Marquette Wire

RICHARDS: Taste of MKE proves successful for MUSG and students alike

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Photo by Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

I bit off more than I could chew, or should I say, choose. With a multitude of vendors from downtown Milwaukee at my fingertips, I did not know where to begin. As the students milled around from one vendor to the next I could tell they were feeling the same way: geeked, excited, enthusiastic and eager.

The Taste of Milwaukee, an event hosted by MUSG Wednesday, Aug. 31, was in full swing. Salty, sweet and fruity smells filled the air, drastically different from my initial experience.

I originally arrived thirty minutes early expecting to see various vendors in quaint, yet colorful food trucks. Yet seeing empty, small, white tables in a half moon formation around Westowne Square lacking signs or students caused my interest to plummet. I eventually became disappointed in MUSG. I reached out to my roommates asking if they knew about “The Taste of Milwaukee.” They replied with a resounding, “Not really.”

To be honest, I never truly paid attention to events held by MUSG either.  In an instant I became frustrated with MUSG’s lack of publicity. Here was a potentially amazing event, offering free food from vendors, yet it seemed as if no one had heard about it.

As I sat on a bench pretending to scroll through my phone while regretting arriving early, Daniel Bernard, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, sat beside me in a huff. Glancing at the empty front lawn, Bernard was quick to point out how he and everyone else “really didn’t know much about MUSG events, especially the good ones with free food.” With an eye-roll Bernard stood up and walked toward the AMU.

I took another look at Westowne Square. In an almost movie-worthy fashion, hordes of students began lining up like moths to a light. A DJ from the radio station 88.9 began to play upbeat jazz. My interest piqued.  The food vendors placed the long-awaited food on the tables, while showing off their attractive signs. Food ranging from nachos to wings to smoothies caught my eye.

As a Milwaukee native, even I had never taken the time to embrace the full range of food offered in this city. Despite my initial thoughts and negativity on the subject, MUSG really did not need much publicity. Within fifteen minutes the music and amazing smells attracted passing students, while the long lines forming behind vendors such as Ian’s Pizza and Qdoba kept the students’ attention.

Right then Alyssa Cullinan, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, walked up beside me. “I told you it would be busy, who would pass up free food from good restaurants?” she said.  “We’re Marquette students, not idiots.”

Laughing as I rolled my eyes, I had to admit MUSG did know how to gain and keep student attention, a concept businesses have a hard time cracking. While scarfing down cupcake after cupcake from Classy Girl Cupcakes, I began to fully understand how MUSG operates in a way that promotes student desires while allowing them to learn more about the city they live in.

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About the Videographer
Dennis Tracy, MUTV Executive Entertainment Producer

Dennis Tracy is a digital media major from Palatine, IL. He has previously worked as a production volunteer for MUTV before becoming an entertainment producer...

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