Milwaukee is known for being the city of festivals and 2018 doesn’t disappoint! Mark these fun and friendly events in southeastern Wisconsin down on your calendar to join in! Please note that this is only a partial listing of some of the largest festivals in the area.
Date/place: June 1, Hart Park, Wauwatosa
Hours: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday
Highlights: The Tribes of the Blue Rose will demonstrate the medieval arts of bow, ax and sword while athletes compete in traditional Scottish strongman events such as caber toss and hammer throw. Cricket equipment is available again this year. Watch the Massed Pipes and Drums, Dublin O’Shea, Steel Bonnets, and the Finn MacCools. So gather with the clan of your choice and enjoy a hearty meal of sausage rolls and meat pies, for a lively day of competition and Ceilidh.
Admission: $10 Adults; free for children age 12 and under; $3 off before 10 a.m. with a per–person donation of a nonperishable food item for the Second Harvest food bank of Milwaukee.
Date/place: June 7 – 10,
Highlights: Wisconsin’s largest and longest-running LGBTQ pride celebration returns to Milwaukee’s beautiful lakefront festival park June 7, 8, 9 and 10, 2018. Join your friends, family and allies at Milwaukee Pride and show the world how to LIVE PROUD!
Admission: $13/single day admission, $39/ 4-day weekend pass
Date/place: June 11, on Locust St. between Humboldt Blvd. and Holton St., Milwaukee
Hours: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sunday
Highlights: Alderman Nik Kovak will fire the starter’s pistol at 11:30 a.m. for the 1.8 mile Beer Run/Walk which begins at the intersection of Booth and Locust streets, and includes four mandatory beer stops. Six outdoor stages provide a variety of local entertainment, with plenty of artists, vendors, food and beverages to discover along the streets of Riverwest.
Date/place: June 13 – August 29, Rotary Performance Pavilion, Wauwatosa
Hours: 6 p.m., most Wednesday nights of the summer
Highlights: Join your Tosa neighbors for evenings of fantastic music under the stars, featuring local, national and international talent. Your food and beverage purchases from our local sponsors help raise money for the ongoing non-profit operation of the Rotary Performance Pavilion – home of the Tosa Tonight Summer Concert Series. Music starts at 6 p.m. – Concerts are held rain or shine, but may be cancelled due to lightning or severe weather.
Date/place: June 14 – 16, Maier Festival Park
Hours: 12 p.m. – 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. Sunday.
Highlights: Polish Fest is a three–day celebration of Polish and Polish–American history, culture, tradition, entertainment and food. Fireworks return this year with “The Big Boomski” at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, as well as the very popular “50¢ Friday” with 50-cent admission from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Friday, with $5 admission from 5:01 p.m. until 12 a.m. Smacznego!
Admission: $10 in advance, $12 at the gate; seniors age 55 and older $10; free for children 15 and under with an adult admission.
Information: (414) 529–2140 or www.polishfest.org
Date/place: June 21 – August 30, Cathedral Square, Milwaukee
Hours: Every Thursday from 6 – 9 p.m.
Highlights: Jazz in the Park is Milwaukee’s favorite free, outdoor, summer music series, featuring an eclectic lineup of jazz, big band, funk, R & B, reggae, blues and more. Performers come from across town or across the country.
Date/place: June 21 – 23, Art Museum Drive, on the grounds of the Milwaukee Art Museum
Hours: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday
Highlights: The festival continues its tradition of featuring original works by artists from around the country, and it is an ideal event for the whole family, with plenty of activities and performances to keep kids of all ages entertained. Enjoy a wine garden, a sculpture garden, live music and gourmet foods on a beautiful lakefront with friends.
Admission: $8 MAM members; $15 at the gate.
Information: (414) 224-3253 or lfoa.mam.org
Date/place: June 22, E. North Ave. and Murray Ave.
Hours: 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Highlights: Enjoy three stages of local, original music, plus arts and crafts vendors, “creation stations” for visitors, dodge ball, bike polo tournament, food, beverages and more!
Date/place: June 22 – 23, Hart Park & Wauwatosa Rotary Pavillion
Highlights: The Shorewest Elmbrook/Wauwatosa Office is proud to be the presenting sponsor for HartFest! It was started to engage the Wauwatosa community in the spirit of giving to organizations that greatly impact the area. The HartFest weekend makes the Village of Wauwatosa come alive with events such as a Kids Area, Wauwatosa School of Music performance, Live Entertainment, Skateboard Demos, a Half Marathon, and a Martial Arts Demo with J.K. Lee Black Belt Academy.
Date/place: June 22 – 23, Washington Ave., downtown Cedarburg
Hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday.
Highlights: Red is the color of the weekend with strawberries in every form of edible deliciousness. Enjoy fresh strawberries by the quart, in desserts and as a drink. Take a stroll down Washington Avenue and enjoy live music and food booths, a merchants’ marketplace and family activities for all ages.
Information: (888) 894–4001 or www.cedarburgfestivals.org
Date/place: June 26 – 30, July 2 – 7, Maier Festival Park
Hours: 12 p.m. – 12 a.m. daily
Highlights: The Violent Femmes and the Avett Brothers headline the Marcus Amphitheater on opening night, followed by the annual “Big Bang” fireworks. Other Marcus Amphitheater acts include: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, John Mayer, fun., Pitbull, Rush, Eagles, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, New Kids on the Block and Tim McGraw.
Admission: $15 general admission; $8 Tuesday – Friday before 4 p.m.; $5 for seniors age 60 and older, and children ages 3 to 10.
Date/place: July 11 – 14, Cathedral Square Park area
Hours: 11 a.m. – 12 a.m. Thursday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 12 a.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday.
Highlights: Enjoy a unique setting with impromptu street performers, roaming minstrels and a variety of interactive and musical entertainment. This popular French–themed celebration features an international array of French and Cajun cuisine, with plenty of delicacies within sight of the signature Eiffel Tower replica.
Information: (414) 271–1416 or www.easttown.com
Date/place: July 12 – 14, South Shore Park, Bay View
Hours: 4 – 10:30 p.m. Friday, 1 – 10:30 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
Highlights: The 64th annual Frolic returns with the “Atomic” fireworks display at 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and smaller fireworks “burst” at 9:20 p.m. Sunday. Enjoy a delicious fish fry Friday with musical entertainment by the Boogie Men. The South Shore Frolic Parade steps off at 11 a.m. Saturday on south Kinnickinnic Ave. followed by show band Cold Sweat & the Brew City Horns. Complete your weekend with a Sunday stroll to view the classic car show and the annual fine art and craft show “Frolics Festival of Arts.”
Date/place: July 19 – 21, Maier Festival Park
Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 12 a.m. Friday – Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. Sunday.
Highlights: Celebrate Milwaukee’s Italian heritage and grab a plate and make like an Italian with classic Festa favorites including rice balls, Italian sausage sandwiches, fried eggplant strips and cannoli, but don’t forget the vino! Enjoy wine tastings featuring wines of Italy and Napa, and drop by the Cucina Showcase for local and celebrity chefs’ demonstrations of their favorite Italian dishes. Check the Festa website for the announcement of a full listing of entertainment headliners.
Admission: $10 in advance, $13 at the gate
Information: (414) 223-2194 or www.festaitaliana.com
Date/place: July 20, in the Harbor, Upper and Lower Lake Park areas of Port Washington
Hours: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Highlights: A “Reely” Big Fish Day is this year’s theme and it will again feature the largest one–day outdoor fish fry with five stages of entertainment, a classic car show, carnival and the annual Fish Day Parade through town. Chicken strips and craft beer have been added to the menu this year. The festival concludes with fireworks on the lakefront at 9:30 p.m.
Admission: There is no charge to enter the Fish Day grounds, however to enter the Main Stage area you will need a Fish Day Button. $2 in advance; $3 on the grounds.
Date/place: July 25 – 28, Maier Festival Park
Hours: 5 – 11 p.m. Thursday, 4 p.m. – 12 a.m. Friday, 12 p.m. – 12 a.m. Saturday, 12 – 10 p.m. Sunday.
Highlights: Milwaukee’s original Haus Party returns with the party-rock band BIBA & die Butzemänner and the Austrian–pop band Die Lauser headlining this year’s entertainment. This year the German Fest Trachtenschau will feature a Tracht from Carinthia in the southeastern part of Austria with information on the folk customs from the Eastern Alps. Returning this year is the annual Soccer Tournament and the German Fest Stein Challenge for those who brew, organized by Beer Barons of Milwaukee.
Admission: $3 on Thursday only; $13 in advance, $15 at the gate; $8 seniors age 60 and older, children under 12 admitted free with an adult.
Information: (414) 464-9444 or www.germanfest.com
Date/place: July 27, on Brady St., from Van Buren to Farwell
Hours: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Highlights: Enjoy three stages of musical entertainment and a variety of vendors, including a local cheese tent, jewelry and pottery crafters, a vast array of food and of course, ice cold beer along a classic stretch of Milwaukee street life.
Information: (414) 272-3978 or bradystreet.org
Date/place: July 27 – 28, Pewaukee’s Lakefront, W Wisconsin Ave.
Highlights: Shorewest is proud to be a sponsor of the Taste of Lake Country! Celebrating the food, music and art in Lake Country; sample the best of the area in one place with local restaurants selling signature food items, local musicians rocking out and local artists displaying their work.
Date/place: Aug. 3 – 4, Maier Festival Park
Hours: 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Highlights: Celebrate African–American heritage and culture with a musical lineup that showcases rhythm and blues, gospel jazz and old school hip–hop. Explore the cultural village or sample a variety of ethnic foods and let the kids play in the Children’s Village.
Date/place: Aug. 1 – 11, State Fair Park, 640 S. 84th St., West Allis
Hours: 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. Sunday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 12 a.m. Friday – Saturday, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. Aug. 11.
Highlights: Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson perform as Heart on opening night of the Fair, which showcases Wisconsin agriculture. See hundreds of animals with a walk through the barns or settle down at any of the free stages scattered throughout the grounds. The Potawatomi Bingo Casino Main Stage will feature a variety of musical headliners!
Admission: $10 adults; $7 seniors ages 60 and up; $6 children ages 6–11; free to children 5 and under.
Information: (800) 884-3247 or www.wistatefair.com
Date/place: Aug. 9 – 10, Naga-Waukee Park, Delafield
Hours: 1 – 10:30 p.m. Friday – Saturday
Highlights: The James Hunter Six and Moreland & Arbuckle will headline this year’s “American Music and Art Festival,” which features a variety of national, regional and local musical acts performing traditional and contemporary blues, R&B, gospel and roots music. A juried art show complements the event, with draft beer specials and a selection of food from popular local restaurants.
Admission: At the gate single-day pass $20; two-day pass $35; special rates available for groups and advance sales.
Information: (800) 366-1961 or www.waukeshabluesfest.com
Date/place: Aug. 15 – 18, Maier Festival Park
Hours: 5 – 10 p.m. Thursday, 4 p.m. – 12 a.m. Friday, 12 p.m. – 12 a.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sunday.
Highlights: The 2018 Festival Showcase is Nova Scotia, which is best known for its folk and traditionally based music, especially the music of Ireland and Scotland, which are considered part of Nova Scotia’s founding cultures. But Irish Fest is more than a musical festival, with plenty of family activities, sports and contests for all ages. Bring in school supplies (markers, notebooks, backpacks, etc.) for children served by Hope House and receive free entrance on Thursday.
Admission: $5 on Thursday only; $17 adults, $12 seniors age 60 and older, children 12 and under free.
Information: (414) 476-3378 or www.irishfest.com
Date/place: Aug. 23 – 25, Maier Festival Park
Hours: 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Highlights: Share in the history, art, music and authentic food of the Mexican/Hispanic community. View folk art by artisans from the states of Mexico displaying their art work and merchandise from each individual state. A full list of entertainment will be available on the Mexican Fiesta website at a later date.
Admission: $13 in advance; $15 at the gate; children 8 and under are free when accompanied by an adult.
Information: (414) 383-7066 or www.mexicanfiesta.org
Date/place: Aug. 28 – Sept. 2, at Harley Davidson dealer locations, Potawatomi Casino and the Harley Davidson Museum.
Hours: Dealer locations open 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday.
Highlights: The annual Milwaukee Rally runs simultaneously with Harley’s 110th Anniversary celebration, which features custom bike shows, vendor malls, musical entertainment, specialty rides, street parties and rally activities at various dealer locations. The Maier Festival Park grounds feature more than 60 bands and headliners Toby Keith Aug. 29, Aerosmith Aug. 30, and Kid Rock Aug. 31. Check the Milwaukee Rally website for the complete list of weekend activities.
Admission: Variety of both free and ticketed events.
Date/place: Sept. 6 – 8, Maier Festival Park
Hours: 4 p.m. – 12 a.m. Friday, 12 p.m. – 12 a.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sunday.
Information: (414) 604–1000 or www.indiansummer.org
Date/place: September 7 – 8, Rotary Park Ampitheater and Hart Park, Wauwatosa
Highlights: The purpose of TosaFest is to raise awareness of the village and to help revitalize it. Enjoy music, food, events and activities! Each year, proceeds from TosaFest support community projects in the areas of education, safety and neighborhood improvement, to name a few.
Admission: Suggested $2 or 2 non-perishable food items to Tosa Cares
Date/place: Sept. 15, between Potter and Clement on Kinnickinnic Avenue in Bay View, Milwaukee
Hours: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Highlights: Established in 2004, the Bay View Bash is a community festival of food, art, music, crafts, books and community organizations. The Bash is the main funding source of the Bay View Community Fund Inc. All proceeds from the Bay View Bash are directly invested back into our city’s neighborhoods by donation who request funding for special projects. Additionally, the Bay View Bash partners with local composting group Kompost Kids to continue efforts in making the Bash a Zero Waste Festival.
Date/place: Sept. 15 – 16, historic downtown Cedarburg
Hours: Saturday, 10 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Highlights: As the leaves begin to change and the fresh air turns brisk, the splendor of autumn is soon to be upon us! To kick-off this beautiful season, come and celebrate a sweet and savory weekend at the 46th Annual Wine & Harvest Festival in historic downtown Cedarburg! With the abundance of Wisconsin’s homegrown produce and artisan foods plus the award-winning wines of Cedar Creek Winery, this free, family-oriented arts and crafts event is an absolute must for all fest-goers!
Date/place: Sept. 28 – 30, Wisconsin State Fair Park
Hours: Fri. 5 – 9 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Highlights: Get the family together for a day at Harvest Fair! Enjoy fall-focused events, activities, live entertainment, competitions, scarecrow making and the much anticipated Pumpkin Bowling.
Source Credit: Tap Milwaukee: Journal Sentinel, Travel Wisconsin