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The City of Festivals lives up to its name this month.

Wisconsin State Fair

Aug. 2-12
Wisconsin State Fair Park

Our fair state’s State Fair, which attracts more than a million people each year, has something for everyone: concerts, carnival rides, racing pigs, a staggering array of infomercial products and enough fried food to power a small city.

Black Arts Fest

Aug. 4
Henry Maier Festival Park

Traditional African and modern African-American cultures collide at this inaugural festival. Soak in R&B and Motown sounds, witness the evolution of traditional and modern dance styles, and wander through a marketplace packed with jewelry, accessories and handcarved wood sculptures.

Wisconsin State Fair Original Cream Puffs photo by Kenny Yoo.

Center Street Daze

Aug. 4
Center Street between Holton and Humboldt

FREE — Think of it as one of the city’s best block parties. This long-running street fest boasts more than 30 bands playing across eight stages, a classic car show and a pushcart race.

Firefly Art Fair

Aug. 4-5
Kneeland-Walker House

You can admire – or buy – original art while soaking up some suburban sun this weekend when the Wauwatosa Historical Society invites more than 80 jury-selected artists to sell their work amid the gardens of the Kneeland-Walker House, 7406 Hillcrest Dr. Then stroll inside the 1890 Victorian to ooh and aah over its opulent interior.

Photo courtesy of Wauwatosa Historical Society

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Concours d’Elegance

Aug. 4-5
Veterans Park

It’s exactly like the Westminster Kennel Club – just sub in exhaustively maintained vintage Italian Ferraris for impeccably groomed Scottish terriers. Automobile enthusiasts gather on the lakefront for a two-day showcase of classic luxury and sports vehicles (pre-1975 cars only) that includes a Saturday-night social at the Milwaukee Club and an opportunity to get behind the wheel for a Sunday drive.

Dream Together Gala

Aug. 10
Discovery World

Once a year, the St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care hosts a black-tie gala to raise funds for its patients. The event features auctions, raffles and a dinner catered by Bartolotta Restaurant Group.

The Avett Brothers

The Avett Brothers

Aug. 11-12
Riverside Theater

The thrice-Grammy nominated indie-pop-folk-rock fusion group headlines two consecutive nights at the Riverside Theater. Come for the smooth, synchronous twin lead vocals from the titular Brothers Avett – Scott and Seth – but stay for the ever-rotating support of banjos, stand-up basses, harmonicas, fiddles and kazoos.

Comedian Pete Lee

Aug. 11
The Northern Lights Theater

Janesville native Pete Lee brings his winning stand-up comic sensibilities to Potawatomi for a Saturday night doubleheader. Lee has appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” and NBC’s “Last Comic Standing”; he also starred in a half-hour special for Comedy Central in 2008.

Milwaukee Irish Fest

Aug. 16-19
Henry Maier Festival Park

Scrounge up some spuds, sip a tipple of whiskey at the Jameson Lounge and spend a day exploring the world’s largest Irish cultural festival. Fan favorite bands like Gaelic Storm and We Banjo 3 will be returning again this year.

Yacht Rock Revue

Aug. 19
Turner Hall

Let the breezy melodies of songs by ’70s rockers like Steely Dan, Toto and Hall & Oates – played by this tribute act – carry you away to a sun-soaked island where the water’s warm, the drinks are cold and yacht rock never got old.

Hip-Hop Week MKE

Aug. 20-26
Multiple venues

In 2017, hip-hop became America’s most-listened-to genre, according to Nielsen Music, so it’s only fitting that Milwaukee would inaugurate a hip-hop festival this year. Spearheaded by Milwaukee Ald. Khalif Rainey, Hip-Hop Week MKE seeks to spark a dialogue in the community via music.

Klassik. Photo by Samer Ghani.

Mexican Fiesta. Photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee.

Mexican Fiesta

Aug. 24-26
Henry Maier Festival Park

Follow the inviting mariachi sounds to this three-day fiesta celebrating everything south of the border. The event doubles as a fundraiser to provide scholarship aid for young Hispanic men and women seeking continued education, so attendees can rest easy knowing the morning-after cerveza-and-tequila headache was all for a good cause.

Tyanna Buie: Im•Positioned

Aug. 26-Nov. 25
Lynden Sculpture Garden

Multidisciplinary artist and 2012 Nohl Fellow Tyanna Buie kicks off the opening of her solo exhibition – which runs through Nov. 25 at the sculpture garden – with a conversation, inviting artists-in-residence at Lynden to discuss their work with her.

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Rebecca Makkai

Aug. 28
Boswell Book Company

If you’re a sucker for bittersweet novels about the transformative power of friendship, you’ll want to pick up a copy of Rebecca Makkai’s fourth and latest work, The Great Believers. The author will chat with “Lake Effect” host Mitch Teich during her appearance at Boswell.


This monthly agenda appears in the August 2018 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning July 30th, or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

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