler Union Square over the lunch hour and River Rhythms at Pere Marquette Park in the evening. An urban hiking trail will debut in July to guide visitors between the three events and other Westown attractions. Adam Carr will also be giving tours of the neighborhood starting at 7:00 p.m.

The 2016 market marks a transition point for the area. With the adjacent Shops of Grand Avenue under new ownership changes are afoot, including a bold vision for the mall that was unveiled in April. Applebee’s, which in the new plan was conceptually targeted for a local restaurant, will close the day before the market starts. Are we about to see the first shoe drop?

2016 Market Dates

The market runs from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

  • June 15th
  • July 13th
  • August 17th
  • September 14th

A full entertainment lineup is available on the NEWaukee website.

2015 Photos

Event Videos

Want to get a sense of what the event is like? Watch the following the videos.

4 thoughts on “Eyes on Milwaukee: First 2016 NEWaukee Night Market on Wednesday”

  1. Donald George MacDonald says:


    My vision is of W. Wisconsin Ave., west from the river and to N. 6th St.

    West from the river along worn, small shops closed after 5.

    West along THE TREASURE HIDDEN which is, of course, the long-closed Warner or Centre or Grand movie palace at 212 W. Wisconsin Ave.

    West along The Shops of “Grand Avenue” and the Milwaukee Convention Center and the Hilton Milwaukee City Center and to N. 6th St.

    My vision is of this vast stretch, west from the river and to N. 6th St., covered by A LIGHT-FILTERING, GLOWING, CALATRAVA/MITCHELL PARK-INSPIRED DOWNTOWN DOME!

    A glowing dome that covers a public plaza and protects the vast, pedestrian surface side to side and lengthwise along the stretch!

    A long dome of multicolored, but predominately blue stained and painted glass, like an undulating wave rolling and rising from the lake, illuminated by the sun and from within, like beacons of downtown life and hope!

    And cars drive east and west on Wisconsin Ave. and approach the inspired three or four or five-story dome and are rerouted to W. Michigan Ave. and W. Wells St.

    And within that long, warm, flowing, glowing dome, small, special shops are reborn and grand, joined shops are reborn, by multitudes of downtown visitors walking on the public plaza, safely sheltered, even during winter storms.

    And THE TREASURE HIDDEN again displays the glowing beauty of its riches within.

    And The shops of “Grand Avenue” are reborn too.

    And the convention center and hotel are reborn too.

    And visitors are safely sheltered even during winter storms.

    And the downtown lights and life at night are beacons for those seeking employment accessible from all areas of town.

    This is what Milwaukee’s W. Wisconsin Ave. downtown area could be!

    If you don’t like my vision then please show us a better view, a grander view, perhaps even merging THE TREASURE HIDDEN with THE GLOWING, DOWNTOWN DOME on W. Wisconsin Ave. with THE PROPOSED STREETCAR SYSTEM LINKING THE COUTURE where form and function unite! Merge these THREE downtown visions together into one truly grander plan!

    This is what Milwaukee’s W. Wisconsin Ave. downtown area could be!

    If you don’t like my vision, then please show us a better view…a grander view…perhaps even!…

  2. Donald George MacDonald says:

    There is a treasure hidden beside and beneath 212 W. Wisconsin Ave. in downtown Milwaukee, but it is now unknown to almost all who pass by it!

    Until a few decades ago, within that treasure even greater riches were discovered!

    These riches were closely viewed and are still remembered in detail by many!

    Viewers learned to love the glowing beauty of the riches within the treasure hall!

    Yet a few decades ago, the treasure hall’s light that displayed the riches was simply shut off!

    Now, the treasure’s past glowing glory is dark and hidden and tarnished after past decades of neglect!

    The treasure is now beyond locked, steel doors, now impenetrable by almost all!

    The treasure is now ignored by almost all who pass by it!

    The treasure is now broken, but not beyond repair, yet the riches within may never shine again!

    Until a few decades ago, devoted viewers of the riches freely and happily entered the lighted treasure hall beyond the steel doors. Immense, mirrored and marbled walls surrounded a long, 2-story entrance-way. The wall sconces, chandelier, handrails and other decor were of an Art Deco design.

    Most devotees used to walk on plush, red carpeting that would lead them onward and then downward to the main area where they viewed the riches. Others walked up one of the two grand staircases that led to the balcony from which we could view the treasure hall around us, below us and still high above us. All total, guests had about 2200 seats to choose from!

    Upon entering the lower, immense, open, 4-story viewing chamber within the treasure hall, guests would marvel at the plush, dark redness from the expanse of seats and at the red-curtained, ornately-carved and curved walls. The treasure hall organ was positioned at the front of the viewing chamber, surrounded by highly vertical, narrow and delicate pipes that would occasionally fill the viewing chamber with a towering overture played by a master!

    I began working in the treasure hall starting in 1966, at the age of 16. I was one of the boys in a tuxedo who greeted the viewers and helped open the closed doors. I ushered viewers eager to have their minds absorbed into the glowing, moving images on the curtained screen!

    Heroic images!

    Tragic images!

    Single images flowing together to tell stories rich with beauty and love and crime and terror and much more!

    And there was music, powerful, dramatic, moving music, surrounding and weaving through the images on the curtained screen!


    This treasure hidden is sadly closed, but is still located at 212 W. Wisconsin Ave. The glowing beauty of the riches within the treasure hall were, of course, the many movies shown to viewers since the beginning of the theater’s birth in 1933 until it shamefully closed in 1995.

    It was originally built in 1933 for as part of the Warner Brothers movie empire for about $2.5 million at a time when major movie studios built their own movie theaters in major cities across the country. Those theater treasures were often immense, ornately decorated, secular cathedrals where movies were shown to viewers wanting to escape the depression with entertainment.

    The treasure hidden was named, at different times, The Warner, and then The Centre or The Grand movie theater when it was purchased by the Marcus Corporation.

    As I wrote before, I started working as an usher at the then Centre Theater in 1966, at the age of 16. At that time, it was THE movie theater in a very busy and thriving downtown area. I worked evenings and weekends and we were usually busy, especially if the movie showing was of a good quality.

    As I wrote before, I wore a tuxedo and also a bow tie and I carried a flashlight in case the projector would go out or to shoo shoes from the backs of the red velvet seats. During showings, I usually stood by the doors inside of the theater. I was paid to watch sometimes-great movies, not once, but perhaps dozens of times! I bet I very gladly watched, “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” and “Funny Girl” and “The Graduate” and “Camelot” and “Oliver!” 10 or 20 times! I still remember scenes and songs in detail!

    I have to admit, however, that the real reason I wanted a job at the Centre Theater was not to see movies, but to meet “Vendettes,” especially since I attended an all-boys high school. They were the high school-aged girls who worked at the theater selling tickets or popcorn. We all became friends and spent time together outside of work and over time I eventually went on several dates, all innocent enough even for the times, with several of the Vendettes I worked with. So I have many warm memories of working at the movie theater for these reasons as well.

    Working right on Wisconsin Ave. from 1966 to 1969, I remember the policemen stationed at every intersection from Plankinton Ave. to 6th, enforcing complete order while making sure to stop anyone daring to walk one step into an intersection a mere second after the “don’t walk” sign would begin to blink.

    I remember the Open Housing marchers led by Father Groppi walking by on many consecutive evenings during periods.

    I remember Wisconsin Ave. being flooded with running basketball fans after Marquette won the semi-final game of the NIT Championship in 1967.

    When I worked downtown from 1966 to 1969, between the ages of 16 and 19, I traveled by bus and felt very safe at any time of the night or day. Downtown was then a very enjoyable, bustling place to work and play.


    Over the years, however, the downtown area along W. Wisconsin Ave. just west of the river from Plankinton to 6th Street has deteriorated. Most businesses are closed in the evenings and the streets are sadly quiet in comparison to decades past. Citizens now have little need to go downtown in the evenings and would probably feel unsafe if they have to do so. Even the formerly called “Grand Avenue Mall” closes as soon and the business-workers go home.

    The Marcus Corporation is still headquartered on W. Wisconsin Ave. in downtown Milwaukee, but continues to expand its movie theaters from the City of Milwaukee to the suburbs. They chose to instead make enormous profits with new movie viewing technology in new, suburban movie theaters. After owning and operating several great movie theater treasures in our downtown Milwaukee for many decades, Marcus shamefully chose to eventually close them all.

  3. Frank Galvan says:

    Brevity is the soul of wit.

  4. Donald George MacDonald says:

    “This above all: to thine own self be true.”

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