Jeramey Jannene

Downtown Employee Appreciation Week Returns

And based on initial turnout, so did downtown workers. Event runs through September 3.

By - Aug 30th, 2021 03:23 pm
2021 Downtown Employee Appreciation Week kickoff at Red Arrow Park. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

2021 Downtown Employee Appreciation Week kickoff at Red Arrow Park. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

There is no shortage of downtown events in Milwaukee, but only one is dedicated to those that work Downtown.

Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District #21’s annual Downtown Employee Appreciation Week returns this week after a pandemic-induced hiatus in 2020.

Based on turnout at the first event, many of those downtown workers are back after more than a year of remote work. A line wrapped the perimeter of Red Arrow Park on Monday morning as workers grabbed a free lunch and took part in a series of activities including caricature drawing and cornhole.

In 2016, Milwaukee Downtown used market data to determine that the Greater Downtown area was home to more than 83,500 workers and 26,000 residents.

Exactly how many of those workers are back is a “changing and evolving situation,” said BID economic development director Matt Dorner. He said many employers, based on prior surveys, said they would be returning fully to the office after Labor Day. But that was prior to the Delta variant’s arrival. Dorner said the organization would likely conduct another survey in the coming weeks.

Those that went to the park, 920 N. Water St., were treated to lunch from Meat on the Street, Tatay’s Truck and Davians, live music from Cole Heinrich, live painting by Dave Watkins, a Milwaukee Bucks shooting challenge and a number of well-spaced tables to enjoy lunch. The Milwaukee Brewers racing sausages walked through the event, posing for photos.

Tuesday events include the “world’s largest coffee break” at Catalano Square from 9:30-10:30 a.m. and another lunch giveaway (Pere Marquette Park, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.). A salsa dance party will accompany the lunch giveaway. An evening trivia competition will take place at The Brown Bottle.

Wednesday’s events are centered around Schlitz Park, including yoga (7:30-8:30 a.m. in two half-hour sessions), a COVID-19 vaccine clinic (11-2 p.m.) and free lunch giveaway. Milwaukee Kayak Company will also offer discounted rates in the afternoon and evening, and a bocce ball tournament will take place at the Marcus Performing Arts Center.

Thursday’s lunch giveaway takes place at Zeidler Union Square. The Donna Woodall Group will perform at the courtyard outside the 411 East Wisconsin Center from noon to 1 p.m., kicking off a weekly Tunes@Noon series. A trivia completion will be held at SportClub from 5-7 p.m.

The only event scheduled for Friday is a free lunch giveaway at Pere Marquette Park from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A full schedule is available on the Milwaukee Downtown website.


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