Milwaukee Downtown BID #21 will team up with downtown businesses and community leaders to celebrate downtown’s 83,490+ employees during the 12th annual Downtown Employee Appreciation Week from July 31 to August 4.

The weeklong celebration rewards downtown employees with outdoor entertainment, games, prizes, free lunches and after-hours events. A ribbon-cutting ceremony, live music and prize opportunities will kick off the weeklong celebration on Monday, July 31 at 11:45 a.m. at Red Arrow Park.

Lunch for 1,000 employees will be provided by Cousins Subs, Davians Catering & Events and Starbucks. Tickets to Wisconsin State Fair will also be distributed. Throughout the week, lunchtime giveaways will travel to various downtown locations and include 1,000-item treats ranging from mini pitas and pizza to smoothies and cookies.

In addition to food and live music, Office Challenge Games presented by Farbman Group will be offered. New games include Yardzee, Giant Connect Four and NEWaukee Limbo. Bango and Milwaukee Bucks Dancers will also add to the fun with their Milwaukee Bucks Basketball Shootout. All activities will be held from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Red Arrow Park (Monday, July 31), Pere Marquette Park (Tuesday, Aug. 1), Schlitz Park (Wednesday, August 2), Chase Tower at Water and Wisconsin (Thursday, August 3), The Blue (Thursday, August 3), Wisconsin Center (Thursday, August 3) and Cathedral Square Park (Friday, August 4).

New this year, an “I Work Downtown” Western Hoedown complete with line-dancing lessons from Fred Astaire Dance Studio will be held Wednesday, Aug. 2 beginning at 5 p.m. at the Milwaukee County Historical Society Patio in Pere Marquette Park. Attendees can also enter to win tickets to see Kip Moore at Wisconsin State Fair, as well as a pair of cowboy boots from The Boot Connection.

The “I Work Downtown” Volleyball Tournament will return to Bradford Beach at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 31 and Downtown’s Grandest Happy Hour will brew crowds and camaraderie at The Shops of Grand Avenue on Thursday, August 3 at 5:00 p.m. To jump-start employees’ mornings, the World’s Largest Coffee Break returns to Catalano Square at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 1. Another returning favorite, the “I Work Downtown” Trivia Tournament, hosted at Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub, 1203 N. 10th Street, on Tuesday, August 1 at 5:00 p.m., invites companies to flex their intellectual muscle. Pre-registration is required for both the volleyball and trivia tournaments and ends Friday, July 21.

Downtown businesses will also recognize downtown employees by offering special discounts on products or services. Employees are encouraged to sport a paperclip to identify himself or herself as a downtown worker.

“Milwaukee’s downtown is growing exponentially and it’s important to acknowledge the people who keep it bustling,” said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown BID #21. “Downtown Employee Appreciation Week is a great way to say thanks to the dedicated workforce. As our downtown community continues to grow, it’s events like Downtown Employee Appreciation Week that make downtown a desired work environment.”

Downtown Employee Appreciation Week will conclude with a closing ceremony featuring live music, games and lunch for 1,000 downtown employees on Friday, August 4 from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Cathedral Square Park. In addition, completed Downtown Employee Appreciation Week passports will be pulled for a prize drawing that recognizes employees who participated in three or more events. Passports must be turned in by 12:30 p.m. on Friday, August 4 to a Public Service Ambassador to be eligible for the drawing.

© Photo

Lee Matz