Here’s Why You Should Spend the Day on Vliet St.

Celebrate fall at the west side’s newest destination

Street art on Vliet. Courtesy of Kira Wendel.

If you haven’t yet seen what lies between downtown and Wauwatosa, next weekend is a perfect time to check it out. On Saturday, October 7, from 12-7 p.m., Vliet St. will be closed from Hawley to 54th St. for the first-ever Vliet Street Fall Festival. Like any good street festival, there will be plenty of live music, crafts and food.

The festival is free to attend and includes make-and-take art projects by Artists Working in Education, cookie decorating, a photo booth and face painting – something for everyone in the family.

Shop at one of the stores or at the booths set up down the center of Vliet St. There will be over 40 local makers slinging handcrafted goods and artwork.

Grab a bite to eat from Kettle Range Meats, who will be grilling brats and burgers, Wy’East Pizza or one of the many local food trucks.

Groove to the sounds of students from the West End Conservatory, songstress Alie Kriofske-Mainella and popular folk-rockabilly ban The Thriftones.

You can find everything you need and never knew you wanted on Vliet St. neighborhood strongholds like Cold Spoons Gelato, Valentine Coffee Roasters and The Times Cinema stand alongside new additions like Maison French Restaurant and The Modern Gent Barbershop

“We have a lot of unique businesses and we all complement each other quite well,” says Kira Wendel, owner of Swoon, one of the newer shops on the block. “We have coffee, movies, restaurants, salons, a new barber shop, flowers, lighting, gifts, fair trade, handmade local goods, chalk paint classes, children’s books, a tattoo shop, glass blowing classes and music lessons in just a small stretch.” Swoon sells gifts, clothing, jewelry, craft supplies, toys and so much more. 

“Vliet St. has become a walkable destination where people can spend the whole day with lots of independently owned shops where you can find unique and fair trade items,” says Lynita Wolf, owner of Barcelona and Studio Barcelona.

Courtesy of Kira Wendel.

Milwaukee Blacksmith, fresh off their TV debut on the History channel, will also be on hand during the festival doing live metalworking demonstrations all day  from their 30-foot traveling workshop.

Get more information on the Vliet Street Fall Festival, including a full list of vendors.




Jenna Kashou is a writer, storyteller and journalist specializing in lifestyle and culture feature writing for print and web. She is a frequent contributor to Milwaukee Magazine, MKE Lifestyle Magazine, The Business Journal and more. She was chosen as the fifth writer in residence at the historic Pfister Hotel where she wrote about and photographed guests and events. A Milwaukee native, Kashou has lived abroad and visited far-flung locales like Greece, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, and Argentina. She has always had an enormous sense of pride for her hometown and spreads this Milwaukee love everywhere she goes.