2017 Milwaukee summer festivals guide
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on June 25, 2017 at 11:01 a.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.
The Milwaukee summer festival season is right around the corner, and it's time to start planning out your fun. But with seemingly a festival or live music event every weekend, it can be overwhelming to try and keep track of all the terrific options headed your way. Luckily, the OnMilwaukee summer festivals guide is here to help.
Here's what you'll be doing, where you'll be drinking, who you'll be hearing and how you'll be getting a sweet tan this summer.
Now get out there and have some Milwaukee summer fun!
Bay View Art in the Park
Venture to Bay View every second Saturday of the month from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for Art in the Park. This monthly outdoor arts festival was created to celebrate local artists and help create connections to their community, featuring work from over 50 rotating artisans throughout Milwaukee. Enjoy the beauty of the park, delicious food and live music at Bay View Art in the Park!
Jazz in the Park
Cathedral Square Park
June 1-Aug. 31
Every Thursday happy hour starts at 5 p.m. and music kicks off at 6 and runs until 9. Drinks will be available throughout various tents at the festival, however it is asked that there are no carry-ins. While jazz may get top billing in the title, the lineup for the weekly summer concert event – newly sponsored this year by Educators Credit Union – offers plenty of tuneful variety from across genres and across the globe, from funk to R&B, local favorites (Extra Crispy Brass Band, Streetlife) to a nine-piece group from Barcelona (Alma Afrobeat Ensemble).
Chill on the Hill
June 6-Aug. 29
Hosted as always at Humboldt Park, Chill on the Hill will welcome over 20 bands over the course of 12 weeks, as well as local food vendors – last year's list included Bay View eateries like Hue, Tenuta's and more – and community partners. And if that's not enough chilling on the hill for you, this year's edition also features two movie screenings, "The LEGO Batman Movie" and the Oscar-winning "La La Land."
Pere Marquette Park
June 14-Aug. 30
Westown is the place to be on Wednesday nights this summer! River Rhythms is a free, outdoor summer concert event which hosts some of the finest local talent Milwaukee has to offer – this year including Chicken Wire Empire, De La Buena, King Solomon and more.
NEWaukee Night Markets
June 14, July 12, Aug. 16 and Sept. 13
Wisconsin Ave. between 2nd and 4th Streets
NEWaukee's Night Market is a collision of all Milwaukee has to offer. The Night Market is a free, open-air market that offers a wide variety of experiences for people of all backgrounds and ages. The Night Market features a mash up of art, craft and food vendors, live art creation, local music and a beer garden!
Wisconsin State Fair Park
There's a reason why Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church has been putting on its annual Greek Fest for over 50 years. Milwaukeeans can't get enough gyros, lamb and chicken roasted on a spit. Throw in some family fun and carnival rides, and it's a party! Opa!
Cedarburg Strawberry Festival
Historic Downtown Cedarburg
Summer is the time for fresh berries – and what better berry than the strawberry? Sample some strawberry blush wine and chicken strawberry wraps, get sugared up at the strawberry shortcake eating competition and strawberry bubblegum blowing contest, or settle in for the Sunday morning strawberry pancake breakfast. You'll satisfy your strawberry cravings for a while after you've finished with this festival! There will also be live music, pony rides, a petting zoo and the CedarQuacker 500 where 500 rubber duckies will be released into a creek.
East North Avenue
Join in on the fun of celebrating the summer solstice – Milwaukee style! This East Side is one of the largest free showcases for the region's top music acts – this year including Webster X, Whips and more – visual artists, creation stations, local chefs and so much more! Don't worry, the Summer Soulstice is family-friendly, so you can bring the kids along, too.
South 2nd Street
Come celebrate all things garlic! Various restaurants around Walker's Point will be offering their favorite garlic cuisine outside Braise Restaurant on South 2nd Street. In true Milwaukee spirit, there will be drinks from local distilleries, breweries and Braise Green Garlic Bloody Marys, as well as live music, a DJ, games and local artisans. Just maybe bring an after-festival mint.
Henry Maier Festival Park
June 28-July 9 (off-day on July 3)
From rock to pop, rap to alternative, country to electronic, the world's largest music festival has something for everyone! And best of all, general admission is less than $20! In case you haven't heard, this year is the Big Gig's 50th anniversary – and they're celebrating with an all-star lineup including The Chainsmokers, two nights of Tom Petty, a whole additional festival INSIDE the main festival, Luke Bryan, Pink and more.
Burnhearts' Pabst Street Party
We know we just had a Pabst Brewery street party a few weeks ago, but this is a completely different Pabst Street Party – one that the beloved Bay View tavern has hosted for a decade this year and has graced the city with good local food, good local brews and good local bands every single time. One imagines they'll ring in ten years with style; their lineup certainly says that, with acts like AUTOMatic, Queen Hilma and more set to show.
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