Visit Milwaukee

Visit Milwaukee Blog

Summerfest: All For You

Share This Story:

By Zack Zupke
Creative Services Manager
VISIT Milwaukee

Quite often, the best-laid plans in life are the ones we never make. When spontaneity and luck intersect, adventure and lasting memories are often produced. A couple years ago, my wife and I went to Summerfest (the world’s largest music festival and a fixture of Milwaukee’s lakefront for the past 44 years) with no plans to see any band or performer in particular. What we found was an adventure. What we’ll always have are fond memories that can only happen at Summerfest.

Finally I figured out
But it took a long, long time
But now there's a turnabout
Maybe 'cause I'm trying

We grabbed some beers, and immediately hit Saz’s for some mozzarella marinara (if cheese had it’s own form of poetry, they’d name it mozzarella marinara). After our poetic snack, we simply strolled the massive grounds (with more than 700 bands each year, the moniker “The Big Gig” is just that) to people watch. It doesn’t get much better. Then we saw “Sister Hazel: 10 p.m.” on the Miller Lite Oasis sign. Better just got better.

There's been times, I'm so confused
All my roads, They lead to you
I just can't turn and walk away

Sister Hazel is a 5-man, southern country-rock band from Gainesville with a smattering of top 40 hits and a large, loyal fan base. It wasn’t too packed at the Oasis yet, so we hunkered down on a center-stage picnic table a couple hundred feet from the front and watched the world go by, listening to music echoing from 11 stages. 

It's hard to say what it is I see in you
Wonder if I'll always be with you

Over the years, I’ve been to all of those stages and seen my share (that’s an odd term as why would I ever see someone else’s share?) of bands. Some memories have faded, a few will always remain and a few I wish would fade, like the Club MTV Tour (Tone Loc, Paula Abdul, Was (Not Was), Milli Vanilli) when Milli or Vanilli (I could never keep them straight) left the stage in a huff during the middle of a song…and the song kept playing for a few seconds. Whitney Houston, James Taylor, America, Gavin DeGraw, Lifehouse, George Thorogood, Pat Monahan (Train’s lead singer put on one the best concerts I’ve ever seen and did some killer Zeppelin to end it), Blues Traveler, BoDeans, Chicago and Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson (I was only about 5, but I still remember a giant lightening strike just as their patented “Luckenbach, Texas” began and Waylon and Willie and the boys cleared the stage).

But words can't say, And I can't do
Enough to prove,
It's all for you

By the time Sister Hazel took the stage, the Oasis area had swelled to capacity and we were all ready – those who had planned and traveled thousands of miles and those of us who simply showed up. By the second song, we left our seats at the picnic table to dance on top of it. By the end of their set, we had a new appreciation and admiration for the band best known for their hit “All For You” (I’ll never forget how we danced and sang along) because they were no longer just Sister Hazel, that band we like. They were Sister Hazel, the band we shared a night at Summerfest with.

So, this week and the next, make plans to go to Summerfest for a night with your someone. Or, don’t plan and go for all 11 days and nights with anyone. It’s all there – food, music, beverages, entertainment and adventure. And it’s all for you.

June 27 - July 1; July 3-8 (closed Monday)
Henry Maier Festival Park
200 North Harbor Drive


Read Story | Leave A Comment

I’m In: Hope Springs Eternal

Share This Story:

By Jeannine Sherman
Director of Public Relations
VISIT Milwaukee

I’m In.

Hope Springs Eternal....or.....Getting Ready to Rock the 2012 Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole Run!


Some days, when everything is clicking, I feel like an Olympic athlete in training. I can say this with complete confidence, although I have never in my life achieved anywhere near the level of fitness required to participate in the Olympic Games. My vivid imagination fills in the blanks – it’s a motivational strategy built on self-delusion. But it works....most of the time.

When it doesn’t? When reality hits and I’ve had a long day and my muscles hurt and everyone else is heading out for a glass of Pinot and I’m super crabby because my running shorts feel like the casing on a Usinger’s sausage?  

Is that when you’ll find me face-first in a mound of fried cheese curds, mainlining sugar in the form of an extra-thick, Kopps chocolate shake?

Depends on the day.

Need I reiterate? I am only an Olympic athlete in my mind.

BUT! Most days, for most of the past few months, along with thousands of people from all across the country, I’ve been hitting the pavement with a goal in mind:

The 2012 Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole Run.

Last year I ran in the inaugural event, the quarter-marathon distance. This year, I’m shooting for the whole enchilada: the half-marathon (they’ve got a new 5k route this year as well if you’ve got more common sense than I do). There’s something amazing about getting to run right down the middle of the Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge with the wind at your back and Lake Michigan at your side. You get a great view of downtown, and Summerfest, the World’s Largest Music Festival, too. I’m going to picture myself at the Fest, dancing to the Foo Fighters, which will take my mind off all the sweating, puffing and those God-awful, constricting running shorts.

I’m looking forward to rocking out to live music along the way – a new and cool addition this year, and receiving my just rewards for crossing the finish line: a medal, a ticket to Summerfest, a cool T-shirt that I will wear to impress my friends with my athletic prowess AND the opportunity to warm up for the largest music festival on the planet with a Post-Race Party, featuring live music, food and beverages on the Festival grounds.

Better yet? I get to help people who need it. Proceeds from the Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole Run will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin.

If you’re heading out to the lakefront this Saturday to join the run or cheer us on, make sure to look for me! I’ll be the sweaty mess of a girl with the red face, tight pants and big smile – on a job well done.

Oh, yeah, and if I have a cheese curd stuck in my teeth?

Just be a girlfriend and let me know.

2012 Summerfest Rock 'n Sole Run

Saturday, June 23 - 7:00am
Summerfest Grounds
200 N. Harbor Drive


Read Story | Leave A Comment

Enter the $10,000 “Party Like a Rock Star” Sweepstakes!

Share This Story:

By Bill Prange
Web Marketing Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

UDPATE. The "Party Like a Rock Star" sweepstakes has ended. Thank you for your interest.

Sign up for our e-newsletter or like us on Facebook to be the first to hear about future giveaways and promotions.

Have you entered to win our "Party Like a Rock Star" sweepstakes? This is your chance to win the ultimate trip to Milwaukee to Party Like a Rock Star!

For those who haven’t heard, we’re giving one lucky person the chance to visit Milwaukee with three members of their entourage during Summerfest, the World’s Largest Music Festival. We’re pulling out all the stops to give you experiences usually reserved for rock stars and celebrities.

What experiences, you wonder? Here are just a few:

  • Fifth row tickets to see AEROSMITH perform live at Summerfest on July 7 (yeah, THAT Aerosmith!), plus other perks from Summerfest
  • Round-trip airfare to Milwaukee from Southwest Airlines
  • Deluxe hotel suites for you and your entourage at the luxury boutique hotel, Hotel Metro, right in the heart of downtown Milwaukee
  • Leather jackets, courtesy of Harley-Davidson, to complete your entourage’s rock star look, plus a VIP tour of the Harley-Davidson Museum
  • Four pairs of the revolutionary QZ900 Noise Cancelling Headphones from Koss
  • A private yacht cruise on Lake Michigan from Sea Dog Sailing
  • Culinary experiences at Dream Dance Steak and the Riverside Theater usually reserved for celebrities

And that’s just the start! The entire prize package is worth more than $10,000! Click here to see the full prize list, details and official rules.

How can you win the Party Like a Rock Star sweepstakes? It’s easy. Simply visit to enter the sweepstakes. You can also enter one additional time on our Facebook page.

Even better, you can earn additional entries in the contest by sharing with your friends and family. After you enter, send the sweepstakes to everyone you know who would be interested in entering themselves. Tell them to list you as their “Referral Name” when entering their information. When they do, you will BOTH get an extra entry in the sweepstakes! There is no limit to how many extra entries you can earn by being listed as a referral name, so don’t hold back from telling everyone you know!

Well, what are you waiting for? Enter now and get ready to Party Like a Rock Star in Milwaukee!



Read Story | Leave A Comment

The King of Northpoint

Share This Story:

By Zack Zupke
Creative Services Manager
VISIT Milwaukee

I don’t remember the first time I heard Elvis sing, nor do I remember watching my first Elvis movie - I was probably in my single-digit years at the time. But I do remember that feeling I got when “Jailhouse Rock” would crank out of my uncle’s old-school floor speakers (now we stick buds in our ears – geesh). It made me want to dance and sing (and snarl a little) like Elvis. It made me feel good the way a great song or musician should. I had that same good feeling last week and Elvis was involved once again. “Dead!” you say? “Alive and pelvis swinging at Northpoint Custard!” I say.

Summer was in full swing last Friday when my co-worker Bill and I stopped for lunch at Northpoint Custard - just south of Bradford Beach on Lake Michigan - for lunch. Blue Hawaii skies lingered over beachgoers, bicyclists and a big hunk o’ pink cow-spotted love. Yes, pink cow spots. The Bartolotta Restaurants, owners and operators of Northpoint Custard, will lead a giant fundraising team (more than 500 employees) September 23 in the 2012 Race For A Cure event on Milwaukee’s lakefront. In the meantime, the pink cow spots adorning their custard/burger stand will make thousands think pink.

As we took in a ton of pink, we were also up to our blue suede shoes in burger fumes. Time to order like kings. Bill went with onion rings and the Seagull Burger - sauteed onions and Merkt’s cheddar cheese spread. The manager said he HAD TO have a caramel shake with the Seagull. We had suspicious minds, but Bill figured it was now or never.

I never had a burger with barbecue sauce before, so it was time to try the Q - a quarter-pound burger with BBQ sauce, plus sauteed onions, bacon and cheddar cheese. I added in some tater tots and washed all that goodness down with a Komen-Ade, a huge strawberry lemonade (hot pink in color and one of the best lemonades I’ve ever slurped). All proceeds from the sale of Komen-Ade will be allocated to local Milwaukee clinics to provide life-saving screenings and education to women who wouldn’t otherwise have access to important health services.

Lunching at the lake, sipping lemonade and it all helps people in need. “Could it get any better?” I thought to myself. “Duh, dessert!” myself retorted. Enter Elvis stage left. The “Elvis” is Northpoint Custard’s homage to the king’s tendency to get all shook up when nanas and peanut butter were in the same proximity of one another. They share the same cup in this iconic sundae: heaps of chocolate custard, a dollop of peanut butter, banana chunks, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and, of course, a cherry on top.

Too much? When it comes to Elvis, burgers and frozen custard, it’s not possible. Thank you, Northpoint Custard. Thank you very much.

Northpoint Custard
2272 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive


Read Story | Leave A Comment