Events

Every Summer Festival in Milwaukee You'll Want to Go to

Published On 06/02/2015 Published On 06/02/2015

It finally looks safe for Milwaukeeans to complete the transition to summer party weather. It probably also helps that we have a couple large, dedicated festival grounds that are used for multiple events like Maier Festival Park and the State Fair Grounds. You’ll find great food, lots of music, and of course, plenty of beer at all of these festivals.

Flickr/Christopher Garrison (edited)

Date

Event

Location

Jun 5 Fri

PrideFest The summerfest grounds turn into a rainbow of LGBT pride. There’s music, food, shopping, art, and dancing. Headliners for 2015 include Ani DiFranco and En Vogue.

Maier Festival Park

PrideFest Maier Festival Park The summerfest grounds turn into a rainbow of LGBT pride. There’s music, food, shopping, art, and dancing. Headliners for 2015 include Ani DiFranco and En Vogue.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 6 Sat

Milwaukee Highland Games Men in kilts take over at Hart Park. Pipes and drums, sheepdog demonstrations, Riverdance-style dancing, a tartan parade, highland sports, and of course, beer. Don’t miss the haggis taco eating contest.

Hart Park, Wauwatosa

Milwaukee Highland Games Hart Park, Wauwatosa Men in kilts take over at Hart Park. Pipes and drums, sheepdog demonstrations, Riverdance-style dancing, a tartan parade, highland sports, and of course, beer. Don’t miss the haggis taco eating contest.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 12 Fri

Polish Fest America’s largest Polish festival, because MKE has a ton of Poles. Grab some pierogies and sauerkraut and head over to the Non-Stop Polka Stage. Seriously, it’s non-stop Polka bands all day long.

Maier Festival Park

Polish Fest Maier Festival Park America’s largest Polish festival, because MKE has a ton of Poles. Grab some pierogies and sauerkraut and head over to the Non-Stop Polka Stage. Seriously, it’s non-stop Polka bands all day long.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 14 Sun

Locust Street Festival of Music and Art Six stages of music plus food and activities. But the real draw is the beer run, a leisurely 1.8-mile run through Riverwest with four mandatory bar stops for beer. Now that’s exercise.

Locust between Humboldt and Holton

Locust Street Festival of Music and Art Locust between Humboldt and Holton Six stages of music plus food and activities. But the real draw is the beer run, a leisurely 1.8-mile run through Riverwest with four mandatory bar stops for beer. Now that’s exercise.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 19 Fri

Lakefront Festival of the Arts Juried artists set up their works in a variety of mediums for browsing and buying. Plus there’s kids activities, food, a wine garden, and beer, because Wisconsin.

Milwaukee Art Museum grounds

Lakefront Festival of the Arts Milwaukee Art Museum grounds Juried artists set up their works in a variety of mediums for browsing and buying. Plus there’s kids activities, food, a wine garden, and beer, because Wisconsin.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 19 Fri

Greek Fest Sure, there’s traditional Greek music and dancing, but everyone goes to Greek Fest for the food. Rotisserie chicken and lamb, saganaki, and gyros are all good, but you can’t miss the loukoumades -- fried donuts you cover in warm honey syrup and cinnamon sugar.

State Fair Park Midway

Greek Fest State Fair Park Midway Sure, there’s traditional Greek music and dancing, but everyone goes to Greek Fest for the food. Rotisserie chicken and lamb, saganaki, and gyros are all good, but you can’t miss the loukoumades -- fried donuts you cover in warm honey syrup and cinnamon sugar.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 19 Fri

Juneteenth Day This year marks the 150th anniversary of the date that emancipation finally reached the slaves in Texas. Celebrate in good old street festival style with a parade, food, and music.

MLK between Burleigh and Center

Juneteenth Day MLK between Burleigh and Center This year marks the 150th anniversary of the date that emancipation finally reached the slaves in Texas. Celebrate in good old street festival style with a parade, food, and music.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 20 Sat

Wisconsin Beer Lovers Festival Dozens of Wisconsin breweries and restaurants set up booths on the streets of Bayshore mall. You get unlimited samples of both with your ticket, plus some free swag of the koozie and coupon varieties.

Bayshore Town Center, Glendale

Wisconsin Beer Lovers Festival Bayshore Town Center, Glendale Dozens of Wisconsin breweries and restaurants set up booths on the streets of Bayshore mall. You get unlimited samples of both with your ticket, plus some free swag of the koozie and coupon varieties.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 24-Jul 5

Summerfest This is the grand daddy of all music festivals, lasting 11 days with almost a million people. There’re headliners for every taste, from Kendrick Lamar to Weird Al. The people-watching is epic, as is the Big Bang fireworks on opening night.

Maier Festival Park

Summerfest Maier Festival Park This is the grand daddy of all music festivals, lasting 11 days with almost a million people. There’re headliners for every taste, from Kendrick Lamar to Weird Al. The people-watching is epic, as is the Big Bang fireworks on opening night.

Flickr/Kris Hunt (edited)

Date

Event

Location

Jul 9 Thu

Bastille Days Celebrate the storming of the Bastille by pretend storming it at 9pm July 9th. That’s after you stuff your face full of Cajun food and Nutella crepes. There’s also wine tasting, music, and an Eiffel Tower recreation.

Cathedral Square Park

Bastille Days Cathedral Square Park Celebrate the storming of the Bastille by pretend storming it at 9pm July 9th. That’s after you stuff your face full of Cajun food and Nutella crepes. There’s also wine tasting, music, and an Eiffel Tower recreation.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 10 Fri

South Shore Frolics The big draws here are a classic car show, nightly fireworks, fish fry, and a ton of cover bands. This is its 66th year, so it must be fun.

South Shore Park

South Shore Frolics South Shore Park The big draws here are a classic car show, nightly fireworks, fish fry, and a ton of cover bands. This is its 66th year, so it must be fun.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 17 Fri

Festa Italiana Watch the great nightly fireworks while you munch on arancini, calamari, and cannoli. Enter the bocce ball tournament. Wander the tent of old wedding photos and creepy, life-sized religious statues. Attend mass at the Marcus Amphitheater on Sunday morning.

Maier Festival Park

Festa Italiana Maier Festival Park Watch the great nightly fireworks while you munch on arancini, calamari, and cannoli. Enter the bocce ball tournament. Wander the tent of old wedding photos and creepy, life-sized religious statues. Attend mass at the Marcus Amphitheater on Sunday morning.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 18 Sat

Milwaukee Firkin Beer Fest A firkin is a small keg, so Firkin Fest highlights craft brewers and small batch brews. Ticketholders get unlimited samples, plus there’s food available for purchase (you’ll need it).

Cathedral Square Park

Milwaukee Firkin Beer Fest Cathedral Square Park A firkin is a small keg, so Firkin Fest highlights craft brewers and small batch brews. Ticketholders get unlimited samples, plus there’s food available for purchase (you’ll need it).

Date

Event

Location

Jul 24 Fri

German Fest Mmm, beer. Also bratwurst, and pretzels, and sauerbraten. If you have a dachshund, you’re in luck: there’s a wiener dog costume contest. Plus, learn how to play Sheepshead.

Maier Festival Park

German Fest Maier Festival Park Mmm, beer. Also bratwurst, and pretzels, and sauerbraten. If you have a dachshund, you’re in luck: there’s a wiener dog costume contest. Plus, learn how to play Sheepshead.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 25 Sat

Brady Street Festival Brady St is already a colorful place, so you can imagine a festival only livens things up even more. There’s art, BMX biking, wrestling, and plenty of food and artisan cheese.

Brady St between Vanburen and Farwell

Brady Street Festival Brady St between Vanburen and Farwell Brady St is already a colorful place, so you can imagine a festival only livens things up even more. There’s art, BMX biking, wrestling, and plenty of food and artisan cheese.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 25 Sat

Milwaukee Brewfest This fest has 300 craft beers, ciders, and meads to try, all with a beautiful view of the lake. There will also be music, food to purchase, and likely lots of "happy" drinkers.

1600 N Lincoln Memorial Dr

Milwaukee Brewfest 1600 N Lincoln Memorial Dr This fest has 300 craft beers, ciders, and meads to try, all with a beautiful view of the lake. There will also be music, food to purchase, and likely lots of "happy" drinkers.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 25 Sat

Milwaukee Air & Water Show After a total fog-out last year, the show has been smartly moved to July. The Thunderbirds are the main act this year, but there will be hours of spectacular aircraft, parachuters, water skiers, and helicopters.

The Lakefront

Milwaukee Air & Water Show The Lakefront After a total fog-out last year, the show has been smartly moved to July. The Thunderbirds are the main act this year, but there will be hours of spectacular aircraft, parachuters, water skiers, and helicopters.

Flickr/Matt Schilder (edited)

Date

Event

Location

Aug 6 Thu

Wisconsin State Fair Try every kind of deep-fried food on a stick while you rock out to your favorite '90s cover band. Watch a cattle auction, stroll through the swine barn, and take a trip down the giant slide. Don’t forget a six-pack of cream puffs.

State Fair Park

Wisconsin State Fair State Fair Park Try every kind of deep-fried food on a stick while you rock out to your favorite '90s cover band. Watch a cattle auction, stroll through the swine barn, and take a trip down the giant slide. Don’t forget a six-pack of cream puffs.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 13 Thu

Milwaukee Irish Fest This is the biggest Irish festival outside of Ireland, and many musical acts fly across the pond to perform. Celtic rockers Gaelic Storm headline every night and rock the place. There’s plenty of Irish culture tents where you can learn stuff, if you’re so inclined.

Maier Festival Park

Milwaukee Irish Fest Maier Festival Park This is the biggest Irish festival outside of Ireland, and many musical acts fly across the pond to perform. Celtic rockers Gaelic Storm headline every night and rock the place. There’s plenty of Irish culture tents where you can learn stuff, if you’re so inclined.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 20 Thu

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel a la Carte at the Zoo “Feast with the beasts” at the Zoo. Restaurants set up booths all around the grounds so you can graze while you watch the polar bears and peacocks. There’s also beer, which makes for interesting train rides.

Milwaukee County Zoo

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel a la Carte at the Zoo Milwaukee County Zoo “Feast with the beasts” at the Zoo. Restaurants set up booths all around the grounds so you can graze while you watch the polar bears and peacocks. There’s also beer, which makes for interesting train rides.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 21 Fri

Mexican Fiesta Besides delicious tacos and elote, the Fiesta promotes Mexican culture, community, folk art, and music. Plus there’s a jalapeño-eating competition.

Maier Festival Park

Mexican Fiesta Maier Festival Park Besides delicious tacos and elote, the Fiesta promotes Mexican culture, community, folk art, and music. Plus there’s a jalapeño-eating competition.

Flickr/Light Brigading

Date

Event

Location

Sep 11 Fri

Indian Summer Take a canoe ride on the lake, check out the Native American boxing exhibit, attend the pow wow and eat tons of fry bread.

Maier Festival Park

Indian Summer Maier Festival Park Take a canoe ride on the lake, check out the Native American boxing exhibit, attend the pow wow and eat tons of fry bread.

Date

Event

Location

Sep 11 Fri

TosaFest This community street festival has three stages of music and a 5k run. Proceeds from the fest go to community projects and neighborhood improvements.

76th and State, Wauwatosa

TosaFest 76th and State, Wauwatosa This community street festival has three stages of music and a 5k run. Proceeds from the fest go to community projects and neighborhood improvements.

Date

Event

Location

Sep 19 Sat

Bay View Bash This street festival is run entirely by volunteers. Lots of Bay View establishments are represented, so think vegan food, MKE pride T-shirts, and alcohol. Plus lots of pet dogs.

Kinnickinnic Ave between Potter and Clement

Bay View Bash Kinnickinnic Ave between Potter and Clement This street festival is run entirely by volunteers. Lots of Bay View establishments are represented, so think vegan food, MKE pride T-shirts, and alcohol. Plus lots of pet dogs.

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