Our Favorite Milwaukee Festivals | Updated for 2021

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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 in Milwaukee that we can’t wait to return to after having to miss out on so many in the last year.

Keep in mind that some festival may still be deciding whether or not to run in 2021 due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19. Be sure to check into each individual festival for their updated protocols and refer to CDC Guidelines when making your plans! 

Our Favorite Milwaukee Festivals

Family Kite Festival Milwaukee Lakefront, Currently postponed & awaiting new dates: See the launch of 500 kites at the free 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.

Community Street Festival Port Washington, May 30: Port Washington’s downtown moves their business out onto the street, with special offers and promotions. Outdoor food and beverage stands provided by restaurants and taverns, and entertainment for all – with music, dance, children’s activities, and more.

Scottish Fest / Highland Games Wauwatosa, June 1: Celebrate all things Scottish at the Milwaukee Highland Games, including food, dance, athletics…and sheepdogs!

Outta Sight Kite Flight Veteran’s Park, June 5-6

Pride Fest Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, Cancelled for 2021: The nations largest LGBT+ festival with permanent festival grounds, owned and operated entirely by volunteers each and every year. Stay tuned for updates for the return of this popular festival! We’ll look forward to it! 

Jammin’ on Janesville Muskego, June 4: An event organized by the Muskego Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism.

Port Washington Pirate Festival Port Washington, Cancelled for 2021: This is the very best Pirate Fest in Wisconsin, located in the beautiful city of Port Washington, Wisconsin, has become the “must attend” event for boaters, bikers, Buccaneers, Revolutionary War re-enactors & families alike from all over the Midwest & beyond. The event includes: a Thieves Marketplace, a Gruel Galley, a Buccaneer Bash, Children’s activities, demonstrations, educational exhibits, musicians, comedians, a Pirate Ship & much more. We’ll look forward to its return in 2022!

Locust Street Festival of Music and Art Locust Street, Milwaukee, Cancelled for 2021: Food, 6 Stages of Music and a Beer Run. We’ll look forward to its return in 2022!

Polish Fest Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, Cancelled for 2021: America’s Largest Polish Festival includes Children’s Activities, Youth Piano Competition, Polish Sheepdogs and learn to cook with Polish Flair! We’ll look forward to its return in 2022!

Greek Fest Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, June 11-13 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. Festival will be Drive-Thru only in 2021 due to the pandemic. 

Juneteenth Festival King Drive from Center to Ring streets, Milwaukee, June 19: Parade, live music, kids games, exhibits, soul food and more!

Lakefront Festival of Art Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Cancelled for 2021: This rain or shine event features over 180 artists from around the nation, local food, beer and wine garden, PNC children’s experience and an entertainment lineup not to be missed. We’ll look forward to its return in 2022!

Strawberry Festival Cedarburg, Cancelled for 2021: 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. We’ll look forward to its return in 2022!

Milwaukee Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival, Waukesha County Expo Center, June 19th: 15 food trucks will be rolling into the Waukesha Expo Center on Saturday, June 19th. From 12 – 5 pm (VIP hour 11 am – 12 pm) there will be eating, drinking, fun….and more eating! Along with the trucks, attendees will find 30+ craft beers, activities for the family, and lawn games.

The Bloody Mary Festival Fiserv Forum, June 22-23: The Bloody Mary Festival is a celebration of the most beloved brunch cocktail and the largest event of its kind. Our mission is to bring together the most innovative and crafty Bloody Mary mixes, curated by our team of Bloody Mary aficionados.

Bristol Renaissance Faire IL/WI Border, Weekends, July 10 through Sept 6: 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, Cancelled for 2021: 38th Anniversary of Milwaukee’s French festival. Bastille Days is one of the largest french-themed celebrations. Storm the Bastille Run and Wine Tastings! We’ll look forward to its return in 2022! 

Festa Italiana Henry Maier Festival Park, Cancelled for 2021: Traditional Italian entertainment, food, games and fireworks every night. We’ll look forward to its return in 2022!

Balloons over Mukwonago Mukwonago, July 16-18: Hot Air Balloons will be visible in the sky during morning and evening flights, and on the ground for an evening glow. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy food from many local food trucks and restaurants that will be serving a variety of meal and snack options. The event grounds are open Fri 4-10pm, Sat 6-8am and 4-10pm, Sun 6-8am.

Fish Day Port Washington, Cancelled for 2021: The World’s Largest One Day Outdoor Fish Fry! Festivities include a car show, walk/run, parade, art and craft show. We’ll look forward to its return in 2022!

Croatian Fest Croatian Park, Franklin, July 17: Food, drinks, music, raffle prizes. Come see some ethnic dancing and delicious authentic Croatian lamb, pork, and chicken off the spit.

MKE Food Truck Fest Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, July 24: The fest will feature over a dozen vendors offering a wide range of sweet and savory options from Thai, Filipino, Italian and Middle Eastern fare to barbeque, snacks and desserts.

German Fest Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, Cancelled for 2021: Authentic German food and entertainment including the Annual Dachshund Derby. We’ll look forward to its return in 2022!

North Shore Bank’s Taste of Lake Country Pewaukee, July 30-31: Food, art vendors, music, and shopping.

Milwaukee Air & Water Show 2021 Event is cancelled.: 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. We’ll look forward to its return in 2022!

Brady Street Festival Brady Street, Milwaukee, Cancelled for 2021: Brady Street will be rockin’ the night and day away with 4 stages packed with live entertainment, including some of our fav local bands. We’ll look forward to its return in 2022!

Hartland Kids Day Nixon Park, Hartland, July 28: Bounce houses, Rock wall, face painting, food and more!

Wisconsin State Fair State Fair Park, August 5-15: The best eleven days of summer is BACK! Enjoy the best of fun, food, animals and shopping the state has to offer. How many items on a stick can you try?

Black Arts Fest MKE Milwaukee, August 7: This annual festival honors African and African American culture, creating a positive atmosphere that unifies all ages. Black Arts Fest MKE will expose attendees to African and African American heritage and inspire and strengthen pride in our ancestry. We hope all leave the festival with a greater understanding of our history.

Firefly Art Fair Wauwatosa, August 7-8: Held on 1.5 acres of gardens and grounds at the historic Kneeland-Walker House, the fair includes over 90 juried artists.

Dragon Boat Festival Veterans Park, Milwaukee, 2021 Status is still TBD: Presented by the Milwaukee Chinese Community Center the festival will include an authentic Chinese experience. Dragon boat races! Check back for updates!

Kid’s Fest Fowler Park, Oconomowoc, August 10: Games, entertainment, music, inflatables, arts & crafts, food and more!

Zoo a la Carte Milwaukee, Cancelled for 2021: “Feast with the Beasts” during the Zoo’s annual a la Carte. Satisfy your cravings with food from favorite local eateries, as you let the music of local and national bands take you away. We’ll look forward to its return in 2022!

Irish Fest Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, August 20-22: A baking contest, Celtic Canines, Cultural Village, Family activities and Jameson Lounge.

Sounds of Summer Whitefish Bay, August 14: A musical street festival on the east end of Silver Spring Drive.

India Fest Humboldt Park, Milwaukee, 2021 Status is TBD : Filled with the colors of courage, peace and happiness. A free day of culture, collaboration, history, diversity and inclusion. Check back for updates!

Muskego DandiLion Daze Festival Muskego, August 27-29: Largest free admission festival in Southeast Wisconsin, including festival parade and carnival rides!

Mexican Fiesta Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, August 27-29: Three days of fun, food, Mariachi and Fiesta for everyone.

Third Ward Art Festival Milwaukee, September 4-5: Live music, great food and fun activities for kids. *Reserve a time slot in advance for 2021!*

Summerfest Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, September 2-4, 9-11, 16-18: Pushed to September for 2021, Summerfest is The World’s Largest Music Festival, including a little something for everyone!

Indian Summer Festival Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, 2021 Status is TBD: Thirty years of Native Traditions. One of Milwaukee’s most popular and memorable ethnic festivals. And as Indian Nation’s largest cultural celebration of its kind, Indian Summer Festival has become a gathering place for Native people from all over the US, Canada and beyond. Check back for updates.

Bay View Bash Bay View, Cancelled for 2021: A community festival of food, art, music, crafts, books and community organizations. Striving to be a zero waste festival! We look forward to its return in 2022!

Wine & Harvest Festival Cedarburg, September 18-19: 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 25: Bring your dog and/or cat. Free parking and Free admission.

Doors Open Milwaukee Milwaukee, September 25-26: 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?

Did we miss some? Let us know and we can add it.

2 COMMENTS

  1. 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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