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New Milwaukee streetcar 'The Hop' unveils plans for grand opening weekend events

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Posted at 3:02 PM, Oct 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-26 16:03:42-04

The streetcar tracks are hard to ignore downtown Milwaukee, and now it's finally time to find out what they're all about. The Hop is having its 'Grand Hop-ening' Nov. 2-4. 

The celebration will be centered around Cathedral Square Park in the heart of downtown. 

Friday, Nov. 2

  • 11 a.m.: DJ Kima Hamilton from 88Nine Radio Milwaukee will start bumpin' tunes at Cathedral Square Park.
  • 12 p.m.: Golda Meir School drumline kicks off the formal 'Grand Hop-ening.'
  • 12:30 p.m.: Ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Cathedral Square streetcar platform on Kilbourn Ave.
  • 12:45 p.m.: Passenger service officially begins.

The streetcar will run from 12:45 p.m. until midnight Friday.

Saturday, Nov. 3

  • 12 p.m. - 2 p.m.:  The City of Milwaukee's Environmental Collaboration Office will host the Milwaukee In Motion Sustainable Transportation Fair at Burns Commons near the northern end of the route. 88Nine's Dori Zori will spin music during the event and Colectivo will provide free coffee while supplies last. 
  • All day: Local businesses along the route will offer specials for streetcar riders for 'Hop-In For Business Saturday!'
  • All day: The 'Hop, Shop & Win Contest' sponsored by Kiewit and Mass. Electric Construction Co. begins. Shoppers who make a purchase at any downtown business can upload their receipt online for a chance to win cash prizes. The contest will run through Nov. 24.

The streetcar will run from 7 a.m. until midnight

Sunday, Nov. 4

Sunday is Kids and Family Day. Locations along the streetcar route will have family-friendly activities from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

  • Burns Commons:  Meet the men and women of the Milwaukee Fire Department, take a photo in front of the VISIT Milwaukee statue and enjoy free admission to the Milwaukee Jewish Museum. The museum will only offer free admission to guests who show a Hop sticker from 12-4 p.m.
  • Jackson at Juneau Southbound: Artists Working in Education Truck Studio will hold art-based enrichment activities.
  • Jackson at Juneau Northbound: Take the Hop to get some popcorn! Metro Market's Cream City Confections will offer free popcorn samples while supplies last.
  • Cathedral Square: Downtown Go! Kart will have giant and regular-sized board games like Connect 4, corn hole, Chess, Jenga and more. Free tote bags and streetcar stickers will also be available at the Hop Info Tent. 
  • City Hall Southbound: MSOE's Grohmann Museum is offering free admission from 1-4 p.m.
  • Historic Third Ward: There will be a free face painter at the Milwaukee Public Market.
  • St. Paul at Plankinton: Members of the Milwaukee Police Department will be at this stop with free ice cream treats from Pick 'n Save and Kemps. 

The streetcar will run from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Officials expect that there will be long lines at the busier streetcar platforms during peak times of the day. Passengers are encouraged to limit their streetcar ride to one loop around the route.

The City of Milwaukee partnered with the Milwaukee County Transit System to offer free rides along the streetcar route so that riders don't have to wait in line to return to their original location. Bus bridge stops will be located near Burns Commons, Cathedral Square, the Historic Third Ward and the Intermodal Station. Riders should look for buses with "Bus Bridge" signs in the windows. 

For more information, visit the Hop's website.