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Cultural Festivals in Milwaukee

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By Molly Nugent
Marketing & Communications Intern
VISIT Milwaukee
Milwaukee is a melting pot of different heritages and cultures, and we love to embrace and celebrate all of them here in our beloved “City of Festivals.” No matter where you’re from, you’ll have a blast exploring the city’s different ethnic backgrounds at many of our upcoming festivals. Clear your schedules for some amazing cultural festivals where there’s bound to be amazing food, live music from around the world and hey, you might learn something new!
Bronzeville Week
Culture, art and history merge together at Bronzeville Week, a weeklong celebration of Milwaukee’s Bronzeville District. In the early 1900s, Bronzeville was an economic and social hub where African-American culture, music, food and art were celebrated. The future of Bronzeville District looks bright, with redevelopment plans in full swing, to bring back the unique and fun atmosphere it once had. To celebrate Bronzeville’s past, present and future, join us August 6-13 on North Avenue and 7th Street. To kick things off on August 6, don’t miss the Bronzeville Cultural and Arts Festival, where you’ll find food vendors, booths of local organizations selling African-inspired clothing and jewelry, live music and much more. The rest of the week is chock-full of events to promote local businesses and residents like a neighborhood cleanup, a networking mixer, a bike ride, a softball game and many more exciting things to do. 
Enjoy a free day of culture, food, music and more at IndiaFest at Humboldt Park on August 20. Here you can gaze at colorful, traditional Indian dress and dancing while you listen to music from classical to contemporary. At IndiaFest, you can’t forget the food! Treat yourself to many different kinds of traditional food from spices to curries. This is your chance to experience a “mini India,” right in the heart of Milwaukee, so make sure to check out this unique opportunity.
Mexican Fiesta
From August 26 through the 28, join in on three days full of fun food, Mariachi and Fiesta at the Mexican Fiesta on the lakefront. Learn about Mexican art and culture at the cultural pavilion, where more than 100 members will display an extraordinary array of pieces, along with workshops. Put on your dancing shoes at the salsa dancing contest, check out the hottest cars and motorcycles at the Hot Wheelz contest or for a more unorthodox contest, enter the sizzling hot jalapeno eating contest! After that excitement, learn more about who you are and where you came from at a genealogy exhibit. Everyone is invited to the Mexican Fiesta to embrace the beauty of Mexico’s rich history, art, music and food!
Milwaukee Dragon Boat Festival
Check out one of the most exciting ways to experience Asian culture at the Milwaukee Dragon Boat Festival at Veterans Park on July 30. Vibrant colored, traditional boats will fill the lagoon, as you and about 20 other people will work as a team to cross the finish line first. After the competition, there will be hands-on opportunities to make opera masks and lanterns, participate in a dragon parade or even learn how to speak and write Chinese. Along with that, enjoy this beautiful day on the water with many cultural performances and local Asian Cuisine.
Indian Summer Festival
On September 9 through the 11 make sure to check out the Indian Summer Festival at Henry Maier Festival Park. The mission of Indian Summer Inc. is to educate, preserve and promote American Indian cultures; showcase the diversity that exists within tribal cultures and provide economic opportunities and strengthen communication and understanding. The “Circle of Art” is a perfect way to soak up the rich history and culture of American Indian cultures. Feast your eyes on anything from sculptures to flutes to traditional artifacts, all of which are for sale for you to bring home. On Saturday, the Indian Summer Music Awards will be held, with many Native American musicians preforming beautiful and diverse music from hip hop to traditional Native American drums. The Indian Summer Festival is the perfect chance to have a great time, learn something new and immerse yourself in a new culture. 
Holiday Folk Fair International
Explore the world of music, food, dance and arts from all around the world at the Holiday Folk Fair International. From November 18 to the 20, more than 50 ethnic groups are represented from Egyptian to Danish. Come on an empty stomach, because this festival has a world café with so many options you may have a hard time choosing. Crepes from France? Schnitzel Sandwich from Germany? But what about a gyro from Greece? Try them all! After your stomach is full, head over to the International Bazaar to shop through hundreds of items made by skilled artisans from distant lands. Discover different cultures’ unique customs by directly interacting with them through exhibits at Heritage Lane. Get your cardio in at the Around the World 5K Run/Walk, which benefits the Salvation Army of Milwaukee County. 


Where to catch Pokemon in Milwaukee

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By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee


Vulpix at North Point Lighthouse
It’s official – the whole world is ready to catch ‘em all! Milwaukee’s easily walkable downtown makes it a haven for Pokémon trainers, and with Lake Michigan, three rivers and tons of urban green space, there’s a huge variety of Pokémon types to be caught even if you stay right downtown. Tracking down PokéStops and Pokémon in PokémonGo is a great way to explore a new city or get a new perspective on your hometown – here are a few spots we recommend for Pokémon trainers in Milwaukee!
Wisconsin Avenue East: This main downtown drag is a great starting spot. There are many PokéStops and 3 gyms within 2 blocks, and it’s an easy walk to most of the other prime Pokémon -catching spots downtown. 
Notable Pokémon: Growlithe, Onix, Tentacool
Tip: Start inside the Milwaukee Art Museum for several PokéStops, 2 gyms, a photo op and a coffee. Then walk east and you’ll find another gym at US Bank with many PokéStops along the way. Continue east to find the RiverWalk.
RiverWalk: Milwaukee’s 3-mile RiverWalk is studded with public art – which means lots of PokéStops! The famous “Bronze Fonz” statue is a must-visit selfie spot…and a PokéStop!
Notable Pokémon: Magikarp, Staryu, Squirtle
Tip: Find Gertie the Duck and you’ll find 4 hotspots within a few yards of each other.
Cathedral Square Park: This popular downtown park is always full of lures. It’s surrounded by several bars and restaurants, so make a stop to fuel up.
Notable Pokémon: Jynx, Jigglypuff, Hypno 
Tip: Visit during Jazz in the Park every Thursday during summer to enjoy free music while you hunt.
East Side: You’ll find many stops between Brady Street, one of the city’s most popular destinations for nightlife, food and shopping, and the UW-Milwaukee campus. Keep heading east to enjoy great views of the lakefront while you’re out.
Notable Pokémon: Machop, Clefairy, Ponyta
Tip: Lake Park makes for a great social gathering. Colectivo on the Lake is the perfect rest stop while hunting along the lakefront.
Riverwest: There are many PokéStops and gyms in close proximity in this neighborhood on the north side of the city known for its funky style and cool venues.
Notable Pokémon: Scyther, Tauros, Dratini
Tip: N. Holton St. holds 3 gyms within a city block, and many PokéStops heading east toward the Milwaukee River.
BONUS! Milwaukee County Zoo: Where else can you catch some virtual critters while admiring over 2,500 live animals? The Zoo’s 200 acres are home to over 30 PokéStops and 4 gyms, so plan on spending a full day making the rounds here.
Where are your favorite places in the city to catch Pokémon?


A Beginner’s Guide to Frozen Custard

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By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee
Leon's frozen custard
Along with cheese curds, frozen custard is one of the foods that are classically Milwaukee. Milwaukee is home to the world’s largest concentration of frozen custard shops, earning us the title of “unofficial frozen custard capitol of the world!” You won’t want to miss out on this sweet treat on your next visit – use this handy guide to turn yourself into a frozen custard pro!
What’s the difference between ice cream and frozen custard?
Ice cream and frozen custard are both made with milk, cream and sugar, but custard is also made with egg yolks. This gives it its richer, creamier texture!
What flavors will I find?
At most frozen custard shops, you can expect to find chocolate, vanilla and a special flavor of the day. The Flavor of the Day might be a classic like strawberry, butter pecan or mint chip, or a creative treat like tiramisu, peach melba or “Sugar Plum Fairy”! Local favorite Kopp’s has so many devotees of their specialty flavors that you can sign up for “Flavor Alerts” to get a notification when your favorite flavor is coming up!
How should I order my frozen custard?
There’s no wrong way to order it, my friend! Enjoy it in a cone or a dish, as part of a sundae, in a float – anywhere you’d like your ice cream, try it with frozen custard instead!
Wait, I think I’ve heard of this…is this what they have at Culver’s?
That’s right! Though they now have locations in 24 states, Culver’s was founded right here in Wisconsin and is still a great spot to get fresh frozen custard, especially when you’re on the road.
Awesome – where should I go for frozen custard in Milwaukee?
The “Big 3” of frozen custard in Milwaukee are Kopp’s, Leon’s and Gilles. Each of these restaurants have been in business for decades (Gilles is the oldest, opened in 1938!) and have earned a place as landmarks in Milwaukee culinary history. Every local has an opinion about which is the best, so the only way to really know for sure is to try them all yourself! A relative newcomer to the frozen custard scene but with plenty of old-fashioned charm is Northpoint Custard. This classic custard stand is located right on Lake Michigan, just off of Bradford Beach, making it the perfect stop on a summer afternoon.