Our Favorite Milwaukee Festivals – 2018

Summer is so short here in Milwaukee and since we are the City of Festivals, let’s plan out the coming months! We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite festivals for 2018 in Milwaukee, and thanks to our partners at Milwaukee Irish Fest, you’ve got a ton of options for family festival fun at your fingertips! 

Irish Fest MilwaukeeMilwaukee Irish Fest

August 16th – 19th at Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee

Milwaukee Irish Fest is North America’s largest celebration of Irish music and culture. The four-day festival, which occurs every third weekend in August, showcases more than 100 entertainment acts on 17 stages.

More than a festival, Milwaukee Irish Fest, through its parent organization CelticMKE, is passionately committed to igniting a love of Irish culture in all people. With the help of more than 4,000 volunteers, CelticMKE teaches Ireland’s music, dance, drama, sports, culture, children’s activities and genealogy through year-round programming. Families will find themselves exclaiming “Sláinte” in no time!

Discounted Admission Days & Promotions: 

  • Free admission on Thursday with a donation of school supplies
  • Guests can take advantage of Half-Price Friday with tickets for only $10. As an added bonus, guests can avoid the lines and purchase tickets in advance online at IrishFest.com.
  • On Sunday, enjoy free admission with a donation of a non-perishable food item by 11 a.m. (Those who donate food items are welcome to stay for the mass beginning at 9:30 a.m. and will receive free admission directly following. Those choosing not to attend the mass will receive a hand stamp for free entry at any point during the day (11 a.m. to 10 p.m.). All non-perishable food items will be donated to Hunger Task Force.
  • On Sunday, veterans and military personnel receive free admission, plus one guest. Must provide a valid proof of service at any gate ticket window.
  • On Sunday, college students with a valid student I.D. can enjoy a $3 discount off of General Admission tickets between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Our Favorite Milwaukee Festivals

Chocolate Fest Burlington, May 25-28: Sounds delicious! A festival in Burlington to celebrate chocolate, in Chocolate City USA! A Battle of the Bands, chocolate eating contest and Culinary Competition

Community Street Festival Port Washington, May 27: This 10th Annual Community Street Festival includes Food, beverage stands, entertainment including music, dance and children’s activities. A great way to welcome Summer!

Family Kite Festival Milwaukee Lakefront, May 26-27: See the launch of 500 kites at the free 30th Annual Maggiano’s Family Kite Festival. Watch professional Flying Team performances, Stunt kite demonstrations and kite lessons. Then try flying your own! Awesome family-friendly festival on the lakefront.

Jammin’ on Janesville Muskego, June 1: An event organized by the Muskego Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism.

Port Washington Pirate Festival Port Washington, June 1-3: An invasion is coming! Have breakfast with the Pirates! Reservations required, check the website for details, breakfast is available June 2nd. Free admission to the rest of the festival!

Scottish Fest / Highland Games Wauwatosa, June 2: Celebrate all things Scottish at the Milwaukee Highland Games, including food, dance, athletics…and sheepdogs!

Touch a Truck Racine County Fairgrounds, Union Grove, June 9: A family-friendly event introducing everyone to the construction and trades industry. 

Pride Fest Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, June 7-10: The nations largest LGBT+ festival with permanent festival grounds, owned and operated entirely by volunteers each and every year.

Locust Street Festival of Music and Art Locust Street, Milwaukee, June 10: Food, 6 Stages of Music and a Beer Run.

Polish Fest Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, June 15-17: America’s Largest Polish Festival includes Children’s Activities, Youth Piano Competition, Polish Sheepdogs and learn to cook with Polish Flair!

Lakefront Festival of Art Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, June 15-17: Featuring over 170 artists from around the nation, local food, beer and wine garden, PNC children’s experience and an entertainment lineup not to be missed.

Juneteenth Festival Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, Milwaukee, June 19: Parade, live music, kids games, exhibits, soul food and more! 

Strawberry Festival Cedarburg, June 23-24: Art, vendors, strawberry everything, including wine! A pancake breakfast, pony rides, petting zoo, Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest, Strawberry Bubblegum Blowing Contest, Strawberry Ice Cream Licking Contest and more… 

Greek Fest State Fair Park, June 22-24: A free event hosted by the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church to celebrate the Greek community of Milwaukee. Authentic Greek cuisine, music, carnival rides and dance performances. 

Summerfest Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, June 27-July 1 and July 3-July 8: The World’s Largest Music Festival, including a little something for everyone. Stay tuned for our Family Guide to Summerfest for the inside scoop on The Big Gig! 

Bristol Renaissance Faire IL/WI Border, Weekends, July 7 through Sept 3: 30 acres of pure fun! 20 stages offer variety entertainment all day long. arts and crafts, music, dance, parades, rides and games plus a Queen and her glittering Court.

Bastille Days Cathedral Square Park, July 12-15: 35th Anniversary of Milwaukee’s French festival. Bastille Days is one of the largest french-themed celebrations. Storm the Bastille Run and Wine Tastings!

Milwaukee Air & Water Show July 20-21: The Grand Return of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. Grab a lawn chair, some earplugs and head to the lakefront for an amazing show.

Fish Day Port Washington, July 21: The World’s Largest One Day Outdoor Fish Fry! Festivities include a car show, walk/run, parade, art and craft show. 

Waterford Balloonfest Waterford, July 19-22: Evening balloon glows on Friday and Saturday. Free admission! 

Festa Italiana Henry Maier Festival Park, July 20-22: Traditional Italian entertainment, food, games and fireworks every night. 

Croatian Days Croatian Park, Franklin, July 21: Food, drinks, music, raffle prizes. Come see some ethnic dancing and delicious authentic Croatian lamb, pork, and chicken off the spit. Croatian Catholic Mass at 11. 

Hartland Kids Day Nixon Park, Hartland, July 25: Bounce houses, Rock wall, face painting, food and more!

Brady Street Festival Brady Street, Milwaukee, July 28: Four stages of entertainment including local bands.

German Fest Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, July 27-29: Authentic German food and entertainment including the 12th Annual Dachshund Derby.

North Shore Bank’s Taste of Lake Country Pewaukee, July 27-28: Food, art vendors, music, and shopping.

Firefly Art Fair Wauwatosa, August 4-5: Held on 1.5 acres of gardens and grounds at the historic Kneeland-Walker House, the fair includes over 90 juried artists. 

State Fair State Fair Park, August 2-12: Ten days of fun, food, animals and shopping. How many items on a stick can you try? 

Dragon Boat Festival Veterans Park, Milwaukee, August 11: Presented by the Milwaukee Chinese Community Center the festival will include an authentic Chinese experience. Dragon boat races!

Kid’s Fest Oconomowoc, August 14: Games, entertainment, music, inflatables, arts & crafts, food and more!

Zoo a la Carte Milwaukee, August 16-19: “Feast with the Beasts”. Local food and local bands.

Irish Fest Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, August 16-19: A baking contest, Celtic Canines, Cultural Village, Family activities and Jameson Lounge.

Sounds of Summer Whitefish Bay, August 18: A musical street festival on the east end of Silver Spring Drive.

India Fest Humboldt Park, Milwaukee, August 18: Filled with the colors of courage, peace and happiness. A free day of culture, collaboration, history, diversity and inclusion.

Muskego Community Festival Muskego, August 23-26: Largest free admission festival in Southeast Wisconsin, including festival parade and carnival rides!

Mexican Fiesta Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, August 24-26: Three days of fun, food, Mariachi and Fiesta for everyone.

Indian Summer Festival Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, September 7-9: Thirty years of Native Traditions. This year includes Indian Summer Music Awards.

Third Ward Art Festival Milwaukee, September 8-9: Live music, great food and fun activities for kids.

Bay View Bash Bay View, September 15: A community festival of food, art, music, crafts, books and community organizations. Striving to be a zero waste festival! 

Wine & Harvest Festival Cedarburg, September 15-16: Homegrown produce and award-winning wines from Cedar Creek Winery along with a food court, shopping and kids activities. 

Petfest Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, September 22: Bring your dog and/or cat. Free parking and Free admission.

Doors Open Milwaukee Milwaukee, September 22-23: Take the opportunity to see over 150 wonderful Milwaukee Buildings free of charge. Some buildings not usually open to the public. 

Whew! Just like that, you have your whole summer planned! What are your favorite festivals to enjoy around the Milwaukee area?


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One Response to Our Favorite Milwaukee Festivals – 2018

  1. Sandy May 25, 2018 at 7:10 am #

    I loved open doors Milwaukee, Waterford Balloon fest, Ren Faire, Irish Fest, India Fest. Really excited to try some new ones too. 😊

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