8 Things to Do This Weekend: July 18-21

Milwaukee summer in two words? Festival Season.


Waukesha County Fair

The summer is zooming by, and fair season is now upon us. The Waukesha County Fair runs Wednesday, July 17 through Sunday, July 21 at various times at the Waukesha County Expo Grounds (1000 Northview Rd.). In addition to deliciously guilty fried foods and entertaining games and activities, there is also four stages with live music, including Muddfest on Saturday. There are also several attractions and local vendors, so this local fair can definitely take up at least an entire fun day.

Waukesha County Fair; photo by Rebecca Bauer


Garfield Days – Jazz, Blues, Gospel & Arts Festival

A neighborhood celebration and festival all in one. The free 22nd annual Garfield’s 502 Festival takes place on Saturday, July 20 from noon to 8 p.m. on Garfield Ave. from King Dr. to 7th St. and  at Garfield’s 502 (502 W Garfield Ave.). Listen to the various live entertainers playing blues, jazz and gospel music. Of course, there will also be delectable soul and comfort food that is a must-try.

Festa Italiana

Ciao, Milwaukee! The Milwaukee favorite festival returns for yet another Italian-filled weekend. Festa Italiana runs from Friday, July 19 through Sunday, July 21 during various times at the Summerfest grounds (200 N Harbor Dr.). Of course all the classic Festa Italiana staples will return, but new things to look forward to this year include headlining performers KC and The Sunshine Band, a new Dating Game and even a ‘Lady Gaga’ as one of Festa’s “Italian Idols.” Tickets are $10 online or $13 at the door for adult general admission.

Photo courtesy of Festa Italiana.

Port Fish Day

A fun-filled fish festival for a cause. The annual Port Fish Day returns on Saturday, July 20 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Port Washington Marina (106 N Lake St., Port Washington). The 8k Run & 2 mile Fun Run/Walk kick off the event at 8a.m. and then at 10a.m., the festival grounds open to all for free admission. The parade takes place right away at 10a.m. and then for the rest of the day, wander through the grounds to explore the fishy food, the Classic Car Show, live music and even helicopter rides.

Armenian Fest

Whether or not you’re Armenian, it’s always fun to celebrate. Armenian Fest returns on Sunday, July 21 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the grounds of St. John the Baptist Armenian Orthodox Church (7825 W Layton Ave.). Come hungry, because the menu includes delicacies such as hicken kebob, beef kebob and lulah kebob, cheese and spinach burek, lahmajoun, tabouleh and more. A group of the Hamazkayin Sardarabad Dance Ensemble of Chicago will also perform selected dances.

Photo courtesy of Armenian Fest

Croatian Fest

When in doubt, festival it out. The annual Croatian Fest takes place on Saturday, July 20 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. at Croatian Park (9100 S 76th St.). Dive into Croatian culture with traditional foods including rotisserie meats and baked goods like palacinka (crepes). Other events include a Croatian Cultural Program, a Catholic Croatian Mass and live Croatian music all day by Rakija Bend.


Gallery Night and Day

If you have somehow not yet been to this triannual event, it’s time to reconsider. Gallery Night and Day hops around downtown Milwaukee on Friday, July 19 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, July 20 from 10a.m. to 4 p.m. The event spans over four neighborhoods in Milwaukee: East Town, the Historic Third Ward, Walker’s Point/South and Around Town. You can view all the participants and choose which artists you would like to see, you can map it out with the locations, or you can just ride wherever The Hop drops you off. 

Dog Friendly

Dog Days at Third Space

Love beer? Love dogs? Combine the two, and it makes for a fun Sunday. Third Space’s dog-friendly patio (1505 W St Paul Ave.) will add a Maxie’s Pop Up to their beer garden for Dog Days on Sunday, July 21 from noon to 7 p.m. In addition to human food from Maxie’s, Leashless Lab will also be available to treat your pip. Cycle Dog will also be present to sell limited edition dog merchandise along. Lastly, Milwaukee Vet Clinic can answer any health questions about your dogs and Rescue Gang will come along with adaptable dogs.

Third Space Brewing Patio
Photo courtesy of Third Space Brewing


Jimmy Buffet at Alpine Valley

Nothing really screams summer like Jimmy Buffet and Alpine Valley. Experience both with Jimmy Buffet performing on Saturday, July 20 at 8 p.m. at Alpine Valley (2699 County Road D,
East Troy). If you’d like to have a true summer experience and sip on a cold brewski before the concert, you can meet other tailgaters at Who’s on Third (1007 N Old World 3rd St.) at 2 p.m. for a bus ride up with fellow concert-goers. 




Caroline Blair is a digital marketing intern for Milwaukee Magazine. She just finished her sophomore year at Syracuse University studying magazine journalism and marketing. She grew up in Milwaukee and is excited to be spending her summer here interning at Milwaukee Magazine.