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‘Can’t get much better:’ Sausage fans celebrate Fred Usinger Day with free brats

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Fred Usinger Day

MILWAUKEE -- Even though Feb. 23 may not be a holiday for most, for some, it has a special meaning: It's Fred Usinger Day, the Milwaukee holiday sausage lovers look forward to every year.

"I came down for a beer, a Bloody Mary and a brat," said Kevin Kosler, Milwaukee.

"Amazing, free brats and day drinking," said Justin Dose, Racine. "It can't get much better than that."

Some are so excited... it's hard to talk about.

"Really, this all started off as [eats brat]... sorry," said Dose.

Fred Usinger Day

Fritz Usinger

Every year on Feb. 23, the city celebrates Fred Usinger, a Milwaukee-based sausage maker who started his company in 1880. It's a tradition that comes with a free brat.

"It's kind of an annual event to celebrate sausage in the City of Milwaukee," said Fritz Usinger, president.

"In this town, a free bratwurst is an amazing thing," said Hans Weissgerber III, managing director.

Several Milwaukeeans headed to the Old German Beer Hall on Old World Third St. as early as 8:00 a.m. to get their brat and celebrate the local business that's been around for four generations.

Fred Usinger Day

Fred Usinger Day

Hans Weissgerber III

"Usinger's has been around for years," said Kosler. "They've got a very good product. It's just a good time."

The free brats were handed out courtesy of the Usinger's Sausage Company, located just across the street from the Old German Beer Hall -- at 1030 North Old World Third Street. Workers expect to hand out more than 1,000 sausages.

"Prost! And happy Fred Usinger Day!" said Weissgerber.

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