My Snow Sermon, 6:30 Friday

My 3rd annual talk ‘in praise of snow!’ Each year, I polish up my favorite thoughts about winter and snow – from the perspective of an environmental historian who loves those things.

The talk usually runs 15-30 minutes, depending on audience participation, and is accomp…anied by a slideshow of some of my favorite images of winter in Wisconsin. The reception will continues in the gallery for some time afterwards, including (but not limited to) a discussion of guests’ ideas and experiences during winter. 

The event will be catered by Kathy Papineau of Localicious. Overall, this will be a thorough exploration of what it means to be ‘cool’ in winter 😉 Yea, dorky, but… most of my jokes during the sermon will be about the silly things I do to get out in the snow 🙂

The event will be held at the Portrait Society Gallery, on the 5th floor of the Marshall Building in the 3rd Ward. For more on the Gallery and the Winter Chapel I am helping sponsor there, see

I believe people in Milwaukee could do a better job of appreciating what we have to enjoy during winter. I want us to love our place. I want to help people who are down during winter to find things to appreciate about it.

I praise because snow reflects light. It adds structure to the air. It makes me want to play. It brings me joy and energy. I am amazed to see the sky turn into shapes. To feel the air made physical, brushing against me. To see the night’s floor gleam, and sparkle.

 A snow-covered landscape creates something different, as if one had gone on vacation to another place. This takes me out of the ordinary. Cheaply, quickly. When one must move slowly through familiar places, one bonds with them with a new intensity. A chance to experience the local in an unusual way. Don’t need to fly to mountains and climb them – digging through deep snow, or fighting a storm’s winds, are challenge in their own right, right here!

 While we can have our grey days in winter (just like any season), winter nights can be brighter than at any other time of year. A layer of white on the ground sure sticks out! (Even when its not reflecting moonlight.) It frames what crosses it: it can be an interesting backdrop that suggests something mysterious is arriving out of the darkness.

Come if you are interested to hear more, and spread the word to others who might like to attend…

 p.s. There are also a number of other interesting events in the area, chances to get outdoors and enjoy the cold or the mild, however you look at it… check for more details. The Cedarburg event has some particularly intriguing activities… but this weekend, I hope you’ll forgive me for focusing on pitching my event 😉

About MilwaukeeSnow

Dr. Jeffrey Filipiak, Milwaukee's Ambassador of Snow, loves winter, Milwaukee, and environmental history! He has taught college courses on topics including history, writing, environmental ethics, food studies, the Great Lakes, and sustainability. You can contact him at
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