What are you looking for?
If you want something exotic
Every ethnic festival has food and music, but where else can you see four royal white tigers? They are on loan for the weekend from a zoo in Poland. There’s also a youth piano competition named after Chopin and folk artists demonstrating traditional crafts.
If you want to eat
You might not be able to pronounce all the delicacies, but at least learn to say “gyro” properly (“yee-ro”) before you visit this delicious festival. Rides, music and dancing are also featured at State Fair Park.
If you want something unique
Storming the Bastille on the streets of Downtown and saying “fromage” for a pic at the 43-foot Ei el Tower replica are rites of passage here. But the international marketplace is the best attraction, with jewelry, accessories, art, home goods and more.
If you want authentic culture
The Italians take traditions seriously: a Catholic Mass, complete with a procession of patron saints; flag throwers from Florence; and daily performances by the Florentine Opera. Save your appetite for the cannoli-eating contest.
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If you want to drink
Practice saying “Prost!” before you drink your way through this festival full of German beer, wine and spirits. And think your wiener dog is a winner? Enter him in the Dachshund Derby and doggie costume contest if you’re not up for imbibing.
If you want to hear great music
Celtic rock might not be your fave, but hearing it live is totally different. Local and international performers play many styles of traditional Irish music, folk, Irish bluegrass, Americana and more, plus plenty of charming dance troupes.
If you want to dance
The Hotwheelz car and motorcycle show with classic and low-rider cars is a display like no other, but people flock to Fiesta for the salsa dancing. Demonstrations and a contest are open even for amateurs. When in doubt, swing your hips and move your feet fast.
If you want to see some art
The Circle of Art exhibit at Indian Summer Festival showcases the history and culture of Native Americans. Plenty of artwork will be for sale as well. The Yellow Bird Apache dance group is not to be missed.
June 19 marks what just might be the occasion most worth celebrating anywhere: the end of slavery in the United States. The annual festival is one of Milwaukee’s most vibrant gatherings.
Here’s how Juneteenth Day stacks up, by the numbers:
The year slavery was abolished
Years Milwaukee has celebrated the festival
People the one-day festival attracts
Blocks the celebration stretches out on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Vendors with food, health information, arts and crafts, a job fair and more
Scholarships and prizes the Miss (and Little Miss) Juneteenth Day Pageant will award to local teens
Beyond the beaten path
Any carnivore will go crazy at this free festival that features roasted lamb, pork and chicken, sold by the pound at Croatian Park in Franklin.
Kebobs aplenty, traditional dancers and more demonstrate how Armenian traditions are distinct from other Middle Eastern cultures. The free festival takes place at St. John the Baptist Armenian Orthodox Church.
Milwaukee’s second-largest group of Latin Americans are from “La Isla del Encanto.” Explore the culture at this Humboldt Park celebration with family activities, music, food and dance, in addition to a home run derby competition.
Bringing a little taste of Bollywood to Bay View, India Fest adds a fire show to its list of attractions at Humboldt Park. “India Idol” and a talent show, plus lots of great food, round out this fun, family-friendly event.
Best of the ‘Burbs: Suburban Fests
Show off your muscles in the heavy events competition, including the Scottish hammer throw, or watch ax throwing and archery demos, among other feats of skill and strength. Tosa’s Hart Park will be a sea of tartan for one day only.
The famous rotisserie chicken dinner is a big draw, but you can’t beat bingo with cash prizes and $20 unlimited carnival rides at Thiensville Village Park.
The 33rd annual event honors the humble summer fruit. You’ll find hundreds of vendors selling art and edibles.
This family-friendly festival downtown has hiking, biking and shopping during the day, live music and food at night.
Daily meat and booze raffes, a Neil Diamond tribute singer and Polka Mass on Sunday take place at Cudahy Park for this truly Wisconsin festival.
Go big or go home could be the theme of Port Fish Day, which has the world’s largest one-day outdoor fish fry. A carnival, arts and crafts, classic car show, fireworks and a parade make this family day as American as apple pie.
Even your furry friends deserve some fun in the sun. Oak Creek’s newest development, Drexel Town Square, hosts a festival with dock jumping, a costume contest, agility demonstrations and pet products.
Tosa Fest has something for everyone. From a camel and petting zoo to live music with local headliners Sam Llanas, King Solomon and the WhiskeyBelles, Tosa Fest is sure to impress.