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Festival Guide 2013

2013 Summer Guide

May. 23, 2013
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Kohler Festival of Beer

May 31-June 2

Village of Kohler



An event dedicated to craft beer at which local, national and international brewers offer samples. Live music and delectable food pairings make this a must for the beer enthusiast.




Lapham Peak State Park

W329 N846 County Highway C, Delafield



Music, theater, comedy and dance performances on various weekends on an outdoor stage in a natural setting in beautiful Lapham Peak State Park.


Milwaukee Highland Games / Scottish Fest

June 1

Hart Park

7300 W. Chestnut St., Wauwatosa



Scottish Fest features a host of authentic entertainment from the Highlands including bagpipe, drum and dance performances. Grab a meat pie, don your favorite kilt and join the festivities in the Parade of Tartans.


World of Beer Festival

June 1

Schwabenhof Pavilion

14750 W. Silver Spring Drive, Menomonee Falls


Another event for the beer enthusiast, this festival offers tastes of more than 200 beers from the area and around the world. After you buy a brat to go with your beer, listen to presentations on beer, brewing and tasting given by professionals in the industry.


VillageGreen Street Fair

June 1

7600 W. State St., Wauwatosa Village


This family-oriented outdoor festival provides information about green, organic and eco-friendly products and services. It features artisans, entertainers, companies and speakers who address global interests and personal well-being. Fair goers can have fun and learn to take steps towards a healthier, greener life.


Historic Mitchell Street Sun Fair

May 31-June 2

Mitchell St. (between Eighth and 11th St.)


One of Milwaukee’s most historic neighborhoods celebrates with a free street festival that includes live music, cultural performances, rides, family friendly activities and a staggering selection of great ethnic food from area restaurants and vendors.


Miller Lite UPAF Ride for the Arts

June 2

Downtown Milwaukee



Strap on your bike helmet and support the United Performing Arts Fund. Choose from a 5-, 12-, 25-, 50- or 75-mile ride that begins and ends at the Summerfest grounds. Highlights of the route include the Hoan Bridge and numerous parks. Participants can enjoy food and entertainment at the finish line.


Jazz in the Park

June 6-Sept. 5

Thursdays, 5-9 p.m.

Cathedral Square Park

520 E. Wells St.



This weekly summer mainstay draws the Midwest's finest jazz musicians. Pack your own picnic basket or sample food and drinks from local vendors, and enjoy cool jazz in the summer heat.



June 7-9

Henry Maier Festival Park

200 N. Harbor Drive



Celebrating the diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture and community, this three-day event features local LGBT-friendly merchants and food vendors, engaging national and local performers and a pageant.


Locust Street Festival

June 9

Locust St. (between Holton St. and Humboldt Blvd.)


One of the city's long-running street parties kicks off with a Beer Run past stages of live music, crafts, food and, of course, beer in Milwaukee's hip Riverwest neighborhood.


Polish Fest

June 14-16

Henry Maier Festival Park

200 N. Harbor Drive



Enjoy three days of authentic food, folk art, traditional dance and music performances. Dine on top-notch Polish sausages and other cultural fare, then kick up your heels to a rousing rendition of “Roll Out the Barrel.”


Juneteenth Day

June 19

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive (between Burleigh and Center St.)



Join the festivities commemorating the date in 1865 on which word of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached slaves in Texas, a full two and a half years after the fact. Enjoy the food and live entertainment.


Shorewood Criterium Cycling Classic

June 20

Oakland Ave. and Marion St.



The Shorewood Criterium Cycling Classic is the first race of eleven days of races in The Tour of America’s Dairyland, the largest competitive cycling event in America. Taking place in the Milwaukee suburb of Shorewood, this race for Pro Men and Pro Women is sure to get your adrenaline going.


Lakefront Festival of the Arts

June 21-23

Milwaukee Art Museum

700 N. Art Museum Drive



Browse tents full of work from talented national artists while sampling food from local vendors. Stick around for live music before circling back to purchase that perfect piece to complete your living space. Tickets go on sale May 24.


Greek Fest

June 21-23

Wisconsin State Fair Park

640 S. 84th St. (North Parking Lot)



Patrons of this Greek extravaganza can expect cultural performances and top traditional fare including baklava and all the spicy lamb-chops you can eat.


Cedarburg Strawberry Festival

June 22-23

Downtown Historic Cedarburg

Washington Ave.



Listen to live bands while you sample all things strawberry, including schaum tortes and wine, and then stroll down Washington Avenue for the art fair. Join in the “Berry Big” 5K run/walk on Saturday morning or enjoy a tractor-pulled hayride. There will be plenty of kids' activities and a Sunday morning strawberry pancake breakfast.


Waukesha Carl Zach Cycling Classic

June 23

379 W. Main St., Waukesha



Day four of the Tour of America’s Dairyland, cyclists come together for the Waukesha Carl Zach Cycling Classic in downtown Waukesha. The classic features races for professionals and amateurs so spend your Sunday afternoon cheering them on!


Schlitz Park Criterium Cycling Event &

Schlitz Park Miller Run/Walk

June 25

1555 N. Rivercenter Drive



Day six of the Tour of America’s Dairyland with races for professional and amateurs offers cash prizes totaling $7,950.00. Situated east of N. Second on W. Pleasant Street, Schlitz Park on the Milwaukee River is connected to miles of city bike trials. The second annual Schlitz Park Miller Run/Walk at 5:20 p.m. precedes the Pro Men’s race.



June 26-30 and July 2-7

Henry Maier Festival Park

200 N. Harbor Drive



The “world's largest music festival” celebrates its 44th anniversary in 2013. In addition to local and national music acts, you can enjoy a nearly overwhelming variety of Milwaukee's best food vendors.


ISCorp Downer Classic

June 29

2608 N. Downer Ave.



Join the neighborhood on Milwaukee’s Eastside for the ISCorp Downer Classic, the 10th day race of the Tour of America’s Dairyland. A National Criterium Calendar event, the Downer Classic is another event in which juniors can race and receive prizes. See the race teams gather from around the world before the tour is over.





U.S. Bank Fireworks

July 3

Veterans Park

The U.S. Bank Fireworks display has become a must-see Independence Day celebration with each year’s display seeming to outdo all previous ones. People begin arriving early in the day to stake out the best viewing locations along the lakefront. Food is easy to find.


Bristol Renaissance Faire

July 6-Sept. 2

Off I-94 at Wisconsin/Illinois border



Strumming minstrels and court jesters mix with kings, queens, ne’er-do-wells and wenches at the Bristol Renaissance Faire, which operates on weekends throughout the summer. Reenact the days of yore with era-appropriate food and beverages, kids’ activities and feats of strength.


Skyline Music

July 9-August 20

Kadish Park

308 E. Lloyd St.



The Children’s Outing Association (COA) is bringing back its free, family oriented summer music series. Enjoy Milwaukee-based bands performing blues, jazz, reggae and more while your kids participate in activities. Snacks are available from local vendors.


Bastille Days

July 11-14

Downtown Milwaukee

Cathedral Square Park

520 E. Wells St.



Be sure to highlight Bastille Days on your summer calendar. Start things off right by lacing up your running shoes for the Storm the Bastille 5K run/2K walk, then relax and enjoy a weekend of live Cajun, zydeco, jazz, blues, reggae, folk and rock performances with authentic French eatables.


Gathering on the Green

July 12-13

Rotary Park

4100 W. Highland Road, Mequon



The festival programs are aimed not only to entertain families but also to educate children in music and arts with orchestra, ballet, opera, and art activities, which are sure to provide an enriching weekend. This summer features Arrival From Sweden’s ABBA Tribute and The Von Trapps.


South Shore Frolics

July 12-14

South Shore Park

2900 S. Shore Drive


A Milwaukee tradition, these three fun-filled days of food, drinks and friends begins with a parade through Bay View’s business district. Annual events such as the Classic Car Show and the Festival of Arts are featured. Every night ends with an incredible display of fireworks. Proceeds go to support and serve the needy.


Festa Italiana

July 19-21

Henry W. Maier Festival Park‎

200 N. Harbor Drive



Whether you’re Italian or just wish you were, Festa Italiana will make you crave cannoli and marinara. Check out nightly fireworks, live music and rousing games of bocce, cultural exhibits and authentic Italian cuisine.


Port Fish Day

July 20

Port Washington Lakefront

Harbor, Upper and Lower Lake Parks


More than 60,000 people annually flock to Port Washington for Fish Day, the “World’s Largest One-Day Fish Fry.” Live music abounds on multiple stages, and that’s just the beginning. Also featured are fireworks, a crafts fair, a car show, carnival grounds and a parade.


Milwaukee Firkin Craft Beer Festival

July 20

Cathedral Square Park

520 E. Wells St.


Local microbreweries showcase the craft that made Milwaukee famous with plentiful pints of ales, stouts and lagers. Enjoy local and regional suds and live music.


Armenian Fest

July 21

St. John the Baptist Armenian Orthodox Church

7825 W. Layton Ave.



Sample homemade shish-kabob, grape leaves, baklava and other Mediterranean dishes, listen to live Near Eastern music and check out the Culture Booth representing one the world’s oldest civilizations.


Washington County Fair

July 23-28

Washington County Fair Park

3000 Pleasant Valley Road (Hwy PV), West Bend



This annual fair has a carnival, crafts, and numerous other events, including main stage acts every evening.


German Fest

July 25-28

Henry W. Maier Festival Park

200 N. Harbor Drive



The largest annual German cultural celebration in North America, Milwaukee’s German Fest offers the Wisconsin Soccer Tournament along with an array of activities, music and traditional food and drink for the whole family.


Summer of Peace & All City Peace Parade

July 26

Washington Park to Sherman Park


The magnificent parade of floats, puppets, actors, dancers and musicians starts in Washington Park at 10 a.m. and travels to Sherman and Lloyd. The joyous peace rally—the culmination of a year of community programs—continues in Sherman Park until 3:00 p.m. and features performances by youth groups, poets and musicians. Food is available and great conversations are guaranteed.


Brady Street Festival

July 27

Lake Michigan to the Milwaukee River



The Brady Street Festival offers attendees a chance to taste prize-winning artisan cheeses and delicious food from many area restaurants. This longtime favorite also features three stages for local bands, a show by the Division BMX Stunt Team and a Pro Wrestling ring.


EAA AirVenture

July 29-Aug. 4

Wittman Regional Airport

525 West 20th Ave., Oshkosh



Travel to Oshkosh for an international gathering of 800,000-plus aviation enthusiasts. Attend a workshop or catch a lecture from a notable flight pro, then take in the daily afternoon air show where top-flight pilots dazzle onlookers with aerial acrobatics.





Wisconsin State Fair

Aug. 1-11

Wisconsin State Fair Park

640 S. 84th St., West Allis



Now in its 162nd year, the State Fair boasts 30 entertainment stages featuring local and national acts, a host of exhibits and enough food and shopping to keep you busy for days. Did we mention there would be cream puffs?


Milwaukee Comedy Festival

Aug. 1-4

Next Act Theatre

255 S. Water St.



Wisconsin’s largest comedy event is 8 years old. Hundreds of comedians from across the country and Canada present performances, workshops and special events celebrating the best in stand-up, sketch and improvisational comedy. Every show is different.


African World Fest

Aug. 3-4

Henry Maier Festival Park

200 N. Harbor Drive



This festival celebrating African culture offers education and entertainment. With the cultural village to explore, the Children’s Village for your children to play in, ethnic foods to enjoy and The Marketplace to shop, the African World Festival is for everyone.



Aug. 3

Fuel Café

818 E. Center St.


Rockerbox is a free motorcycle show and street party that offers an eclectic mix of Euro, Japanese and American café racers, vintage bikes, sport bikes, street fighters, choppers, super motos, scooters, sidecars and cruisers. This will be its 10th anniversary.


Milwaukee Air and Water Show

Aug. 3-4

Milwaukee lakefront



An appearance by the usual headliners, the Thunderbirds, is pending due to the across-the-boards federal funding cuts known as sequestration. Many other events remain on the schedule for this major lakefront weekend party.


Peninsula Music Festival

Aug. 6-24

Door Community Auditorium

3926 Wisconsin 42, Fish Creek



The 61st season features nine different symphonic concerts every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with full orchestra, distinguished soloists and guest conductors.


Waukesha BluesFest

Aug. 9-10

Naga-Waukee Park, Delafield

Adjacent to Highway 83, just north of I-94



Under a large tent on the green of the park, blues musicians will gather this summer for a comfortable weekend of music.


Irish Fest

Aug 15-18

Henry Maier Festival Park

200 N. Harbor Drive



Grab a pint or two and shop a marketplace featuring one of the largest gatherings of Irish vendors in the world. Check out the Celtic canine center showcasing popular dog breeds in Ireland or join in a game of hurling or a tug-of-war contest. Enjoy the Irish dancers and, of course, the many musicians performing traditional and contemporary Irish music at more than a dozen stages.


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel a la Carte

Aug. 15-18

Milwaukee County Zoo

10001 W. Bluemound Road



There’s no better way to spend a summer day than working up an appetite while watching animals from around the world, then feasting on dishes served by Milwaukee’s finest restaurants before hitting one of multiple stages to catch performances by local favorites and national acts.


Mexican Fiesta

Aug. 23-25

Henry Maier Festival Park

200 N. Harbor Drive



Not that we need an excuse to sip margaritas and devour tostadas, but Mexican Fiesta promises more than just three days of blissful eating and drinking. With traditional dancing, live salsa, mariachi and meringue music and interactive exhibits, this fiesta is a summer highlight.


Wine & Vine Etc

Aug. 24

St. Francis of Assisi Convent grounds

3221 S. Lake Drive, St. Francis


Numerous local restaurants and vendors are gathering at the Wine & Vine Etc event to let you sample their wine, beer, coffee, tea and food. Come relax on the convent grounds knowing that your contributions will be going towards refurbishing the historic grape arbor, which is celebrating its 101st birthday.


Walk & Run for Wishes

Aug. 24

Henry Maier Festival Park

200 N. Harbor Drive



It’s not too late to revive your long-forgotten New Year’s resolution to start running. Do your body a favor by registering for the Walk For Wishes. The proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin.


Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary Celebration

Aug. 29-Sept. 1

Henry Maier Festival Park

200 N. Harbor Drive

Aerosmith, Toby Keith and Kid Rock are the headliners at the Marcus Amphitheater for the biggest party in a worldwide celebration of Harley motorcycle history. More than 60 bands will take the stages at the Henry Maier Festival Grounds. The Harley-Davidson Museum has many events planned. Motorcyclists will rule the streets.


Third Ward Art Festival

Aug. 31-Sept. 1

Broadway and Chicago Streets in the Historic Third Ward



The second annual Art Festival will fill this neighborhood of galleries, theaters, restaurants and pubs with live music, good food and 140 artist booths. Somehow it will co-exist with the Harley-Davidson festival, perhaps featuring art with motorcycle themes.





Indian Summer Festival

Sept. 6-8

Henry Maier Festival Park

200 N. Harbor Drive



Celebrating the Great Lakes Indian Communities, this is the largest Native festival of its kind in the country. The weekend-long Contest Pow Wow is the heart of it. Everyone is welcome. Listen to a traditional storyteller and some of the best musicians in the country, visit a Native village, take in a game of lacrosse, sample indigenous foods and enjoy the riches of Native cultures past and present.



Sept. 6-7

7615 W. State St.,Wauwatosa


Now in its 34th year, TosaFest is a community festival that draws crowds eager for two stages of music, art, great food, children’s activities and the annual Badgerland Striders Run—a fast, downhill 5K course on Saturday evening.



Sept. 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28

Heidelberg Park

700 W. Lexington Blvd., Glendale


The United German Societies and the Bavarian Soccer Club invite you to this German festival of singing, dancing and, of course, eating, where traditional German festival food such as spanferkel and rollbraten are there to enjoy. The oldest authentic Bavarian Oktoberfest in the Midwest.


Paramount Blues Festival

Sept. 6-7

Lime Kiln Park

2020 S. Green Bay Road, Grafton


Once the center of the blues-recording universe, Grafton hosts the eighth annual Paramount Blues Festival at Lime Kiln Park on the banks of the Milwaukee River. A reasonably priced two-day admission ticket gets you scores of local and national blues acts.


Hidden River Art Festival

Sept. 14-15

Mitchell Park
19805 W. Capitol Drive, Brookfield



Now in its eighth year, the festival will showcase 100 artists from 12 Midwestern states, opening its doors for the first time to artists from outside Wisconsin. It features painting, sculpture, photography, jewelry, ceramics and fiber art, local and emerging artists showcases, and hands-on activities for children in Brookfield’s beautiful Mitchell Park.


Briggs and Al’s Run & Walk for Children’s Hospital

Sept. 14

Henry Maier Festival Park

200 N. Harbor Drive



Briggs & Al's Run & Walk is an 8k run, or 3- or 5-mile walk, benefitting Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. The event continues to draw between 13,000 and 16,000 participants each year and remains one of the largest run and walk fundraising events in the Midwest.


Cedarburg Wine & Harvest Festival

Sept. 21-22

Historic Downtown Cedarburg



The streets of Cedarburg come alive with crowds sampling food and wine, much of it made locally, as they enjoy family activities and live music. Join the scarecrow-building contest, enjoy hayrides and listen to live rock, bluegrass and folk music.



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