15 Reasons Why Milwaukee Summers Dominate All Other Summers

When Milwaukee goes at least three months without a polar vortex, that’s considered summer. We come out of hibernation and kick winter’s butt with a heavy dose of music, beer, and revelry. Here are 15 reasons why Brew City hits summer harder than anywhere else.

1. On any given weekend, you can walk to a festival

There are street festivals, festivals put on by our many neighborhood associations, and church festivals. Wisconsin has a fever, and the only prescription is more festivals.

2. We celebrate all kinds of cultures

With what else, a festival. Irish Fest, Polish Fest, Festa Italiana, Mexican Fiesta, German Fest, Indian Summer... those are just the big ones. There are also festivals for French, Scottish, Armenian, Croatian, and Greek culture.

3. We know music sounds better outdoors

Free outdoor concerts happen practically every day during summer. Grab your can koozie and go.

4. We’re not ashamed to have a little whipped cream on our face

It’s a state fair tradition.

5. We like to bike and hike

Especially on the Oak Leaf Trail that winds 118 miles through all the major parkways in MKE.

6. And we like to bike and drink

The Milwaukee Pedal Tavern rolls around the city transporting bunches of bros to the next bachelor party bar.

7. We drink outdoors a LOT

Whether you’re just grilling up some brats on your porch after work or hanging out with your dog at a beer garden, you’re going to have a drink in your hand.

8. We’re a coastal city

The population density along the lake grows exponentially every weekend in summer. You know what they say: central coast, best coast.

9. Our fireworks are better than yours

The Big Bang on the opening night of Summerfest is the best show of the summer, thanks to Bartolotta Fireworks. Those super-loud flashbulb things during the finale are craazzzyy.

10. We have dedicated booze festivals

Let’s just drop the pretense and focus on the alcohol. Firkin Fest, the Wisconsin Beer Lovers Festival, Milwaukee Brewfest, and multiple Bloody Mary events attract massive amounts of people.

11. We can party before a game

Unlike our neighbors to the South, Miller Park has huge parking lots and allows tailgating hours before a game starts. It’s not summer until you’ve packed your little Weber, the cornhole set made by your uncle, three coolers, and five friends into your Camry and hoped for a spot at the end of a row.

12. Custard tastes better in the heat

Yeah we eat frozen custard all year, but nothing says summer like eating that Kopp’s hot fudge sundae on a cement bench next to the waterfall.

13. Our river has a walk

The Riverwalk allows you to stroll through downtown and the Third Ward by following the water, and not those pesky streets. Bonus: you can bar-hop along it.

14. Rolling thunder can be heard everywhere

Harleys can be heard in every neighborhood, and become thunderous during rallies and events at the H-D Museum.

15. We have the largest music festival in the world

Summerfest. Need we say more?

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Lacey Muszynski is a Milwaukee writer who just found her Summerfest 1998 pin. Follow her: @worthhersalt.