2019 Milwaukee Festival Guide

In Milwaukee we try to enjoy our very short summer, so we have to pack all the exciting events into just a few months. Here’s a list of over 60 festivals going on this summer that you absolutely have to attend. So clear your calendars, because this list is a doozy.

* indicates a recurring event.


Milwaukee Makers Market

May 19-Dec. 15 *Monthly*
Various locations

Milwaukee Makers Market is a monthly art and craft fair comprising local artists, designers and performance artists.

Bike Night Concert Series

May 9-Sept. 26 *Every Thursday*
Harley Davidson Museum, 400 W. Canal St.

Grab your Harleys to join other riders for Thursdays full of live music, food and drink specials.

Canni Fest

May 18
The Cooperage, 822 S. Water St.

Canni Fest is a celebration of Wisconsin’s hemp and cannabis industry. The festival will feature a lineup of local artists and a marketplace to shop for hemp products from local business.

Family Kite Festival

May 25-26
Veterans Park, 1010 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr.

Enjoy amazing, GIGANTIC works of art flying in the sky for the Kite Festival. Make sure to get a front row seat to view all 500 beautiful kites launch into the air. This is a show that’ll amaze the whole family.

Downtown Dining Week

May 30-June 6
Various locations

If you’re on a budget and want to have nice meal, Downtown Dining Week lets you taste some of the top restaurants downtown at a discount. For eight days, local eateries will have lunch for $12.50 and $25 or $35 dinners.

Jazz in the Park

May 30-Aug. 29 *Every Thursday*
Cathedral Square Park, 520 E. Wells St.

Break out your picnic blankets and chairs to grab a spot on the lawn while enjoying a free concert every Thursday evening. Jazz in the Park caters to a multitude of music genres you’re sure to enjoy.

Jazz in the Park; photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee


Scottish Fest- Milwaukee Highland Games

June 1
Hart Park, 6800 W. State St.

With bagpipe bands and great Scottish food, this annual Scottish festival will be something the entire family will enjoy.

Brewtown Rumble

June 2
Fuel Café, 630 S. 5th St.

Calling all riders and motorcycle enthusiasts. If you have a bike, bring it. The rumble has live music, great food and an ample number of vintage motorcycles.

UPAF Ride for the Arts

June 2
Various locations in Downtown Milwaukee

This is Wisconsin’s largest one-day recreational bike ride, with proceeds benefiting the arts foundation. Break out your bike and get peddling!

Photo courtesy of UPAF

Chill on the Hill

June 4-Aug. 27, *Every Tuesday*
Humboldt Park, 3000 S. Howell Ave.

Bring a blanket and some snacks, and chill on the hill. This weekly concert series is a summer staple in Milwaukee.


June 6-9
Henry W. Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

Come celebrate the 50th anniversary of LGBTQ liberation at Pride Milwaukee. The UWM LGBT Resource Center is this year’s beneficiary, so be sure to go and donate to help future generations of LGBT youth.

Pridefest; photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee

Water Lantern Festival

June 8
Veterans Park, 1010 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr.

Set your hopes, dreams and wishes afloat on Lake Michigan via a water lantern you get to personalize. These eco-friendly lanterns will light up the lake and give spectacular views you’ll never forget.

Firkin Fest

June 8
Cathedral Square Park, 520 E. Wells St.

Get your fill of craft beers, conditioned ales (firkins) and other brew at this year’s Firkin Fest.

Firkin Fest 2018
Firkin Fest 2018

Locust Street Festival of Music & Art

June 9
Locust Street

A Beer Run, six stages of live music and an array of street foods and local artists, the Locust Street Festival is one you don’t want to miss.

Tosa Tonight

June 12- Aug. 21 *Select Wednesdays*
Hart Park, 6800 W. State St.

Head to Tosa Village for a series of live concerts featuring local artists.

Washington Park Wednesdays

June 12-Aug. 21 *Every Wednesday*
Washington Park, 1859 N. 40th St.

This free mid-week concert series feature a range of local artists under the park’s gorgeous band shell.

NEWaukee Night Market

June 12, July 10, Aug. 14, Sept. 11
Downtown Milwaukee, W. Wisconsin Ave. 

This lively street festival features local restaurants, food trucks and artists. Come celebrate our great city with friends and family while supporting local business.

NEWaukee Night Market
NEWaukee Night Market

River Rhythms

June 12-Aug. 28 *Every Wednesday*
Pere Marquette Park, 900 N. Plankinton Ave.

Visit some of the best local talent and artist at the free outdoor concert series ever Wednesday night.

Polish Fest

June 14-16
Henry W. Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

Folk artists, vodka tastings and more fun activities await at this year’s Polish Fest. Come celebrate and learn more about Polish culture.

Polish Fest; photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee


June 19
Dr. Martin Luther King Dr.

Juneteenth Day commemorates emancipation in the United States. This celebratory street festival hosts multitudes of ethnic performances, food and culture to learn about and enjoy.

Juneteenth; photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee

Wonderful Wednesdays

June 19- Aug. 14 *Select Wednesdays*
Lake Park, 2975 N. Lake Park Rd.

Wonderful Wednesdays is a series of eight concerts for children and their families, and it happens rain or shine.

Hart Fest

June 21-22
Hart Park, 6800 W. State St.

Hart Fest aims to engage the Wauwatosa community, offering live entertainment, a kids’ area and skateboard demos.

Greek Fest

June 21-23
State Fair Park, 640 S. 84th St.

Traditional gyros, games and rides, and lots of Greek music and dancers will be available for your enjoyment.

Lakefront Festival of Art

June 21-23
Milwaukee Art Museum, 700 N. Art Museum Dr.

The Lakefront Festival of Art celebrates all things art, from sculptures to paintings toclothing. There will be music, food, and arts and crafts for the entire family, and even finger painting for the little ones.

Lakefront Festival of Art; photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee

Summer Soulstice Music Festival

June 22
E. North Ave

Milwaukee’s biggest musical block party showcases local bands and visual artists.

Milwaukee Taco Fest

June 22
Henry W. Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

All the tacos and cervezas (beers) your heart can handle.

World of Beer Festival

June 22
Bavarian Bierhaus, 700 W. Lexington Blvd.

Enjoy world-class beer and hand-crafted brews at this fun festival.

Strawberry Festival

June 22-23

Enjoy all things strawberry including the “Original” Strawberry Brat.

Bloody Mary Festival

June 22-23
Fiserv Forum Plaza, 1111 N. Vel R Phillips Ave.

Celebrate the most beloved brunch cocktail the right way — festival style. There will be more bloody marys than you can drink, incredible garnishes and music to get the festival rocking.

Garlic Fest

June 23
Braise, 1101 S. 2nd St.

Celebrate all thing garlic, and don’t miss Braise’s Green Garlic Bloody Mary!


June 26-30, July 2-7
Henry W. Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

The World’s Largest Music Festival happens every year right in our backyard. Amazing mainstream artists flock to our city to perform. Grab your tickets and hop from stage to stage.

Summerfest; photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee


Musical Mondays

July 8-Aug. 26 *Every Monday*
Lake Park, 2975 N. Lake Park Rd.

Enjoy the 22nd season of Musical Mondays in gorgeous Lake Park.

Bastille Days

June 11-14
Cathedral Square Park, 520 E. Wells St.

One of the nation’s largest French-themed street festivals happens here every year. Enjoy beignets, baguettes, wine and more. Not to mention the 43-foot Eiffel Tower replica, which will make you feel like you’re really in Paris.

Bastille Days; photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee

Asia Fest

July 12-14
Wisconsin State Fair Park, 640 S. 84th St.

Take a trip to Asia with traditional foods, clothing and performance. You’ll be immersed in Asian culture.

African Cultural Festival

July 13
Brown Deer Park, 7835 N. Green Bay Ave.

Dive into African culture with delicious ethnic food, dancing and traditional African drum performances.

Gallery Night and Day

July 19-20
Historic Third Ward

Gallery Night and Day showcases the Third Ward’s galleries and artists, museums and more.

Festa Italiana

July 19-21
Henry W. Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

Another great ethnic festival to showcase Milwaukee’s diverse citizens. Tradition Italian food and fun games of bocce will be featured.

Gondola ride with flag throwers. Photo courtesy of Festa Italiana.

Garfield Avenue Festival

July 20
Garfield Avenue

Blues, jazz and gospel music will be played by live entertainers at Garfield Days this year. Make sure to grab soul and comfort food from one of the hundreds of vendors there.

Port Fish Day

July 20
Port Washington

Four music stages and as much fish and chips as you can stomach makes this fest the perfect summer fish fry.

Croatian Fest

July 20
Croatian Park, 9100 S. 76th St.

Dive into Croatian culture with live music and traditional foods including rotisserie meats and baked goods like palacinka (crepes).

Armenian Fest

July 21
St. John Baptist Armenian Church, 7825 W. Layton Ave.

Armenian Fest celebrates over 3,000 years of heritage, food and tradition. Get a taste of traditional music, food and dancing while indulging in a new world of culture.

German Fest

July 26-28
Henry W. Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

Get your Deutsche on at this year’s German fest. Beer, brats and schnitzel will be waiting for you.

German Fest; photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee

Riverwest 24

July 26-27
Throughout Riverwest

Riverwest 24 is the day to break out your bike in order to cultivate a sense of togetherness in the Riverwest community. The 24-hour event is open to all of Milwaukee, whether you’re riding, volunteering or simply cheering as a bystander. Come out to support biking in urban communities.

Brady Street Festival

July 27
Brady Street

Live music, food trucks and street art galore! Brady Street Festival is one you don’t want to miss.

Milwaukee Brewfest

July 27
McKinley Park, 1750 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr.

The 10th annual Brewfest will feature brew, of course, musical performances, silent auctions and games.

Milwaukee Air & Water Show

July 27-28
Bradford and McKinley Beach, 2400 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr.

Free and fun for the family, enjoy aerial and water-based acrobatics on our beautiful lakefront.

Air and Water Show; photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee

Milwaukee Comedy Festival

July 31-Aug. 4
Various Locations

Take your family and friends to this festival of laughs featuring comedians from around the country.


Wisconsin State Fair

Aug. 1-11
Henry W. Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

Wisconsin State Fair; photo by Caroline Blair

The Wisconsin State Fair is one of the most anticipated events we have. There’s live performances, animals to pet and more fair food than you could possibly eat.

Urban Island Beach Party

August 2
Lakeshore State Park, 500 N. Harbor Dr.

Grab your Hawaiian shirts, because this fundraiser is also a party. Newaukee’s Urban Island Beach Party will be filled with live music, kayaking, dancing, food and drinks, with proceeds going to Friends of Lakeshore State Park.

Black Arts Fest MKE

Aug. 3
Henry W. Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

This annual festival honors Black artists, culture and history. Come out to support, learn and most importantly have fun.

Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance

Aug. 3-4
Veterans Park, 1010 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr.

You’ll get the chance to witness some of the finest and most historically significant vehicles from across the U.S. along the Milwaukee lakefront.

Puerto Rican Festival

Aug. 4
Humboldt Park, 3000 S. Howell Ave.

Celebrate Puerto Rican culture, food and music in this welcoming community experience.

Dragon Boat Festival

Aug. 10
Lake Shore State Park, 500 N. Harbor Ave.

This your chance to experience Chinese culture with people in the community. Martial arts, Chinese folk music and traditional dances will bring you a greater appreciation of Chinese culture.

Dragon Boat Festival; photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee

Center Street Daze

Aug. 10
Center Street

Roam the scenic Riverwest neighborhood in this community-oriented festival that showcases local business, artists and other vendors.

Wilson Center Guitar Festival

Aug. 15-17
Sharon Lynne Wilson Center, 19805 W. Capitol Dr.

Get ready to break out your dancing shoes. New this year, the festival will expand to five different genres of music while celebrating the greatest guitarists of all time.

Irish Fest

Aug. 15-18
Henry W. Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

If you enjoy green beer and corned beef every March, then you have to partake in the world’s largest celebration of Celtic music and culture this August. Irish Fest will have tradition foods, family activities and lots of music and dancing.

Irish Fest; photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee

Zoo a la Carte

Aug. 15-18
Milwaukee County Zoo, 10001 W. Bluemound Rd.

Eat from your favorite local restaurants, enjoy music from live bands and of course look at the animals. This is a family-friendly event everyone will love.


Aug. 17
Humboldt Park, 300 S. Howell Ave.

Take your taste buds on a journey to India. This festival is celebratory of Indian culture, from the music and dances to traditional Indian attire.

Mexican Fiesta

Aug. 23-25
Henry W. Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

This truly authentic festival will give you a taste of Hispanic and Mexican culture like no other. Mexico’s rich history in art, music, food and dance will be enjoyable for the entire family.

Mexican Fiesta; photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee

Milwaukee Fringe Festival

Aug. 23-25
Various Locations

Like the Edinburgh-based fest of the same name, the Milwaukee Fringe Festival showcases Milwaukee’s theater, art and dance artists.

MKE Punk Fest

Aug. 24-Sep. 9
Various locations

MKE Punk Fest is a multi-day festival in honor of all things punk — especially music. The festival will also feature various other genres of music, including grunge and alternative.

Fresh Coast Jazz Festival

Aug. 29- Sept. 1
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 929 N. Water St.

Located on the beautiful coast of Lake Michigan, the Fresh Coast Jazz Festival will let you unwind as you enjoy the dulcet tones of jazz music.

Third Ward Art Festival

Aug. 31-Sept. 1
Historic Third Ward

This is yet another awesome street festival featuring artists of all kinds showcasing their work.

Milwaukee Rally

Aug. 29-Sept. 2
Various locations

Grab your motorcycle gear and ride to one of the most rocking festivals of the summer. Food, drinks and live entertainment will be available.



Sept. 6-7
Hart Park, 6800 W. State St,

Tosafest is another community-based festival that aims to bring people together. There will be two days filled with live music, food and activities for the whole family.

Harbor Fest

Sept. 8
Outside the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences, 600 E. Greenfield Ave.

Harbor Fest wants to bring the community back to the harbor with a handful of fun activities. A Milwaukee Boat Parade, paddle canoes, a tour of the harbor on pontoon boats and many more water-based activities will be available for you to gain your sea legs.

Bay View Bash

Sept. 21
Between Potter and Clement on Kinnickinnic Ave.

The Bay View Bash is a community-based festival filled with live music, art, food and great people who love their community.

Bay View Bash; photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee

Fromm Petfest

Sept. 21
Henry W. Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.

Petfest is all about you and your furry friends. There will be pet-focused activities and attractions that the whole family will love.

Editor’s Note: a previous version of this story listed the wrong start date for Downtown Dining Week. It begins May 30.