Culture + Style

Your Guide to Weekend Festivals in Milwaukee

Clear your calendar for festival season in Milwaukee—almost every weekend, there’s a major event with live music, local and international foods and arts and culture:

PrideFest

As the largest LGBT festival in Wisconsin, PrideFest Milwaukee celebrates diversity. Enjoy the festivities and partake in the food, entertainment and marketplace.

Lakefront Festival of Art

Held at the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Lakefront Festival of Art offers something for the entire family, including live music, a wine garden and beer garden, a silent art auction, interactive activities in the children’s area, the sculpture garden and a variety of food offerings.

Polish Fest

Billed as America’s largest Polish festival, this event features everything from traditional folk dancing and the Chopin Youth Piano Competition to Polish rock bands and folk art demos. Of course, Polish foods take pride of place, and other attractions include a cultural village, marketplace and children’s stage.

milwaukee festivals
The heat is on at Summerfest. (Photo: VISIT Milwaukee)

Summerfest

For 11 days every summer, Henry Maier Festival Park is the place to be for musicfans at Summerfest. Featuring over 200 acts—typically a mix of veteran and established headline rock and pop acts, along with newer talent—Summerfest also offers a wide range of food from some of Milwaukee’s most popular restaurants, as well as four shopping marketplaces selling everything from music-themed jewelry to puppets.

Bastille Days

The free, four-day Bastille Days attracts over 250,000 visitors annually to East Town/Cathedral Square for live music, an international marketplace, chef and wine demos, French and Cajun cuisine, roaming buskers and a signature Eiffel Tower replica offering hourly light shows.

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Viva la France! (Photo: VISIT Milwaukee)

Festa Italiana

At the Festa Italiana, you can take a romantic gondola ride, play a game of bocce ball, watch the Copa Festa Italiana Futsal tournament, partake in “Italian Idol” or just enjoy one of the many free carnival rides. Classic Italian fare and wine tastings, a cannoli eating contest, and nightly fireworks round out the festivities.

German Fest

Get your Deutsch on at one of the largest German festivals in North America. There are five stages with German music, food, a cultural village, fireworks, a marketplace children’s activities.

milwaukee festivals
Cheers to German Fest. (Photo: VISIT Milwaukee)

Wisconsin State Fair

The annual Wisconsin State Fair is the state’s largest agricultural showcase, offeringgreat family entertainment at an exceptional value. The fair features such attractions as the SpinCity Amusement Ride and Game Area, 30 free stages, numerouseducational exhibits and hundreds of food and beverage options.

Irish Fest

One of the world’s largest celebrations of Irish music and culture, Milwaukee Irish Fest takes place on the third weekend in August on the shores of Lake Michigan. Expect to sample all things Irish—including food, music, crafts and whiskey.

Harley Rally

Don’t miss the biggest party of the summer over Labor Day weekend at the Harley Rally at the Harley-Davidson Museum. The rally includes live music, a Sunday ride-in bike show, miles and miles of “rolling sculptures.”

Harvest Fair

Get the family together for a day at Harvest Fair—a weekend of fall-focused activities, including live entertainment, scarecrow making and the much-anticipated pumpkin bowling.