Wisconsin State Fair 2017

2018 Milwaukee Festival Guide

Another year, another summer of Milwaukee’s best festivals. Here’s your guide, in chronological order, of all your favorite music, ethnic and street festivals coming this summer.

* indicates a weekly event.

Milwaukee Makers Market

Every third Sunday, a mix of crafters and hobbyists, artists, freelance designers, performance artists and small business owners come together for an exciting art, craft and maker fair.

  • May 20, June 17, July 15, August 19 & September 16
  • Colectivo Coffee – Bay View, 2301 S Kinnickinnic Ave.

Jazz in the Park*

Jazz in the Park is the weekly summer music series that hosts a line-up of jazz, funk, R&B and many other bands you’ll want to jam the night away to. Head over to Cathedral Square Park at 5 p.m. for happy hour and get a good seat on the grass before music starts at six.

  • Thursdays, May 31-August 30, 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
  • Cathedral Square Park, 520 E. Wells St.

Beer Barons’ World of Beer Festival

At the World of Beer Festival, visitors have the opportunity to taste over 350 beers, meads and ciders. Pair your beverages with traditional German food as you relax in the outdoor Bier Garden.

  • Saturday, June 2, 1 p.m.
  • Schwabenhof Pavilion, N56 W14750 Silver Spring Dr., Menomonee Falls

Scottish Fest-Milwaukee Highland Games

Are you the muscle man of all your friends? This festival allows participants to watch a Scottish hammer throw or an ax throwing and archery demo.

  • Saturday, June 3
  • Hart Park, 7300 Chestnut St., Wauwatosa

UPAF Ride for the Arts

Wisconsin’s largest one-day recreational bike ride to support the performing arts is back and for the first time, kids under the age of 12 ride free when accompanied by an adult.

  • Sunday, June 2
  • Henry W. Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.


Milwaukee’s Pridefest is the world’s largest LGBT+ celebration with permanent festival grounds. Owned and operated entirely by volunteers, Pridefest celebrates the LGBT community and its culture. Electric headliners such as Reyna, JoJo and Spencer Ludwig will take the stage this year.

  • June 8-June 10
  • Henry W. Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

Thiensville-Mequon LionFest

$20 unlimited carnival ride, the famous rotisserie chicken dinner and bingo with cash prizes sounds good to us. LionFest has lots of fun and food for all to enjoy.

  • June 8-10
  • Thiensville Village Park, 250 Elm St.

Locust Street Festival of Music

The Locust Street Festival of Music kicks off with an annual Beer Run and Walk. After the race, grab a beer and visit the countless music stages, craft tents and food vendors dotting the street.

  • Sunday, June 10
  • Locust Street between Humboldt and Holton avenues

Newaukee Night Market

Every summer, Newaukee shuts down a portion of Wisconsin Avenue for a street fest unique in its evening time slot. Food trucks, live music and an array of art, craft and food vendors make this free, open-air market a pleasant way to pass a warm summer evening.

  • June 13, July 11, August 15, September 12; 5-10 p.m.
  • West Wisconsin Ave. between 2nd and 4th Streets

River Rhythms*

River Rhythms is another weekly music series. On Wednesday nights, Pere Marquette Park is the place to be for an array of food vendors and a fine selection of local artists.

  • Wednesdays, June 13-August 29
  • Pere Marquette Park, 950 N Old World 3rd St.

Polish Fest

Milwaukee has a strong Polish community so it only make sense to have a festival to match. Experience vodka tastings, listen to Polish music and learn about the culture through cooking events and local historians.

  • June 15 -June 17
  • Henry Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

Juneteenth Day

Juneteenth Day celebrates the end of slavery in America. A pageant, parade and vendors are planned throughout the day with a goal to entertain, empower and educate guests.

  • Tuesday, June 19
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Drive between Center and Burleigh streets

Wonderful Wednesdays*

There’s nothing better than music for the entire family. Every Wednesday evening, catch a performances by Extra Crispy Brass Band, The Kitchen Boys, Trapper Schoepp, Little Miss Ann, Duke Otherwise and Fox and Branch.

  • June 21-July 26, 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
  • Lake Park, 3233 E. Kenwood Blvd.

Greek Fest

Even if you can’t pronounce all the delicious delicacies, you’ll still want to try everything this festival has to offer. The festival also offers rides, music and dancing at State Fair Park.

  • June 22-24
  • Wisconsin State Fair Park Grounds, 640 S. 84th St.

Summer Soulstice

For its 18th year, Summer Soulstice is coming to North Avenue. Local talent will perform across three different stages, a rock wall will be available to climb and a BMX show will be a spectacle with some wicked tricks.

  • Saturday, June 23, noon-midnight
  • North Avenue between Oakland and Prospect avenues

Cedarburg’s Strawberry Festival

Hundreds of vendors selling art and edibles come out to celebrate the humble summer fruit. The 33rd annual event is one that you won’t want to miss.

  • June 23-24
  • Washington Ave., Cedarburg

Garlic Fest

You can never have enough garlic — especially at garlic fest. Taste an endless amount of garlic-flavored cuisine from various restaurants. Also grabs some drinks from local brewers and try a special Braise Green Garlic Bloody Mary.

  • Sunday, June 24
  • Braise Restaurant, 1101 S. 2nd St.


Summerfest is the quintessential summer festival in this city. As always, the headliners are an eclectic mix of the biggest entertainers in the music industry. This year, catch artists like Imagine Dragons (6/27), J. Cole (7/3) Blake Shelton (7/6) and many more rocking the stage.

  • June 27-July 1, July 3-8
  • Henry Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

Musical Mondays*

Rain or shine, on Monday nights you can always expect live music at Lake Park. The concerts are free and open to the public.

  • Mondays, July 3-August 28
  • Lake Park, 3233 E. Kenwood Blvd.

Bastille Days

Milwaukee’s Bastille Days is one of the largest French-themed celebrations in the country. The festival honors the French holiday in which a crowd stormed Bastille, a medieval fortress, in 1789.

  • July 12-15
  • Cathedral Square Park, 520 E. Wells St.

Delafield Block Party

This festival is full of hiking, biking and shopping during the day and live music and food at night. Come with the family in the afternoon and invite the friends over for the later part of the evening.

  • July 13-14
  • Downtown city of Delafield

Dog Day at Drexel

Finally, your favorite furry friends can join in on the Wisconsin summer festival fun. This festival features a dock jumping, a costume contest, agility demonstrations and pet products.

  • July 13-14
  • Drexel Town Square

Cudahy Lions Sweet AppleWood Festival

A truly Wisconsin festival, it offers daily meat and booze raffles, a Neil Diamond tribute singer and Polka Mass all at Cudahy Park.

  • July 20-22
  • Cudahy Park, 3000 E. Ramsey Ave.

Gallery Day and Night

This two-day art event welcomes art enthusiast of all levels to admire art in venues around Downtown Milwaukee.

  • July 20-July 21
  • Businesses around the Third Ward

Festa Italiana

Like many other ethnic festivals of their kind in Milwaukee, Festa Italiana is the largest Italian fest in the country. Play the traditional Italian game of bocce, compete to become Italian Idol or join in a parade led by the classic wooden character, Pinocchio.

  • July 20-22
  • Henry Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

Ayre in the Square*

Located in the Third Ward, this weekly music set is on the chill side. Sit back and enjoy music genres from soul to jazz.

  • July 20-August 31
  • Catalano Square, 147 N. Broadway Ave.

Croatian Fest

If you’re looking for a meatlover’s paradise, then head on over to Croatian Fest. They’ve got roasted lamb, pork and chicken, sold by the pound at this free festival.

  • Saturday, July 21
  • Croatian Park, 9100 S. 76th St., Franklin

Milwaukee Firkin Beer Festival

A firkin is a small barrel of beer that is typically one-fourth the size of a full barrel. Firkin are highlighted at the Milwaukee Firkin Beer Festival with over 50 featured for tasting.

  • Saturday, July 21
  • Cathedral Square Park, 520 E. Wells St.

Port Washington Fish Day

You won’t want to miss the world’s largest one-day outdoor fish fry. The festival also features a carnival, arts and crafts, a classic car show, fireworks and a parade to make this family day as American as possible.

  • Saturday, July 21
  • Port Washington, Wisconsin Harbor

Armenian Fest

This free festival shows off the Armenian culture with Kebobs, traditional dancers and other Armenian traditions.

  • Sunday, July 22
  • Armenian Orthodox Church, 785 W. Layton Ave., Greenfield

Vans Warped Tour

An era comes to an end this summer with Warped Tour going on its last full country tour. Each summer since 1995, punk rock bands have toured the nation to rock out to crowds full of mainly teenagers. This year the lineup includes 3OH!3, All Time Low and Asking Alexandra as some of the headliners.

  • Monday, July 23
  • Henry Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

Riverwest 24

Biker or not, a 24-hour bike race sounds intimidating, but the Riverwest 24 is more like a party. Participants compete to complete the most 4.6 mile laps around Riverwest while stopping at checkpoint for bonus points along the way. Registration is $24/rider.

  • July 27-28 7 p.m.-7 p.m.
  • 2600 Block of N Pierce St. 

German Fest

German Fest is another celebration of a culture with deep roots in Milwaukee. During the last weekend in July, guest can swing by the German Fest Cultural Pavilion to view German inventions like computers, televisions, automobiles and other significant discoveries. Guest also have the chance to try traditional German food or go on a German Heritage Walking Tour.

  • July 27-July 29
  • Henry Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

Brady Street Festival

With four fun stages of live entertainment, Brady Street Festival is the place to be. From Yoga to local bands to drag queens, this street festival is packing a spunky lineup.

  • Saturday, July 28, 11 a.m.–midnight
  • Brady Street between Van Buren Street and Farwell Ave.

Milwaukee Brewfest

Milwaukee Brewfest is back for their ninth year. This year, they’re welcoming 100 breweries that will serve samples of craft beer, ciders and meads.

  • Saturday, July 28
  • Old Coast Guard Pavilion Park, 2420 S. Lincoln Memorial Dr.

Milwaukee Comedy Fest

If you’re looking for a laugh, the Milwaukee Comedy Fest is the place for you. While a lineup has yet be announced, there’s still time to submit a comedy video for a chance to perform alongside some of Milwaukee’s best.

  • August 1-5
  • Various Locations

Wisconsin State Fair

Do you prefer your food deep fried or on a stick? Or if you’re more of a cream puff fan, those are also available at the State Fair. From over-the-top food items to prize-winning farm animals to rides, the fair has everything. The musical lineup this year includes Alice Cooper (August 3) Why Don’t We (August 7), TLC (August 10) and many more.

  • August 2-12
  • Wisconsin State Fair Park Grounds, 640 S. 84th St.

Center Street Daze

Center Street Daze is known for its traditions. For 20 years, the street festival has been held in the vibrant Riverwest neighborhood. The 21st year is no different, and traditions like the Pushcart Race and Classic Car Show are returning as well.

  • Saturday, August 4
  • North Avenue between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. and 7th St.

Puerto Rican Family Festival

With plenty of family activities, music, food, dance and a home run derby competition, this festival has plenty to do. Milwaukee’s second-largest group of Latin Americans are from “La Isla del Encanto.”

  • Sunday, August 5
  • Humboldt Park, 3000 S. Howell Ave.

Irish Fest

It’s the world’s largest celebration of Celtic culture, and it’s right here in Milwaukee. Enjoy Irish food and drinks, Celtic crafts, dancers and sporting events.

  • August 16-19
  • Henry Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

India Fest

Bollywood or Bay View? India Fest has plenty of activities to make your day worthwhile including “India Idol,” a talent show and lots of yummy food.

  • Saturday, August 18
  • Humboldt Park, 3000 S. Howell Ave.

Milwaukee Punk Fest 8

MKE Punk Fest is back for its eighth year. Local bands, solo artist and comedians will perform over an epic four-day festival.

  • August 23-26, $12 for weekend pass
  • Various locations

Mexican Fiesta

Although the ethnic festival season is coming to an end by this point, the party is not over. Mexican Fiesta invites guest to celebrate Mexico’s expansive history, art, music and food.

  • August 24-26
  • Henry Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

Indian Summer Festival

The Circle of Art exhibit at Indian Summer Festival showcases the history and culture of Native Americans. You won’t want to miss the beautiful artwork and the Yellow Bird Apache Dance.

  • September 7-9
  •  Henry Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

Tosa Fest

From a camel and petting zoo to live music with local headliners Sam Llanas, King Solomon and the WhiskeyBelles, Tosa Fest has something for everyone.

  • September 7-8
  • Downtown Wauwatosa Village

Bay View Bash

Bay View Bash is back again to celebrate the south side neighborhood. With two stages of music, crafts vendors and more, this is a block party you don’t want to miss.

  • Saturday, September 15
  • Potter and Clement on Kinnickinnic Ave.

Doors Open Milwaukee

Get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at some of Milwaukee’s iconic, historic buildings. Tour more than 150 buildings throughout Milwaukee and see them in a way you’ve never seen them before.

  • September 22-23
  • Various locations

Fromm Petfest

If humans can have summer festivals, then our pets can too. Petfest is a fun, pet-friendly festival with attractions and activities specifically for our furry friends.

  • September 22, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Henry Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

Milwaukee Film Festival

The Milwaukee film scene is constantly growing. Each year, the festival gets bigger and better, so don’t miss your chance to catch an array of feature films and short films made by filmmakers from near and far.

  • October 18-November 1
  • Various locations