WordCamp Milwaukee is set to take place September 17-18 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education. More than 170 tickets are still available at $40 each and provide access to both days of the event, including the after party.
The event’s second round of speakers were recently announced and according to Marc Benzakein, lead organizer for WordCamp Milwaukee, diversity of topics was an important part of the selection process. “This year, we had a wide range of topics submitted,” Benzakein told the Tavern.
“While it made speaker selection difficult, it also was exactly what we wanted as we really wanted to focus on the content of the presentations so that we could be sure that everyone left with something beneficial to their careers or lives. We think we’ve hit the nail on the head this year.”
In an effort to create a unique experience, WordCamp Milwaukee is basing the event around a Happy Days or 1950s theme. Happy Days is a popular American television show that aired from 1974-1984 that follows a family’s idealized life in the mid-1950’s-1960s.
“Both Happy Days and Lavern and Shirley took place here in Milwaukee,” Benzakein said. “When we talk about themes for our annual WordCamp, we try to come up with something that is uniquely Milwaukee. Plus, WordCamps are meant to be ‘Happy Days’ so it just fit. The organizers have run with the theme and we’re really excited about the ways we’re tying it in to Milwaukee, old and new.”
As part of the Happy Days theme, attendees are encouraged to grab a meal at Leon’s frozen custard, a classic drive-in restaurant. The restaurant was constructed in 1942 and remodeled in the early 1950s.
The restaurant is a bit of a drive from the venue but according to organizers, “The prices are reasonable, and the fare is basic, as it always has been. But it’s out of this world good and it’s worth the Uber trip.”
It’s rumored that Leon’s served as inspiration for Al’s Diner in Happy Days. However, according to a 2008 article published in the Milwaukee Wisconsin Sentinel Journal, Tom Miller, the show’s co-creator says the diner was inspired by Milky-Way.
“Arnold’s is really a compilation of everybody’s recollections of the drive-in of the 1950s,” he told the Milwaukee Journal in 1977. “It’s just that the Milky-Way was closest to me when I grew up on Bay Ridge Ave. in Whitefish Bay.”
WordCamp Milwaukee is poised to be a family fun event. You can purchase tickets and find more information by visiting the event’s homepage.