The polka is the official state dance of Wisconsin, and this beloved local tradition is alive and well in Milwaukee! European immigrants brought the sounds and the moves of the polka to the area in the 1800s, and there's still nothing that can make Milwaukeeans smile quite like the polka. If you're looking to enjoy a true Wisconsin classic, check out one of these spots and put on your dancing shoes.
1. Lakefront Brewery Beer Hall
Each week, one of Milwaukee's most popular craft breweries hosts a Friday Fish Fry complete with a live performance from The Brewhaus Polka Kings. It's a seriously Milwaukee experience that's fun for the whole family.
Located on Old World Third Street, the historic center of Milwaukee's German community, this bar and restaurant brings a taste of Bavaria to Midwest. Modeled after Munich's famous Hofbräuhaus, Old German Beer Hall often hosts live music with a German vibe, including locally beloved polka bands like The Squeezettes.
Polka at a baseball game? It's true! During the seventh inning stretch at a Brewers game, join the crowd in a rousing rendition of the Beer Barrel Polka. As the song says, you'll have a barrel of fun!
Even convention attendees need a little polka! One of our favorite local secrets is the "Push to Play Polka!" button at the Wisconsin Center. Located near the escalator leading to the skywalk for the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, just press the polka button to enjoy some toe-tapping tunes as you ride the escalator.
Milwaukee's parks are home to a number of beer gardens - classic communal gathering places to relax with family and friends, enjoy a pretzel and a beer, and, yes, some tunes! Live music of all kinds is common in beer gardens, so make sure to check the performance schedule if you're hunting for some polka.
On the last weekend of July, Milwaukee's lakefront festival grounds are filled with the sound of polka! German Fest, the world's largest German cultural festival, celebrates all things German with traditional food, music, and dance. You'll see folk dances of all kind performed on the festival stages and have plenty of opportunities to join in the polka.