Milwaukee Celebrations

Milwaukee is a city that loves to celebrate. Anywhere from tacos to jazz to culture, we have festivals for just about everything earning us the nickname, “City of Festivals.” This list may not include all the festivals, but we tried to name as many as we could. Find your City of Festivals here. 

5th Street Festival

traditional Mexican dance in front of Mexican Fiesta festival grounds main gateCultural

Bastille Days – One of the nation’s largest French-themed celebrations in honor of Bastille Day hosted in Cathedral Square Park.  

Black Arts Fest MKE – A festival for people of all ages that honors African and African American culture. 

China Lights – Celebrate Chinese culture by taking in the dazzling sights of lantern sculptures, performances, beautiful art, and delicious food at Boerner Botanical Gardens.  

Festa Italiana – A celebration of Italian food, arts, culture, and religion held on Milwaukee’s lakefront.  

German Fest – A festival honoring German culture and traditions held the last full weekend of every July.  

Hunting Moon Pow Wow – Three exciting days that bring together a host of Native American cultures filled with singing, drumming, and dancing.  

IndiaFest – Celebrating India’s Independence Day, this festival celebrates Indian culture, heritage, and history in Wisconsin.  

Irish Fest – A festival celebrating all-things Irish along the sparkling Milwaukee lakefront.  

Mexican Fiesta – A festival that’s more than just a celebration, this event is a declaration of community spirit.  

Milwaukee Dragon Boat Festival – This festival presented by the Milwaukee Chinese Community celebrates Chinese culture through traditional dance, Chinese folk music, martial arts, and, of course, Dragon Boat Races. 

Milwaukee Greek Fest – The Annual Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church Greek Fest celebration includes authentic Greek food, live music, rides and fun for all ages!  

Milwaukee Highland Games – One of Wisconsin’s oldest traditional Scottish celebrations, this event features food, bagpipes, Highland dancing, and working sheepdogs. 

Polish Fest – Celebrating Milwaukee’s strong and vibrant Polish community.  

PrideFest (Pridoberfest in 2021) – Wisconsin’s largest LGBTQ+ festival since 1987   

Tosa Greek Fest – Be Greek for the weekend with this festival in Wauwatosa. 



Christmas in the Ward – Add a little Historic Third Ward to your holidays with entertainment and shopping and dining discounts.  

Holiday Folk Fair International – A multicultural festival featuring music, food, dance and arts. 

Holiday Lights Festival – Take a stroll or drive through the 500,000 lights that illuminate downtown parks and streets during the months of November and December.  

Juneteenth Day Celebration – A street festival with a parade, delicious food and more that celebrates the emancipation of slaves in the United States.  

Milwaukee 414 Day – In honor of Milwaukee’s 414 area code, this event held every April 14 celebrates the people, places and businesses that make the city unique.  

Milwaukee Hmong New Year – A two-day event held in early December celebrating the Hmong New Year with food, entertainment and a pageant. 

Milwaukee Krampusnacht – A holiday combination of Christmas and creepiness, this festival celebrates Krampus and is hosted at the Bavarian Bierhaus in Glendale. 


Music and Film 

Jazz in the Park – It’s not a summer in Milwaukee without taking in some outdoor jazz every Thursday.  

Jewish Film Festival – A celebration of Jewish film and storytelling from all around the world.  

LGBT Film Festival – A festival telling stories from the LGBT community through documentaries and film.  

Milwaukee Film Festival – Sharing the best of the best from the film-festival season. 

Muslim Film Festival – A festival presenting topics and issues that are relevant and spark meaningful conversation about Muslims and the Muslim world.  

Summerfest – The world’s largest music festival and a Milwaukee institution.  


Neighborhood and Village 

Bay View Bash – Community festival featuring food, art, music, crafts, books, and community organizations.  

Brady Street Festival – Enjoy what Brady Street has to offer at this popular Milwaukee festival.   

Bronzeville Week – Annual celebration of African American culture, history, art, entertainment and businesses.  

Center Street Daze Festival – A festival to showcase businesses, arts, and other vendors of the Riverwest neighborhood community.  

Harbor Fest – A celebration of all things fish, water and ships, including a boat parade and much more!  

Garfield’s 502 – A neighborhood celebration that includes a youth talent show and over 150 vendors.  

Walker’s Point Week – A festival to show off the best of what the Walker’s Point neighborhood has to offer.  


Truly MKE

Cedarburg Strawberry Festival – A celebration of all thing strawberry. 

Food Truck Fest – A festival with a little bit of almost every kind of food that you can get from a truck.  

Fringe Fest – A festival celebrating local artists of all ages, ethnicities, and disciplines.  

Lakefront Festival of Art – Bringing creativity and variety of art to a festival located on Milwaukee’s beautiful lakefront.  

Mitten Fest – This outdoor winter festival includes a mix of outdoor music, beverages, and charity, all curated by Burnhearts Bar in Bay View.  

Milwaukee Brewfest – A festival offering unlimited tastes of what some of the world’s best brew masters have created. Designated drivers are encouraged. 

Milwaukee Comedy Festival – Get in some laughs from top-notch comedians, improv and sketch comedy artists for seven days straight.  

Harley-Davidson Homecoming™ Festival – A true two-wheeled, four-day event for bikers and bike enthusiasts alike!  

Wisconsin State Fair – A Wisconsin tradition filled with music, unique foods, pig races, and so much more!  

Taco Fest – This festival brings together local restaurants, taco lovers, and lucha libre fans!  

Tomato Romp – One of Wisconsin’s only tomato festivals, known for its Rotten Tomato Fight for Hunger and Bloody Mary challenge.  

Weird Fest – Celebration of all things weird! Enjoy funky foods, weird beer, and live music. Weird costumes are encouraged.  

Explore Where Unique Unites

Discover the many ways our different cultures, heritages and experiences, make Milwaukee such a Great Place on a Great Lake.