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Valley Week, a series of 15 events from September 25 to October 2, highlights experiences that would not have been possible 20 years ago.
Before the Milwaukee community invested in the revitalization of the Valley, it was Wisconsin’s most visible eyesore and most people avoided the area and plugged their noses as they drove past it on I-94 or over it on the city’s viaducts. A train ran down the middle of Canal Street, odors from factories and stockyards intermingled, and there were few reasons anyone would venture in. Fast forward 20 years, and the Valley has created more than 5,200 family-supporting jobs, 1,000,000+ square feet of green buildings, 60 acres of parks and trails, and is home to three of the region’s top destinations, making it a great place to work and visit. Valley Week is a celebration of how far the Valley has come – and all the potential of its future.
Each event of Valley Week highlights a Valley success story. For instance, the bike and scooter tour routes would have led through deteriorating vacant properties, but now we have a rebuilt Canal Street and Hank Aaron State Trail to cruise along. The location of Takeout & Tunes was, until very recently, a vacant lot under the interstate, but now there are native plants and walking paths, which are just the beginning of what can become of the new greenspace at 940 W St. Paul Avenue. Families would have been sitting on salt piles for the Outdoor Movie Night, but instead will be at the world’s only Harley-Davidson Museum along a river that is seeing more and more recreation each year.
On Saturday, September 25, the Hoan Bridge will be illuminated in the Valley’s blue, green, and orange hues to kick off Valley Week and celebrate the revitalization of Milwaukee’s Menomonee River Valley. Menomonee Valley Partners, the lead agency in the Valley’s redevelopment, hopes Milwaukeeans will remember how the Valley looked in 1999, share a moment of pride at its progress, and get excited about its potential when they see the Hoan Bridge shining brightly with orange, green, and blue.
Valley Week is presented by Menomonee Valley Partners and Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. To see all the scheduled events, visit TheValleyMKE.org/ValleyWeek.
Menomonee Valley Partners is a nonprofit organization formed in 1999 with a mission to revitalize and sustain the Menomonee River Valley as a thriving urban district that advances economical, ecological, and social equity for the benefit of the greater Milwaukee community. Since then, more than 50 companies have moved to or expanded in the Valley, more than 5,200 jobs have been created, 60 acres of parks and trails have been established, and 10 million people visit the Valley’s recreation and entertainment destinations each year.