The City of Festivals


Travel around the world, one festival at a time.

All work and no play? That’s not how we do things in Milwaukee. In fact, our city has a bash nearly every week. And you are invited! From tacos and tomatoes to films and fairs, we have a fest for just about everything, earning us the nickname City of Festivals.


During the summer months, many Milwaukee festivals take place at Henry Maier Festival Park. Situated along Milwaukee’s lakefront, the grounds make up one of the country’s coolest permanent festival parks, with a dozen phenomenal outdoor stages, the 23,000-American Family Insurance Amphitheater, a thriving marketplace, and 75 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds and walkways.
This makes the perfect venue for the largest outdoor music festival in the world, Summerfest. Music-lovers nationwide rock out to hundreds of performers playing the best in alternative, rock, rap, country, R&B, pop, and more over three weekends in the summer.

Summer is also a time to celebrate Juneteenth, which commemorates nearly 2,000 troops marching to Galveston Bay, Texas on June 19, 1865 to announce the emancipation of Black slaves in the state. Juneteenth was recently made a federal holiday, but Milwaukee's African American community has celebrated the event with a street festival since 1971.

Milwaukee's diverse ethnic and cultural identities are on display throughout the festival season. It begins with a celebration of LGBTQ+ culture and community at PrideFest. Then you can polka dance at Polish Fest (polishfest.com) before dining on traditional perogies. Enjoy German Fest with beer, food, music, and the many other festivities at the event.
Black Arts Fest MKE honors the splendor of African and African American culture. Take part in the world’s largest Celtic music and culture celebration at Irish Fest. Discover the traditions of our country’s southern neighbors and part of the city’s Latino community at Mexican Fiesta.


Our festival park is not the only place for Milwaukee parties. The city hosts additional gatherings and street festivals. Street fests offer a perfect time to explore our diverse neighborhoods.
Join the boat parade at Harbor Fest then feast on seafood. Enjoy music with a message at Hip Hop Week MKE including celebrity performances and impactful guest lectures. The popular Brady Street Festival is packed with live entertainment on four stages featuring local bands. And Bronzeville Week beckons locals and visitors to feel the arts and culture of this soulful neighborhood.
You’ll be flying high at the Milwaukee Air & Water Show featuring the Blue Angels along Lake Michigan. Say bonjour to Bastille Days featuring an Eiffel Tower replica, a Storm the Bastille Run, can-can dancers, and beignets. When darkness descends over the Greater Milwaukee area, the China Lights Festival illuminates Boerner Botanical Gardens with colorful lantern displays.
You can even listen to music under the stars with an outdoor music series nearly every weeknight in summer. Don’t miss the weekly Jazz in the Park event in downtown Cathedral Square Park, River Rhythms in Pere Marquette Park along our scenic Milwaukee River, and the Chill on the Hill concert series in the Bay View neighborhood’s beautiful Humboldt Park.
It’s lights, camera, action at the Milwaukee Film Festival in addition to several smaller film fests like Milwaukee Jewish Film Festival, and Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival. Movie buffs love visiting our historic cinemas as well as engaging in citywide film screenings, conversations, and one-of-a-kind get-togethers.


In the place where unique unites, festivals can get totally random and yet totally wonderful. Wisconsin State Fair is a Dairy State tradition filled with everything from food on a stick to pig races. Hometown Rally is hosted by Harley-Davidson Motor Company. It attracts bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts worldwide to Milwaukee; which Harley has called home since its 1903 founding. Fringe Fest follows the rich tradition of fringe festivals with an MKE twist in a showcase of Milwaukee’s diverse collection of artists.
Taco Fest brings together local restaurants, taco lovers, and lucha libre fans. The very popular Cedarburg Strawberry Festival pays homage to all things strawberry in the charming city of Cedarburg. And Food Truck Fest has a little bit of almost every kind of food that you can get from a truck. With over 50 year-round festivals, there is much more to explore. But we’re sure you’ll find your next favorite fest right here in Milwaukee.


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