WAUKESHA - Thousands of people follow the music
into downtown Waukesha on summer Friday evenings, and the
organizers of Friday Night Live are proposing an expansion to
further enhance the event.
Kerry Mackay of the Waukesha Downtown Business
Association, the organization that puts on the event, said he’s
hoping to improve attendees’ experience at FNL by moving stages
to alleviate the competing music sounds on Main Street, and by
adding new vendors like Marco’s Pizza who can provide
“The biggest thing we’re looking forward to is
the addition of the South Street stage called ‘The Kids from
Waukesha,’” Mackay said. “It’s a youth stage with youth
performers and it’s next to WCAP (The Waukesha Community Art
According to a revised street closure permit
application turned in to City Clerk Gina Kozlik on Friday,
Mackay and the WDBA are proposing closing South Street from the
alley entrance to Clinton Street to accommodate the stage.
Mackay also said that, pending city approval of
the new permit, the Waukesha Civic Theatre stage will move from
Main Street to a spot behind the Civic Theatre on the Riverfront
Plaza to avoid mixing music on Main Street.
“There are so many bands and the music is
starting to mix too much,” Mackay said. “We want to give the
public a better, higher-quality event when it comes to the
Mackay said if attendees come to the Salty Toad
stage, cosponsored by Thomas Press, they’ll find true
high-quality music from bands like Ricochet and Emmaus Road
The amended permit also contains almost double
the number of “vendors” from the permit Kozlik approved in
April, and Mayor Shawn Reilly said the city attorney’s office is
looking at city ordinances about vendor placement to make sure
everything is OK before the new permit gets approved.
Vendors include everything from organizations
with information booths to live pottery and painting
Catherine Huelsman, general manager of Berg
Management which owns several buildings downtown, said she has
some concerns about vendors being located in front of her
“They (the WDBA) seem to think they have full
authority to put things up in front of these businesses without
asking or telling them they’re going to do that,” Huelsman said.
“They don’t know if I’m planning to show those spaces or have
something else going on in them during FNL, which I often do.”
However, Mackay said most vendors have already
been at FNL and the new permit is just to make sure the city
knows who will be out on the street.
Kozlik said she’s still reviewing the permit with
the city’s various department heads before deciding whether to
allow the changes. Meanwhile, Kozlik said, the event should
stick to the footprint approved back in April with the original
Mackay said the event has enjoyed unprecedented
attendance so far this season and he thinks it will only get
better as summer goes on.
“It’s really wonderful for the city,” he said.
* More vendors including Marco’s Pizza, who will
* New “Kids from Waukesha” stage next to the
Waukesha Community Art Project on South Street, which will
feature youth performers
* Portion of South Street to be closed
* Christian music stage that was on Broadway last
year will now be next to Allo! Chocolat
* Stage in front of Waukesha Civic Theatre will
move behind Waukesha Civic Theatre to Riverfront Plaza to reduce
mixing of music on Main Street.
* New stage in front of The Salty Toad
co-sponsored by Thomas Press.
*pending city approval of new permit