Shorewood Feast draws village together for a meal in the street

On Saturday, September 14, from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Shorewood residents gathered in the street on Oakland Ave for the first ever Shorewood Feast, an event designed to bring the Shorewood community together.

“It’s about the celebration of Shorewood, but it’s about food, and local businesses and restaurants, and just getting people out in the streets because Shorewood doesn’t really have a street festival,” said Ericka Lang, BID director.

It’s about the celebration of Shorewood, but it’s about food, and local businesses and restaurants, and just getting people out in the streets.

— Ericka Lang

The idea started as just having dinner in the street, but then merged to include the street festival as well, for anyone who wanted to drop by throughout the day.

“It started about two and a half years ago with an idea that we should have dinner in the middle of the street… we just decided to merge the idea of the dinner in the street with street festival but have activities for all ages,” Lang said.

Lisa Creegan, Shorewood parent, thinks they were successful in their goal of engaging all ages and had a positive overall impression.

“There’s a lot of food options. I like the games for kids. It’s cool that they have local bands playing,” Creegan said.

 Local businesses lined several blocks of Oakland during the day, while rotating bands played on two stages.

“There’s a lot more food vendors and vendors of different varieties than I thought there was going to be, so I’m very impressed with turnout,” said Andrew Fronek, Milwaukee Brat House owner. 

Creegan agreed.

 “Seems like it’s busy but it’s not too busy, so that’s good.”

The location on Oakland, in the middle of Shorewood, was chosen to be near where the food was prepared for the evening meal.

“We had to be anchored down here at Blue’s Egg since they have one of the bigger kitchens of our local restaurants here,” Lang said.

The event was also situated fittingly for families and residents to walk over to enjoy the festivities.

“It’s nice that it’s close enough that we can walk here and it goes throughout the day and evening so if people wanna come later at night they can, but if you have young kids and you wanna come hang out earlier in the day that’s really convenient,” Creegan said.

It was a nice day out, and the pleasant weather brought people to the festival and made the outdoor event run smoothly.

“The weather is beautiful. Honestly the day could not be better,”  Fronek said.

Honestly the day could not be better.

— Andrew Fronek

Some Shorewood residents were confused by the name of the event, ‘Shorewood Feast,’ and thought that this event was only about the dinner in the evening that people had to register for in advance. Lang hopes to clarify this in the future to engage more residents who simply want to check out the street festival part.

“When we look back at the title, ‘Shorewood Feast,’  maybe we have to say it’s a feast-festival,” Lang said.

The festival goers appeared to be satisfied and enjoying their experiences though, which bodes well for Lang and the BID staff’s plans to make this an annual event.

“Absolutely [we plan to make this an annual event]. We want to grow it,” Lang said.