BLM masks by Orchard Street Press. Buy one and the company donates one to MKE protestors.
BLM masks by Orchard Street Press. Buy one and the company donates one to MKE protestors.

Where to buy masks locally

Wearing a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19 is mandatory now in most public places – click here for more information – and to meet the need of the community, many local designers, artists and makers are selling or donating masks.

Please note some of these makers are producing small runs and / or finding it difficult to receive the materials needed for mask-making, so please be understanding.

Here is a list of local mask-makers to check out:

Artery Ink

Women-owned Artery Ink has two designs – hearts and lungs – and are selling masks here for $13.

Brass Rooster Hat and Mask

The Bay View hat maker is now making more than 100 masks daily to donate and sell. Many styles available; pattern created by shop owners John and Kate McLaughlin. The masks can be shipped anywhere for an extra $5. Large-volume orders accepted. To order, send an email to TBRMASKS@mail.com.

Dad's Shop

This family-owned alterations business located in Cudahy sells many different styles of masks. Check it out here.

Flyblooms

Artist and maker Tiffany Miller, owner of FlyBlooms and a member of the Bronzeville Collective, is making colorful masks for $5-10. Find out more here.

Gold Gable Studio

A portion of proceeds are donated to food pantries.

Halo 


Bay View maker Stacie Cherubini, owner of Halo Artisan Skin Care, has pulled back on skin care production to make fabric masks and hand sanitizers. They are available through Halo's Etsy shop and curbside pickup. Mask styles come in tie-style or fitted for men, women and children. Order here.

The Letter Em

Local, woman-owned business makes customized masks with your company logo or personalized message. 10 percent off in July. Order here.

Milwaukee Bucks

Face coverings are now available through the Milwaukee Bucks and all proceeds will go directly to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. Check them out here.

Cinch Tailoring Company

This Riverwest-based tailor is making masks. To find out more, click here

Combat Cor…

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Many bowling centers are open, but how safe are they?
Many bowling centers are open, but how safe are they?

Are bowling alleys safe during COVID-19?

Happy National Bowling Day, Milwaukee! 

As we move into autumn and eating and drinking on patios become less seasonable, people will start to look for other forms of entertainment that are both indoors and are not high-risk for contracting COVID-19.

Bowling fits the bill, according to Frank DeSocio, the executive director of the Bowling ProprietorsAssociation of America (BPAA), which is located in Arlington, Tex. but was headquartered in Greendale until 2008.

DeSocio says the sport already practices social distancing, routine disinfecting and isn't hindered by mask wearing.

"Although bowling centers are not essential businesses, they are essentially 'big boxes' just like a home improvement or a grocery store and so they already have the space needed for social distancing," says DeSocio.

Plus, disinfecting shoes has always been standard procedure at bowling centers and now the disinfecting of bowling balls is also part of the cleaning routine. Consequently, bowlers, no longer choose their ball from the rack like they did pre-COVID.

Many bowling centers are using every other lane and not taking large groups or parties. Graduation celebrations are usually big money makers for bowling alleys, something that wasn't possible this year.

Most bowling facilities experience their busy time in the month of March, April and May, which was when the pandemic first hit this year and have caused many to struggle financially during and after the mandatory shut down. 

"Like so many businesses, bowling centers got hit hard," says DeSocio. "Especially since the spring months are to them like what December is to retail businesses."

There are 212 bowling centers in Wisconsin that are members of the BPAA, including JB's on 41 that reopened in June with these new procedures.

"Wisconsin is a wonderful bowling state and it always has been," says DeSocio. "Right now, it's tough out there, but we're going to get through this."

Go here for a guide to bowling centers in Milwa…

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Sprecher Brewery aims to give away 50,000 free root beer floats in one 8-hour period.
Sprecher Brewery aims to give away 50,000 free root beer floats in one 8-hour period.

WATCH: Sprecher gives away thousands of root beer floats to set world record

In honor of National Root Beer Float Day, Sprecher Brewery, 701 W. Glendale Ave., hosts The Great Sprecher Root Beer Floatilla today from noon until 8 p.m. 

The goal is to set a new world record for the largest root beer float drive-thru by making and distributing 50,000 root beer floats. The effort requires 7,800 gallons of fire-brewed root beer, made with Milwaukee-area honey, and 4,000 containers of Cedar Crest ice cream.

We got into line just after noon today, and at first felt daunted by the length, which was already hundreds of cars long and snaking through surrounding residential streets. However, thanks to lots of helpers and large signage, the process was smooth and easy, and we had root beer floats in hand by 12:19.

Take a ride through the experience with us:

The avocado pop is unusual and delicious.
The avocado pop is unusual and delicious.

Eat this now: Avocado popsicle from Pete's Pops

At first, an avocado popsicle might sound gross, like frozen guacamole on a stick, but luckily, it's nothing like that. An avocado is, after all, a fruit (that has nutrients similar to a vegetable) and therefore is both sweet and savory.

Luckily for our tastebuds, Pete's Pops focused on the sweet aspect of the avocado and made a pop that's creamy, avocado in flavor, but with a subtle candied finish. The thick consistency made us think it would also make a good custard flavor. 

We spontaneously drove to the original location on Vliet Street in the Martin Drive neighborhood – a second location opened in June in Bay View – and found the scene extremely joyful. From the colorful facade to the upbeat staff to the ensured safety of a walk-up shop, the experience was fun and stress-free.

Pete's Pops is a local brand owned by Pete Cooney that started out as a mobile cart at Milwaukee festivals and events in 2014. Flavors range from classics like red berry or chocolate fudge to adventurous like pear goat cheese, sweet corn and blackberry, Vietnamese iced coffee and, of course, the avocado pop.

Pete's Pops, 3809 W. Vliet St., is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.