Every Kind of Festival in Milwaukee This Summer

Milwaukee is known as the “City of Festivals” for good reason. Celebrate the wide variety of cultures in our city while enjoying food, drinks and plenty of music.


This story is part of our Summer Guide from the June Issue of Milwaukee Magazine. To read our full guide to summer fun, order your copy today!


Ethnic Festivals 

1. Tosa Greek Fest Opa

JUNE 10-12 | SAINTS CONSTANTINE & HELEN GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH

This festival’s greeting is the mouth-watering scent of charcoal-roasted chickens – get one before they’re gone.

2. Armenian Fest

JULY 17 | ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST ARMENIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

What started as a casual summer picnic for sharing family recipes is now a full-fledged fest with traditional music and dancing.

Armenian Fest; Photo courtesy of St. John the Baptist Armenian Orthodox Church

 

 

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3. Mexican Fiesta

AUG. 26-28 | HENRY MAIER FESTIVAL PARK

This is the one with the tacos … and the burritos, pastelillos and raspados (shaved ice), making it arguably the tastiest of the Summerfest grounds’ ethnic festivals.

Mexican Fiesta; Photo by Visit Milwaukee

Music Festivals 

4. Summer Soulstice Music Festival

JUNE 18 | 1531 N. FARWELL AVE.

A musical block party to mark the summer solstice on Milwaukee’s East Side. Expect local bands, tons of dancing and good eats.

Summer Soulstice; Photo courtesy of the East Side Business Improvement District

5. Sad Summer Festival

AUG. 5 | THE RAVE/EAGLES BALLROOM

Not to be confused with Summerfest. This one’s for the ’90s kids – or anyone who loves pop-punk music and emo vibes. 

6. Fresh Coast Jazz Festival

AUG. 26-27 | THE PABST THEATER

This fest brings world-class talent to Milwaukee for a jazz showcase. Hitmaker Adam Hawley is headlining alongside hometown all-star Marcus Adams.

Adam Hawley; Photo courtesy of Fresh Coast Jazz Festival

Food & Drink Festivals 

7. Cedarburg Strawberry Festival

JUNE 25-26 | DOWNTOWN CEDARBURG   

Start your visit with a slice of shortcake (topped with a mountain of whipped cream), then make your way to the strawberry shandy and wine. Yum!

Cedarburg’s Strawberry Festival; Photo courtesy of Cedarburg Strawberry Festival

8. Milwaukee Brewfest

July 30 | MCKINLEY PARK 

A hot summer day, a welcomed lake breeze and a cold beer. Tickets get you unlimited pours from the 100+ breweries repped at the event.

9. The Bloody Mary Festival

Aug. 20 | FISERV FORUM PLAZA 

Take your civic duty seriously and get your tastings in because by the festival’s end, you’ll be casting a vote for the title of “Best Bloody Mary in Wisconsin.”

Bloody Mary Fest; Photo courtesy of the Deer District

Street Festivals 

10. Locust Street Festival of Music and Art Alternatives

JUNE 12 | RIVERWEST

We originally included Locust Street Festival in our Summer Guide (you will see it in the June issue), but it was unfortunately, canceled after our issue went to press. But that won’t stop the Riverwest community from celebrating this summer! Read our guide to alternatives, here

11. Brady Street Festival

JULY 30 | BRADY STREET  

This one’s been running since
the ’70s. Stretching across nine blocks of Brady, the spotlight’s on new bars and restaurants, area shops and Milwaukee bands.

Brady Street Festival; Photo by Dan Profio

12. Center Street Daze Festival

AUG. 13 | CENTER STREET

A Riverwest favorite for its community-oriented events. The pushcart race and classic car show are just a couple of the beloved traditions.

Center Street Daze Festival; Photo courtesy of Center Street Daze Festival

And More

13. Water Lantern Festival 

JUNE 11 | VETERANS PARK

Personalize your lantern then release it with hundreds of others to light the lake. They’re made with rice paper, wood and reusable LED candles – all of which is cleaned up, along with other litter. 

14. Milwaukee Dragon Boat Festival

AUG. 13 | LAKESHORE STATE PARK

Come for the dragon boat races, stay for the celebration of Chinese culture and tradition, including traditional dance, folk music and martial arts.

Dragon Boat Festival; Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Chinese Community Center

15. Art & Chalk Fest

AUG. 20-21 | MUSEUM OF WISCONSIN ART

Glass blowing, plein air painting, ceramics and, of course, chalk art are display at this celebration of live art. Your memento will be a festival t-shirt, screen printed right in front of you.  


 

This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s June Summer Guide issue.

Find it on newsstands or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop

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Allison Garcia is the Digital Editor for Milwaukee Magazine.