By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Aug 01, 2023 at 6:15 PM

The Great Milwaukee Summer is HERE! Your guide to what you'll be doing, where you'll be drinking, who you'll be hearing and how you'll be getting a sweet tan this summer is on OnMilwaukee. The Great Milwaukee Summer guide is brought to you by Educators Credit Union and Harley-Davidson Museum

Get ready to add a slew of events to your calendar because this year's Downtown Employee Appreciation Week has more offerings than ever.

The Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 will team up with Downtown businesses and community leaders to reward Downtown employees during the 18th annual Downtown Employee Appreciation Week, Aug. 14-18. 

All lunchtime activities will be held from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Red Arrow Park (Monday, Aug. 14), Cathedral Square Park (Tuesday, Aug. 15), Schlitz Park (Wednesday, Aug. 16), Zeidler Union Square (Thursday, Aug. 17) and Pere Marquette Park (Friday, Aug. 18).

A ribbon-cutting ceremony, live music and prize opportunities at Red Arrow Park will kick things off on Monday, Aug. 14 at 11:45 a.m. Lunch for 1,000 employees will be provided by Ian’s Pizza and Davians – while supplies last.

Irish Fest mascots, Molly and Paddy, will frolic with Irish dancers around the park. Plus, local musician Rob Knapp & Soul Patrol powered by MGIC will play upbeat jams while the Milwaukee Bucks host a basketball shootout game.

Throughout the week, lunchtime giveaways and live music will travel to various downtown locations and include 1,000-item treats ranging from Cubano sandwiches and brats to ice cream and cookies.

In addition to food and live music, employees can play the office challenge games presented by Educators Credit Union, which include "Corporate Ladder" and two new games: "LinkedIn One" and "Axe-Celling At Work." Daily prizes are up for grabs for the top contenders in each game.

“Downtown Milwaukee is experiencing unprecedented growth and it’s important to celebrate the people who are fueling this upward trajectory,” said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. 

New Events in 2023

New this year, Downtown employees will have an opportunity to win wellness prizes, including gift cards to spas, salons and fitness centers, thanks to Weeklong Wellness presented by Madison Medical Affiliates. Participants can visit the Milwaukee Downtown info booth during the lunchtime events to enter to win.

The “I Work Downtown” Happy Hour will return at the new Pufferfish Tiki Bar located on the rooftop of Hotel Metro on Monday, Aug. 14 from 4 to 7 p.m. Downtown employees will be treated to a complimentary welcome cocktail, sponsored by Bacardi, while supplies last. In addition, DJ RONCO will be spinning hits throughout the evening.

On Thursday, Aug. 17, employees are invited to take part in a free barre lesson from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. from Barre Code at 330 Kilbourn, 330 E. Kilbourn Ave. Complimentary espresso and burnt lemonade will be offered from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., compliments of Discourse Coffee. Advance registration is required for the barre lesson at

On Thursday, Aug. 17, employees can enjoy a summer evening on the Milwaukee RiverWalk at The Tap Yard – Schlitz Park from 5 to 8 p.m. One free beer will be provided to the first 50 employees to arrive, sponsored by Schlitz Park.

Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21’s final edition of Summer Spinz will take place on Friday, Aug. 18. The "Slice of Ice" skating rink at Red Arrow Park has been reimagined as a community roller rink for the summer. From 5 to 9 p.m., skaters can bring their own wheels or rent a pair on site – free while supplies last. Meanwhile, those who don't want to skate are welcome to show up and enjoy the hopping music tracks being spun by DJ Bam.

Returning Pre- and Post-Work Functions

Downtown employees can enjoy a morning jolt with free coffee at Downtown cafes on select days. Starting at 8 a.m., the first 150 employees will receive a free cup of joe at Colectivo at US Bank on Monday, Aug. 14 only; Pilcrow Coffee at Schlitz Park on Wednesday, Aug. 16 only; and Fiddleheads Coffee at BMO Tower on Friday, Aug. 18 only.

On Wednesday, Aug. 17, Downtown employees are encouraged to attend the Milwaukee Night Market from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. along West Wisconsin Avenue. While there, employees who visit the Milwaukee Downtown info tent will receive a free drink coupon for the Night Market’s main bar.

Musician Joe Wray plays a free lunchtime concert on Thursday, Aug. 17 from 12 to 1 p.m. during PNC Presents Tunes@Noon. The series occurs every Thursday in the courtyard of the 411 East Wisconsin Center through Aug. 31.

Employees can take a Moment of Movement presented by Madison Medical Affiliates with free wellness sessions offered by various fitness instructors on Tuesday, Aug. 15 and Wednesday, Aug. 16. Advance registration will be required for all fitness classes. 

In addition, employees and one guest can paddle Downtown’s waterways on Tuesday, Aug. 15 and Thursday, Aug. 17, thanks to Milwaukee Kayak Company. Register at to book one of three launch times (4:30 p.m., 5 p.m. or 5:30 p.m.). A $25/person reservation fee is also required.

Other returning crowd-favorites include daily rounds of the Bucks Basketball Shootout, the World’s Largest Coffee Break in Catalano Square at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 15, and the “I Work Downtown” Trivia Competition presented by VISIT Milwaukee at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 15 at 3rd Street Market Hall. Advance registration is required for participation in trivia and can be completed at

Downtown Employee Appreciation Week will conclude with a closing ceremony featuring live music, games, lunch and an ice cream social for 1,000 Downtown employees on Friday, Aug. 18 from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Pere Marquette 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, Aug. 18 to a Public Service Ambassador to be eligible for the drawing.

"Downtown Employee Appreciation Week is our way of thanking the downtown workforce and showcasing the opportunities available in their workplace neighborhood," says Weirick.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.