Extreme Tourism

Illustration by Jason Crosby  Experiencing some of Milwaukee’s most unique tours can’t be done in one week. Segways don’t have skis, a boat cruise on an icy Milwaukee River would be miserable, and the Third Ward ghost tour shuts down from December to April (the ghosts must head south). So my quest to try all of these tours took nearly a year. And I’m still taking it all in. The Jelly Belly sugar rush is wearing off, and I needed time to recover from the camphor smell at Carmex before embarking on a brewery boat tour. And let’s just say…

Pride + Prejudice

Photos by Adam Ryan Morris It’s 1 p.m. on an unseasonably warm Saturday in March, the kind of sundress- and sandals-demanding afternoon that frost-weary Wisconsinites treat like midsummer. But rather than indulge in the gorgeous weather, Scott Gunkel has forfeited his weekend to plan for another, the most eagerly anticipated two days of the year for Milwaukee’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual community – PrideFest.  He’s standing in a cluttered, windowless Downtown office on the second floor of the LGBT Community Center, examining fairground plans, coordinating with sponsors and deciding what vendors will occupy which buildings. He’s doing it all…

Stick Figures

If you can dip it in batter and spear it with wood, you can likely find it at the Wisconsin State Fair. From the wacky (peanut butter and jelly) to wondrous (chocolate cranberries), the portable varieties have increased over the years because, frankly, if it’s on a stick, it sells. Those sweet-and-sour chocolate-covered cranberries? The Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association sold 7,800 last year alone. Heart-stoppingly, the Machine Shed sold more than 50,000 orders of chocolate-covered bacon on a stick in 2009. With two slices per serving, that’s more than 100,000 pieces of bacon. The Machine Shed also sold more…

Plan Your Summer Now

6/15 thru 6/17 Polish Fest What’s the best way to learn about Polish culture? Drinking what the Polish drink, of course. The festival imports 11,000 cans of Tyskie beer, which festival director Jane Riley Best* likens to a Polish MillerCoors, directly from the riverside village where it’s been brewed for nearly 400 years. The pint-size cans make a monthlong journey across the Atlantic aboard a freighter before settling down at the Summerfest grounds. If you prefer the harder Polish staple – vodka – the festival will include a vodka lounge for the second year, including plenty of top-rated Sobieski. As…

Mr. Festival

One man’s obsession with music, meetups and mirth. And how he’s attended hundreds of days of Summerfest.

A Missed Opportunity

Photo Don Rask, DTR Photography Laura Kaeppeler didn’t want to be Miss America. There was no childhood dream realized as mascara-laced tears cascaded down her cheeks on Jan. 14, 2012, as the crown reached her head, as she embarked on her frenzied year of speaking engagements and appearances. The Kenosha native, whose father went to prison for mail fraud when she was a high school senior, got swept up in pageant hoopla while nearing graduation from Carthage College. A friend and former Miss Kenosha suggested signing up. Encouraged, Kaeppeler entered, won Miss Kenosha and was second-runner-up for Miss Wisconsin. Thus…