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Celebrate National Cheese Curd Day and a national treasure this Sunday

Bobby Tanzilo
Lakefront Brewery / OnMilwaukee

It’s been a big week for people who enjoy short walks from one legend to another.

Thursday night, it was Bob Dylan and Lucinda Williams playing concerts simultaneously a mere three blocks apart. Sunday afternoon, things will be slightly less musical but much more ingestible when Wolski’s Tavern throws its 115th anniversary bash at the same time that Lakefront Brewery — about a half-mile away — cooks up its sixth National Cheese Curd Day party.

Let’s start with the elder statesman of the duo and one of Milwaukee’s oldest drinking establishments. Bernard Wolski opened the tavern’s doors for the first time in 1908, possibly with help from brother-in-law Josef Cychosz according to Bobby Tanzilo’s always meticulous historical efforts over at OnMilwaukee. Eventually, Bernard’s three sons ran it before another set of siblings — Mike and Bernie Bondar, great-grandsons of Bernard — took over in 1973.

Another brother, Dennis, made the ownership group a trio prior to Mike retiring, leaving Bernie and Dennis as the remaining active stewards for this Sunday’s milestone shindig: a free block party on Pulaski Street that runs from noon to 6 p.m.

Music will occupy a good portion of those six hours, with “Random Jams curated by Emily So Kool” starting things off at noon, followed by Thriftones at 1:30 p.m. and HOSTS at 3 p.m. The brothers Bondar have also lined up food trucks from Hidden Kitchen MKE, Hué Asian Kitchen and Jandy’s Base Camp. On top of that, you’ll have the chance to pick up a limited-edition anniversary shirt and one of their famous stickers if you can last until 2 a.m. closing time (or maybe if you just ask very, very nicely).

At roughly the same time a half-mile to the west, Lakefront Brewery — also one of the partners for Wolski’s party — will welcome cheese-curd enthusiasts from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. in honor of the day that we nationally recognize those little nuggets of gooey goodness. The brewery shows its commitment to the appetizer (or main course; we don’t judge) year-round by making every Thursday … Curdsday. Two special flavors from that weekly occurrence will be on offer this Sunday:

  • Cookies N’ Cream — cheese curds in chocolate cookie batter, tossed in chocolate cookie breading, deep fried to sweet perfection then drizzled with vanilla icing and powdered sugar.
  • Street Corn — cheese curds in a beer and cornmeal batter, tossed in panko, hot cheese curl and flour breading, deep fried and served with chile lime sauce, parmesan cheese and cilantro.

Besides those, you can toss down an order of regular or gluten-free curds, a platter of classic poutine or the more mobile poutine quesadilla — a flour tortilla packed with cheese curds, seasoned fries and brown gravy. There will also be hourly cheese-curd pulls from noon to 4 p.m., giving you and a buddy the chance to see if you can score the longest pull of the day. It’s free to enter, and the winning pair walks away with a six-pack each.

For more info about the Lakefront dairy-driven festivities, visit the brewery’s website.