A WEEK OF EXPERIENCES IN MILWAUKEE'S
Valley Week celebrates Milwaukee's Menomonee Valley: what is made here, who works here, all there is to do here, and the great jobs and careers down in the Valley.
Valley Week invites you to explore and experience Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley. From a beer run, tours on land or in water, to dining al fresco at the Food Truck Festival, the week offers something to nature lovers, history enthusiasts, job seekers, and those looking for something unique to do.
In the Valley, industry and jobs, entertainment experiences, outdoor exploration, and nature thrive in the heart of the city.
Proceeds from the events support Menomonee Valley Partners, a nonprofit organization formed in 1999 to revitalize the Menomonee Valley.
EVENT details below!
- Saturday, September 22 - Menomonee River Fishing Clinic
- Sunday, September 23 (tentative) - Fall Youth Soccer Festival
- Monday, September 24 - Menomonee River Kayak Tour - Register now!
- Tuesday, September 25 - Discover Your Career Expo
- Tuesday, September 25 - Bags Tournament
- Wednesday, September 26 - Food Truck Festival
- Thursday, September 27 - Valley Week Business Luncheon
- Thursday, September 27 - Valley Business Soccer Playoffs
- Thursday, September 27 - Happy Hour on the River
- Friday, September 28 - Blood Drive
- Saturday, September 29 - Ultimate Beer Run - Register now!
Special promotions from Twisted Fisherman and Pizzeria 3301 at Villa Palermo throughout the week!
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
MENOMONEE RIVER FISHING CLINIC
Saturday, September 22, 9am-noon
Meets at Valley Passage Bridge
Spend a family-friendly morning learning about the Menomonee River, fish you can find here, and techniques that could lead you to the big one. This event occurs around the annual fall salmon run and we could see dozens of salmon swimming upstream to spawn. Come cast a line with us!
No cost to participants. Save the date - more information coming!
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
FALL YOUTH SOCCER FESTIVAL
Sunday, September 23, 12-6pm (date tentative)
Menomonee Valley Community Park
The Milwaukee Torrent Community Foundation welcomes kids ages 7-13 to an afternoon of fun, informal soccer in the Menomonee River Valley. Kids will participate in small-sided games (as many as they - or their parents - would like) but it is not a tournament and the kids don't need to be part of a team or club. Come down to play and enjoy an afternoon of soccer!
No cost to participants. Save the date - more information coming!
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24
MENOMONEE RIVER KAYAK TOUR
Monday, September 24, 5:15-8pm
Departs from Milwaukee Kayak Company
Paddle the Menomonee River and its canals while exploring its past, vital to Milwaukee's history, and its exciting future. We will learn about its history and how this area was vital to Milwaukee’s growth, the unique projects that made it a national model of environmental sustainability, and the exciting developments in the works! A member from Menomonee Valley Partners will lead our trip and staff from Milwaukee Kayak Company will paddle too. Whether it's your first time or your 100th, this is a great trip for you!
Don't delay, book today! Only 15 spots available!
Cost: $30 and half is donated back to Menomonee Valley Partners
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25
DISCOVER YOUR CAREER EXPO
This is a one-stop shop career exploration resource for adults seeking jobs and for youth and adults just wondering what's out there. You'll have the opportunity to learn about good-paying jobs, internship opportunities, and apprenticeships at Valley companies. From manufacturing to customer service, entry-level to high skill, you can find a career in the Valley. HR professionals will be onsite to answer questions that will help you land that next job.
- DISCOVER career options
- CONNECT with Valley employers
- LEARN the application process
- MEET local providers who can get you the training to secure in-demand jobs
- ASK experts how to land the job you want - a judgement-free zone to ask the questions you've always wanted to know about how to land the job for you
Free and open to the public. More info coming.
Tuesday, September 25, 3-9pm, MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant
Mark your calendars for bags, brews, and bragging rights for the first Valley Week Bags Tournament! This middle-of-the-week tourney features a raffle with sweet prizes and a one-of-a-kind, custom built inaugural trophy. Save the date and start recruiting your teammate, registration opens in mid-August. The rain date is Tuesday, October 2.
The funds raised will be donated to Menomonee Valley Partners, a nonprofit working to revitalize the Menomonee Valley.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL
Wednesday, September 26, 11am-1pm
Menomonee Valley Community Park
Let's celebrate fall with food and a midday festival! Grab some lunch from one of the featured food trucks, pull up your camp chair, and soak up some mid-week sun while kicking back to some music.
If you want to move around, you can take advantage of the bags boards and yard games!
Enjoy a Margherita Pizza from the Palermo's Food Truck and 40% will be donated to Menomonee Valley Partners!
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27
valley week business luncheon - what's brewing in the valley?
Thursday, September 27, 12-1:30PM
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino
Enjoy a plated lunch at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino as featured panelists with a past, present, or future linked to brewing in the Menomonee Valley tell their story. What does it take to get started? How do you stay relevant? Why Milwaukee and/or the Valley? How does the community play a role? The Menomonee Valley has experienced an unbelievable transformation, but its story is linked to the people and businesses who have laid their dreams and investment dollars here. Let's hear those stories and see what's brewing in the Valley. The Valley Week Business Luncheon is exclusive to Valley Week sponsors.
VALLEY SOCCER LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
Thursday, September 27, 6-8:30pm
Menomonee Valley Community Park
In 2018, the Milwaukee Torrent Community Foundation is coordinating the very first soccer league for Valley businesses. Teams play in the Menomonee Valley Community Park every Thursday and they will host their playoffs during Valley Week. Bring a sports drink and picnic and cheer for your favorite Valley team to take home the gold! More info coming! View the season schedule.
HAPPY HOUR ON THE RIVER
Thursday, September 27, Times: 5:30PM, 6:30PM, 7:30PM
Departs from Twisted Fisherman Crab Shack
Enjoy a relaxing and casual 45-minute happy hour float along the Menomonee River and Menomonee Canal. Hear about some of the Valley's history and upcoming developments along the way!
Cost: $10 (with $5 going to Menomonee Valley Partners) and includes one tap beer or rail mixer, cash bar on board
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28
VALLEY BLOOD DRIVE
Friday, September 28
Roll up your sleeves, sit back, and save lives! Each pint of blood we collect together can help save up to three lives and will touch the lives of so many more. Each recipient of that blood donation has his or her own story. He or she could be an accident or trauma victim, cancer patient, a mother giving birth, a premature baby, a transplant recipient or surgical candidate. Our impact goes beyond that patient – it is multiplied by the impact it has on that person’s loved ones who are thankful for the unit we donated.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
ULTIMATE BEER RUN
An unforgettable high energy run/walk event with hops, high fives, a mid-point beer, and a finisher beer – the Ultimate Beer Run.
Half of the registrants will start at Third Space and run/walk to City Lights where they will be treated with a freshly brewed beer. The other half of the registrants will start at City Lights and run/walk to Third Space where they will enjoy their very own freshly brewed beer. After savoring the goodness at the turn-a-around, each of the respective groups will return to their starting location and be rewarded with yet another beer! If that's not positive reinforcement for your running feat, we don't know what is.
Cost: $35 before August 29 ($45 from August 29 to September 29). Proceeds benefit Menomonee Valley Partners' mission to revitalize the Menomonee Valley for the entire Milwaukee community.
THANK YOU TO OUR 2018 SPONSORS
The 2018 Valley Week provides ample opportunities for businesses and organizations to increase brand awareness and at various investment levels. For more information on getting involved, contact Michelle Kramer at 414-221-5508 or Michelle@RenewTheValley.org. Download the Valley Week sponsorship packet.
SPECIAL VALLEY WEEK PROMOTIONS
Palermo's is dishing up two mouth-watering specials - one all week long and one for Food Truck Festival! A big portion (40%!) of sales will support Menomonee Valley Partners and the continued revitalization of the Menomonee Valley.
See what was offered in 2017:
Put your toes in the sand, nod your head to some island tunes, and enjoy a 3 course meal for $30 at Twisted Fisherman from September 22-29. Your meal includes choice of special appetizer, entrée, and dessert. You'll also help the Menomonee Valley because $5 from your purchase will benefit Menomonee Valley Partners!
Menu options coming in August!
ABOUT MENOMONEE VALLEY PARTNERS
Menomonee Valley Partners, Inc. is a Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to revitalize and sustain the Menomonee Valley as a thriving urban district that advances economical, ecological, and social equity for the benefit of the greater Milwaukee community.
Use the slider to compare the former Milwaukee Road Shops with the current day Menomonee Valley Industrial Center, home to 10 businesses, a nationally renowned stormwater treatment system, trails, and park.
Since its inception in 1999, Menomonee Valley Partners, Inc. has served as the lead agency in the redevelopment of Milwaukee's Menomonee Valley. Once Wisconsin's most visible eyesore, the Valley has been transformed, becoming a national model in economic development and environmental sustainability.
- 300 acres of brownfields have been developed
- 51 companies have moved to the Menomonee Valley
- more than 5,200 family-supporting jobs have been created
- one million square feet of green buildings have been constructed
- more than 60 acres of new trails and park space with 45 acres of native plants installed have led to improved wildlife habitat and water quality
Use the slider to compare the former Menomonee River near Miller Park to what we have today. Many people enjoy fly fishing here during the steelhead run in the spring and the salmon run in the fall. This may be the only Major League Baseball stadium where you can grill up the day's catch at a tailgate just moments later!
The Menomonee Valley has a fascinating history: from wild rice marsh to manufacturing center to infamous eyesore, and now to a national model of economic and environmental sustainability.
Historic Menomonee River Valley
Four miles long and a half-mile wide, the Menomonee River Valley extends from the Harley-Davidson Museum to the site of Miller Park Stadium. The Valley was formed by melting glaciers more than 10,000 years ago and, for thousands of years, the 1200-acre Menomonee Valley was a wild rice marsh, home to American Indians. The name “Menomonee” is derived from the Algonquin “meno,” meaning good, and “min,” a term for grain or fruit. Wild rice (menomin) flourished in the extensive wetlands of the MenomoneeValley. By the 1700s, the Potawatomi were the primary residents of the region. Ojibwa, Fox, Menominee, Ottawa, Sauk, Winnebago and others also lived here at various times.
In 1795, Jacques Vieau, a fur trader, established the first permanent trading post in Wisconsin on the bluffs of the Valley at the site of what is now Mitchell Park. By the mid-1800s, the settlement of Milwaukee pushed toward the Valley, and Milwaukeeans filled the marsh with soil, gravel, and waste to create dry land for additional development. They straightened the Menomonee River and cut canals to provide shipping routes.
The Machine Shop of the World
By the early 1900s, Milwaukee was known as the “Machine Shop of the World” and the Menomonee Valley was its engine. Farm machinery, rail cars, electric motors and cranes were made in the Valley. Clay became cream city bricks. Wheat was turned into flour, hogs became ham and barley became beer. Cattle were made into meat, leather and tallow (soap and candles) with no parts wasted. These changes provided jobs for thousands of people, but damaged the Valley’s natural resources.
From 1879 to 1985, the Valley was the location of the Milwaukee Road Shops, an enormous complex that made rail cars and locomotives for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad. In the 1900s, the Milwaukee Road was one of the largest employers in Milwaukee with nearly 3,000 employees. Many lived in the neighborhoods nearby and walked to work.
By the late 1800s, thousands of workers arrived in the Menomonee Valley to work in industrial jobs. They established the first large neighborhoods west of downtown – Piggsville, Merrill Park, and Concordia. Most workers walked to work carrying lunch pails and were known as the “bucket brigade.” The neighborhood southwest of the Valley, Silver City, owes its name to the employees of the Valley' Milwaukee Road Shops. The Shops paid its workers in silver dollars, and on pay day there would be a flurry of silver dollars changing hands in all the saloons along National Avenue.
By the 1960s, the Menomonee Valley was a cultural divide of black and white communities, often known as “Milwaukee’s Mason Dixon line.” In 1967, Father James Groppi, a Catholic priest, led the first of the open housing marches across the Valley’s 16th Street Viaduct in protest of racial discrimination and housing segregation. The Milwaukee Common Council passed an open housing ordinance in 1968. In 1988, the 16th Street Viaduct was officially renamed the James E.Groppi Unity Bridge.
The Valley’s Decline
By the late 1900s, as manufacturing practices changed, the Valley was left a blighted area with abandoned, contaminated land and vacant industrial buildings. Bridges into the Valley were demolished as businesses left and the Valley was isolated from the surrounding city, a place to pass over, but not a place to go. The neighborhoods adjacent to the Valley most strongly felt the impacts of the Valley’s decline; residents suffered from limited access to jobs and recreation opportunities, high levels of asthma and obesity, and poor air quality.
In 1998, the City of Milwaukee, the Menomonee Valley Business Association and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District prepared a land use plan for the Menomonee Valley, a road map for its redevelopment. At the time, the State of Wisconsin was laying the groundwork for the Hank Aaron State Trail. As a result of these planning efforts, Menomonee Valley Partners was formed as a nonprofit organization, a public-private partnership to facilitate business, neighborhood, and public partners in efforts to revitalize the Valley.
In the past 19 years, 47 companies have moved to or expanded in the Valley, 5,200 jobs have been created, 45 acres of native plants, seven miles of trails, and a nationally recognized shared system have been established. In addition, 10 million people visit the Valley each year. More than 250 organizations and 450 individuals have given pro bono time by serving on boards, committees, and working teams, while thousands of individuals have volunteered at Valley events.
Today, the Valley is a national model of economic and environmental sustainability. Recognized by the Sierra Club as "One of the 10 Best Developments in the Nation," the Menomonee Valley continues to receive local and national recognition.
The Valley's Future
During the course of 18 months, Menomonee Valley Partners and the City of Milwaukee held public meetings and met with hundreds of stakeholders to envision what the Menomonee Valley will become in the next 20 years. The City of Milwaukee Common Council approved the Valley 2.0 plan in June 2015. The plan communicates five major initiatives:
1. Creating an East Valley Gateway Food and Beverage Cluster
2. Establishing a St. Paul Avenue Design Showroom District
3. Preserving the Bruce and Pierce Industrial District
4. Improving the Gateway to the Menomonee Valley from I-94
5. Better Connecting the Valley