The 2013 “City of Festivals” Lineup – Milwaukee Celebrates Cultures from Around the World
MILWAUKEE — Heralded as the “City of Festivals,” Milwaukee showcases its rich heritage with a procession of ethnic and cultural celebrations throughout the summer. The Henry W. Maier Festival Park along the shores of Lake Michigan becomes a portal to the world as guests explore the arts, cuisine, history and entertainment of a new culture nearly every weekend.
The festival season kicks off with color during PrideFest (www.pridefest.com), the largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender pride festival in Wisconsin. Join the festivities June 7-9, 2013 with food, entertainment and shopping in the marketplace.
The parade of world cultures begins with America’s largest Polish Festival, Polish Fest (www.polishfest.org), June 14-16, 2013. See historic exhibits, folk art demonstrations and old-world crafts. Enjoy enchanting legends coming to life, traditional dance troupes swirling and twirling, and scrumptious dishes served in heaping portions to satisfy your appetite.
Celebrate the 45th anniversary of the world’s largest music festival, June 26-30 and July 2-7, 2013 (closed on July 1). Summerfest (www.summerfest.com) is an eleven-day event offering the best in regional and national entertainment on 10 different ground stages and an amphitheater featuring a diverse array of music. A smorgasbord of the area’s finest restaurants serve mouth-watering fare and entertainment abounds with world-renowned comedians, a children’s play area and daily demonstrations and activities.
Romance, nostalgia, and rich Italian delicacies fill the air at Festa Italiana (www.festaitaliana.com), America’s premier Italian cultural event. From July 18-21, 2013, enjoy the pomp and circumstance of the Sicilian brass marching band, browse the cultural exhibits or be a part of the colorful religious procession following Sunday mass. Every night offers explosive fun with a dazzling Italian-style fireworks show.
Grab a stein and cool off with your favorite brew at North America’s largest annually held German festival, German Fest (www.germanfest.com). Indulge in unforgettable German cuisine. Marvel as craftsmen demonstrate old world artistry. Enjoy a colorful brass band or stroll through the Marktplatz for unique German gifts. Join in July 25-28, 2013 for a wunderbar experience.
Celebrate African-American heritage and culture at African World Festival (http://www.africanworldfestival-milwaukee.com/) (dates TBA). Explore the cultural village, sample a variety of ethnic foods, shop around the marketplace, let the kids play in the Children’s Village and enjoy great entertainment.
Irish Fest (www.irishfest.com), the world’s largest Irish cultural festival, brings the
Emerald Isle to Milwaukee’s lakefront August 15-18, 2013. Cultural exhibits, displays, theater, poetry readings and demonstrations bring alive the spirit of Old Ireland’s folklore and charm, while contests, raffles, sporting events and comedy shows add to the fun. Celebrate Irish music and dance on over a dozen stages or enjoy the roaming performers dressed in traditional costumes strolling the festival grounds. Stop at the marketplace to take a piece Ireland home with you.
Spice up your life at Mexican Fiesta (www.mexicanfiesta.org) August 23-25, 2013! A south-of-the-border extravaganza featuring mouth-watering food, rousing mariachi bands, foot stomping rhythms, and an elaborate swirl of traditional dancers. Learn the culture and heritage of Mexico and other Latin countries.
The Indian Summer Festival (www.indiansummer.org) offers a fun and entertaining way to experience the diversity of both traditional and contemporary American Indian culture. Held September 6-8, 2013, the festival celebrates the rich American Indian heritage with authentic tribal villages, storytellers, traditional handcrafts, dance troupes and lacrosse. Other highlights include a competition Pow Wow, fireworks, food and an Education Day on Friday.
Other festivals, concerts and events taking place around the city in different locations include:
Jazz in the Park (www.easttown.com): Weekly outdoor jazz concerts, Thursday evenings June-Sept. 2013 in Cathedral Park Square. No charge.
River Rhythms (http://www.westown.org/westown/river+rhythms/default.asp): Popular Wednesday evening outdoor concerts at Pere Marquette Park along the Milwaukee River June-Aug. 2013. No charge.
Lakefront Festival of Arts (www.mam.org/lfoa): June 21-23, 2013 Milwaukee Art Museum grounds
Cedarburg Strawberry Festival (http://www.cedarburgfestivals.org/strawberryfestival.html): Celebrate the beginning of the summer with the season’s sweetest treat, June 22-23, 2013
Bastille Days (www.easttown.com): Cathedral Square Park, July 11-14, 2013. No charge.
Brady Street Festival (http://bradystreet.org/documents/20-brady-st-festival-): On Milwaukee’s eclectic East side, July 27, 2013. No charge.
Wisconsin State Fair (www.wistatefair.com): August 1-11, 2013 at Wisconsin State Fair Park
Rock the Green (http://www.rockthegreen.com/): The Midwest’s Near-Zero Waste Music Festival, Sept. 13, 2013
Milwaukee Film Festival (www.milwaukee-film.org): View the best contemporary American and international cinema, Dates TBA
Holiday Folk Fair International: Dates TBA at Wisconsin State Fair Park
VISIT Milwaukee markets Greater Milwaukee to tourists, and convention and meeting planners, both nationally and internationally. VISIT Milwaukee has approximately 600 members, including hotels/motels, restaurants, attractions, services and area businesses. Tourism generated $2.36 billion in spending in Greater Milwaukee in 2011 and supported more than 47,000 local jobs. The City of Wauwatosa, Frontier Airlines, Potawatomi Bingo Casino and the Wisconsin Center District are strategic partners with VISIT Milwaukee, providing funding support for conventions and tourism programs.
For more information call 1-800-554-1448 or visit www.visitmilwaukee.org