Boulevard Bash Bustles With Talent
This year’s Boulevard Bash had perfect weather and a bevy of treats for the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and hands! Washington Heights’ social event of the summer opened with familiar tunes by Will Ulrich. Tables and chairs filled up with neighbors enjoying delicious food from St. Sebastian’s, Mekong Cafe, Fred’s, O’Briens, Press. Belgian Waffles, Cold Spoons Gelato and Sweets by Alex. The WHNA Beverage tent and Valentine Coffee Roasters quenched everyone’s thirst near the music stage, while lemonade was sold to benefit JDRF near the children’s area. The Front Porch Rockers satisfied the ever-growing crowd with upbeat acoustic music that carried over to the silent auction tent. Students of the West End Conservatory kept the sound of music alive on the east side of the Bash and inspired many to add their own beat playing instruments provided by Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church. Talented artists lined the street with impressive displays of their wares. WHNA represented with members from Membership, Block Watch, Housing/Appearance and the Green committees interacting with neighbors and encouraging involvement. Community groups, schools, churches, wellness-related businesses, and a First Weber/Bank of England team shared information with attendees. Mobile versions of familiar stores from both Vliet Street and North Avenue set up shop on the Boulevard, too.
Facepainters from St. Sebastian School made the mustache a popular look and tie-dye creations were a fashion statement thanks to Carla and Sandi from EastWest Bodywork Center. Chalk art, baggo boards, and soccer nets kept the younger crowd entertained if they weren’t riding a bike up and down the traffic-free Boulevard.
The silent auction tables overflowed with items donated by the booths lined up on the Boulevard and many, many more supporters of the neighborhood. Donated were one-of-a-kind items peppered with gift certificates, books, neighborhood and garden art, and spectacular baskets from Mekong Cafe, Press. Belgian Waffles, and Live Total Wellness kept the bidding zone active until it closed. Winning bidders were delighted to take their new treasures home.
Another winner of the night was announced just before Tommy Blood & the Blues Hounds played their last songs for the music-loving crowd. The 50/50 raffle never disappoints. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the cash prize.
This tremendous day of activity and camaraderie would not have been possible without the knowledge of past organizers and hands-on assistance from a small cadre of volunteers. Dan Glass bravely stepped forward to lead this year’s Boulevard Bash tean. The popularity and past success of the Bash results in the return of many artists and businesses to the Boulevard. New participants discovered a welcoming, friendly neighborhood with an appreciation for local vendors. Coordinating all the logistics for the Boulevard Bash is a ripe opportunity for neighbors with a love for tradition and a zest for outdoor gatherings to join together as hosts of this fundraiser. The reward is getting to know each other better and contributing to the success of an event that showcases the neighborhood’s greatest attributes – the people! Many thanks to our neighbor volunteers who stepped forward to help Dan with this huge undertaking: Eric Anderson, John Augustyniak, Wendy Baker, Nick Bambulas, Dan & Brighid Caruso, Mark Drzewiecki, Justin Ferrari, Gary Haertlein, Beth Heinecamp, David Johnson, Maria Kangas & daughter, Ann Navin, Mindy Necci, Peppy O’Neill, Corbett & Natalie Reinbold, Lena Stephenson & St. Sebastian’s Boy Scouts, Kris Szatmary, Ed Szopinski, and a woman who walked over during set-up to lend a hand. Neighbors on the Boulevard provided coolers, water, electricity, table/tent/chair storage and support for the permit to close the streets. The Bash can continue to grow with your help in both big and small ways, so consider sharing your talents when planning is underway for the 2016 Boulevard Bash.
Be sure to visit and thank the participants in this year’s Boulevard Bash. The silent auction was supported by donations from: Wander & Co. with Sweets by Alex, Local Change, JBC Pottery, Himalayan Yoga & Meditation, Milkweed Designs Jewelry, Tactile Craftworks, The Shar Borg Team at First Weber, Linda & Misty Vance, Foranart, Lizziebee Designs, St. Coletta Day School, Cream City Creations, HANmade Milwaukee, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Foti Chiropractic, Anne DeBroux, Live Total Wellness by Sara Kartz, Touching Humanity, Bedroom Secrets, Mischief Makers Studio, Four Corners of the World, Loki’s Clayworks, Beehive Alchemy, Jen Pollock, Sunra Company, Piper Lea Boutique & Clever Karma, Brandy’s Candles, EastWest Bodywork Center, Harmonie & Me, Soyzilla, Mekong Cafe, Meritage, Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee Food & City Tours, Interiorscapes, First Stage, Stella’s Salon, Historic Milwaukee, Inc., ReSource, Art & Soul Gallery, Milwaukee Candle & Apothecary, Barcelona Artful Living, Urban Sense, Jamie Bilgo Bruchman, Glasshouse Productions, Andrea Skyberg, Merci Mimi, The Soup Market, Press. Belgian Waffles, Bublr Bikes, James Steeno Gallery, The Vintage Glass Garden, Rainbow Booksellers, Blue Moon Home Staging, Big Head Brewing Co., McBob’s, Cold Spoons Gelato, and Highlands Cafe.