Milwaukee Living - Events - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Milwaukee is famous for its festivals, but is home to diverse events year-round
  • Listings: Connect to online calendars and databases; show what's going on and where; see also the venues section for listings of events
    • ExpressMilwaukee: events listings
    • JSOnline: Entertainment; shows Milwaukee events on a wide range of categories; provided by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper's online service
    • Music Pollstar: Pollstar, the Concert Hotwire for Milwaukee; Pollstar provides worldwide concert tour schedules, ticket sales results, music industry contact directories, trade news and data services
    • Free Music: Directory of area music series; a directory of places to go in the greater Milwaukee area for free music and other events, including summer concert series
    • Visitors Calendar: Calendar of Events; view list of major events or search for events by date and category; provided by Greater Milwaukee Convention and Visitors Bureau
    • OnMilw Events: Events section from onMilwaukee.com; lists area events
    • Movies: BigScreen Cinema Guide; what's playing in local movie theaters; customizable
    • Footlights: Guide to theater in Milwaukee
    • UWM: University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee Calendar Listing; shows daily, academic, and ongoing events at the campus including public lectures, concerts, films, art, and events
    • Ticket King: Local and national ticket broker; specializes in Wisconsin and Minnesota events; site includes listings of hot events and availability of tickets
    • -USA Listings -: Events listings directories; there are many sites that list events of all kinds
  • Performing: Milwaukee is home to many performing arts and cultural groups
    • AACT: African American Children's Theatre; after-school training academy; annual productions
    • Alverno Presents: performing arts series at Alverno College
    • Bel Canto Chorus: choral arts organization; includes the Bel Canto Boy Choir
    • Boulevard Theatre: Boulevard Ensemble Studio Theatre
    • Chamber Theatre: Milwaukee Chamber Theatre
    • Comedy: Milwaukee Comedy; Milwaukee Comedy Festival and milwaukeecomedy.com; lists comedy events including sketch comedy, improv, stand-up, open mic nights, special events and more in and around the Greater Milwaukee area
    • Cuatro Orchestra: Milwaukee Cuatro Orchestra; working for the musical development of young and adult musicians interested in the preservation and evolution of Puerto Rico's national instrument, the Cuatro
    • Early Music: Early Music Now; presents historically-informed performances by recognized artists and ensembles who specialize in music before 1800
    • First Stage: First Stage Children's Theater
    • Intandem Th: In Tandem Theatre; professional, live theater company located at Walker's Point Center for the Arts
    • Jazz: Milwaukee Jazz Vision; musicians, teachers, students, listeners, music industry professionals and community leaders working to advance the Jazz community in Milwaukee
    • Knightwind: Knightwind Ensemble; adult wind band
    • Master Singers: Master Singers of Milwaukee; an adult mixed-voice choral ensemble
    • Milwaukee Ballet: Ballet company in Milwaukee
    • MPT: Milwaukee Public Theatre; creates and presents theatrical and performing arts productions through a professional company
    • NextAct: Next Act Theatre; professional non-profit theater company
    • Off the Wall: a small independent theatre; Dale Gutzman
    • Opera Florentine: Milwaukee Florentine Opera Company; presents grand opera productions and community and educational programs
    • Opera Skyllight: Skylight Opera Theatre; professional opera and music theater company encompassing baroque opera, European operetta, Gilbert and Sullivan, Broadway musicals, contemporary chamber operas and original musical revues; in English; located in the Broadway Theatre Center
    • Pink Banana Theatre: encourages new and emerging artists
    • Present Music: Ensemble specializing in new music in the United States
    • Renaissance: Renaissance Theaterworks; specializing in the feminine voice; located off-Broadway at the corner of Water and St. Paul Streets
    • The Rep: Milwaukee Repertory Theater; professional, live theater company located in the heart of the Downtown Theater District in the Patty & Jay Baker Theater Complex, located in the Milwaukee Center
    • Symphony MSO: Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; major, professional symphony orchestra
    • Symphony Festival: Milwaukee's Festival City Symphony; provides free or low-cost concerts for Milwaukee audiences while giving talented musicians an opportunity to perform
    • Symphony Youth: Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra; provides training in techniques of orchestral and ensemble musicianship through a program of rehearsals, performances and enrichment activities to young musicians ages 8-18 in Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin
    • Windfall: Windfall Theatre; a non-profit, professional theater company with a three-production season
  • Festivals: Milwaukee is known as the City of Festivals; many ethnic and cultural festivals are held annually in Milwaukee; some of these festivals are the largest of their kind; most (but not all--see Web sites) are held at Milwaukee's Maier Festival Grounds (known as Summerfest grounds because of its largest and most famous annual festival) located on 30 hectares at the Lake Michigan shoreline just north of the mouth of the Milwaukee river; all of these festivals depend on thousands of volunteers and staff; see the calendar of major festivals for a chronological run-down of the major festivals; see the periodic events section for information on recurring concert series and other non-festival events
    • -Major CALENDAR-: Major Festivals Calendar; a brief run-down of the major festivals listed in chronological order with links to official Web sites and a brief description
    • African World: African World Festival; educates about African life and rituals through a cultural village and opening ceremonies; celebrates the African-American experience; music includes gospel, blues, hip hop, and R & B
    • Arab World: Arab World Fest; a celebration of the food, music and rich cultural heritage of the Arab people
    • Art Domes: Milwaukee Domes Art Festival; juried art show on the grounds of Milwaukee's beloved Mitchell Park; music, food; see photo album page available photo album page
    • Arts Lakefront: Lakefront Festival of Arts; put on by the Milwaukee Art Museum, offers unique works of art in a variety of media, demonstrations by artists, food, and music
    • Asian: Asian Festival
      Major Festivals
      See the Major festivals calendar where I list the big festivals in chronological order for the year--useful to plan your summer!
    • Bastille: Bastille Days; organized by Milwaukee's East Town Association; celebrates music, food, and culture loosely organized around a French theme; held in the Cathedral Square area of Milwaukee's East Town
    • Brady St: Brady Street Festival; see photo album page available photo album page
    • Brewfest: Milwaukee Brewfest; a celebration of beer, breweries, and brewers; held at the Old Coast Guard Pavilion Park on Milwaukee's lakefront
    • Center St: Center Street Daze Festival; in Riverwest
    • Comedy: Milwaukee Comedy; Milwaukee Comedy Festival and milwaukeecomedy.com; lists comedy events including sketch comedy, improv, stand-up, open mic nights, special events and more in and around the Greater Milwaukee area
    • Directory: Community and Parish Festival Directory; this is a directory of the many community, church, fair, and other small festival and fairs held throughout the area; CFC = Council of Festival Committees
    • Dragon Boat: Milwaukee Dragon Boat Festival; organized by Milwaukee Chinese Community Center
    • Film: Milwaukee Film Festival; features an international slate of films
    • Firkin: Milwaukee Firkin (29.81 liters in the US) Craft Beer Fest; a celebration of Milwaukee beer, past, present and future; a US firkin is a unit of measure about a quarter barrel of beer or 29.81 liters; see photo album page available photo album page
    • Folkfair: Holiday Folk Fair International; produced by the International Institute of Wisconsin, an organization dedicated to racial, cultural, and ethnic understanding
    • Fringe: performance and visual arts; celebrates Milwaukee's vibrant and diverse arts scene
    • German: German Fest; features musicians and dance troupes from around the world, costumes, contests, a live Glockenspiel, and other family activities
    • Greek: Greek Fest; at State Fair Park
    • Highland Games Scottish: Milwaukee Scottish Fest
    • IndiaFest: InidaFest; Indian authentic food, gorgeous costumes, cultural shows, dance, music, and activities
    • Indian Summer: Native American; celebrates the diversity of both traditional and contemporary Native American culture
    • Irish: Milwaukee Irish Fest; celebrates Irish culture, music, and food at the lakefront annually and also works on promoting Irish culture and traditions throughout the year
    • Italiana: Festa Italiana; music, food, bocce, artifacts from the Blessed Virgin of Pompeii Church, gondola rides, fireworks
    • Jazz: Summer Sizzle; Jazz festival in the Historic Third Ward
    • Kite: Various Kite Festivals; in Veterans Park; see "Events" section; Cool Kite Festival, Family Kite Festival, Frank Mots Kite festival; see photo album page available photo album page
    • Laborfest: Milwaukee County Labor Council AFL-CIO; a parade through downtown Milwaukee; festival on the Summerfest grounds (Maier Festival Park)
    • Latino Carnival: Milwaukee Latino Carnaval and Grand Parade; Latino culture, folklore, fun, food, dance and education
    • Locust St: Locust Street Festival; music, food, vendors, beer run/walk; in Riverwest (west bank of the Milwaukee River)
    • Mexican: Mexican Fiesta; the sound, culture and taste of Mexico
    • Octoberfest Milwaukee: Cathedral Square Park
    • Octoberfest MKE: Marcus Center Grounds Pere Marquette Park; Downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    • Periodic Events: for other events, see this listing of non-festival events of various kinds; Milwaukee has many annual or one-day special events, ongoing summer concert series, and recurring trade shows that are not festivals, but have many similar features (food, folks, and fun)
    • Petfest: Pet activities; Fromm Family foods
    • Polish: Polish Fest; food, music, Chopin Piano competition; site includes information about Wisconsin's Polish Community
    • Pride: PrideFest; celebrates diversity, the accomplishments, contributions, and history of the LGBT community
    • Running: Milwaukee Running Festival; marathon, half-marathon
    • Rock the Green: near-zero waste music festival; eco-friendly event production; clean/renewable energy to power the event to composting to biodegradable plates/utensils and more
    • Scottish: Milwaukee Highland Games / Milwaukee Scottish Fest; bands, food, dancing, sheepdogs, parade
    • South Shore Frolics: South Shore Water Frolics; in South Shore Park in Bay View, food, crafts, fireworks, parade
    • Summer Sizzle: Jazz festival; in the Historic Third Ward
    • Summer Solstice: The East Side's Summer Solstice Music Festival
    • Summerfest: Summerfest; Milwaukee's largest and most famous summer festival; world's largest outdoor music festival; "The Big Gig;" music festival; eleven days, twelve hours a day, thirteen stages, hundreds of performers, food, hundreds of thousands of folks, and fun
    • Sun Fair: On Historic Mitchell Street; entertainment, rides, games, music, and food; visits to historic churches
    • Train: Trainfest; presents operating model train layouts along with manufacturers, historical societies, displays, artists, hobby shops, demonstrations, and locomotive testing; put on by the Wisconsin Southeastern Division, Inc. of the Midwest Region of the National Model Railroad Association
    • Urban Island: urban park festival; at Lakeshore State Park; see photo album page available photo album page; formerly called Gathering Waters Festival
    • Winterfest: a ten-day party; at the convention center in downtown Milwaukee
  • Periodic: Milwaukee has many annual or one-day special events, ongoing summer concert series, and recurring trade shows; see the festivals section for the world-famous and community ethnic festivals held in Milwaukee
    • Air Show: Milwaukee Air and Water Show; on the Lakefront; airpower demonstrations; water show; my photos
    • Al's Run: Run and Walk for Children's Hospital; fundraising run and walk for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin; memorializes Al McGuire, the late Marquette University basketball coach, wanted to thank the southeastern Wisconsin community for its support of the Marquette Warriors during the 1977 NCAA season
    • APT: Arte Para Todos; neighborhood local art and music experience
    • Ayre: Ayre in the (Catalano) Square; summer music series that takes place on Thursdays from 6:30pm-8:30pm in the Historic Third Ward’s Catalano Square Park; free
    • Bay View Art in Park: artisan market in Zillman Park; photography, painting, jewelry, fiber arts, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and ceramics
    • Bay View Bash: A block party for the Bay View neighborhood; music, entertainment, and food
    • Bay View Gallery Night: a twice-yearly art event
    • Bay View Winefest: annual fundraiser for Airshows of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Air & Water show; funds go towards operations and improvements to support the air and water shows
    • Bead & Button Show: the largest bead show in the country
    • Beer Week: celebrating Beer in Brew City
    • BigGigBBQ: music, food, beer; at Summerfest grounds
    • Bradford Beach: Summer music and fun; Bradford Beach is open May to October; beach Volleyball Leagues run June through September; Music by the Fire each Thursday and Sunday Funday’s starting June 17 through September 26; Bradford Beach Jams
    • Brewers Mini: Brewers Mini-Marathon; half-marathon, 5K, 10K; begin and end at Miller Park
    • Chill on the Hill: Humboldt Park; outdoor summer concert series
    • Cicloviamke: a car-free public space event; families and friends can exercise and play, and neighborhood businesses can engage the community
    • Circus: Tripoli Shrine Circus; annual circus held in February
    • DOMKE: Doors Open Milwaukee; visit building interiors during this special program of Historic Milwaukee, Inc.; my photos from DOMKE
    • Dylan's Run: Benefits Autism Research and The Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin
    • E Side Music: East Side Music Tour; bands and musicians performing live in coffee shops, boutiques, restaurants and bars among other venues on Brady Street
    • Festivals: MKE Festivals; a list of the many ethnic and cultural festivals held in Milwaukee
    • Fish Fry Flick: Summer fish fry and films; series at Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin; see photo album page available photo album page
    • Fourth St Forum: promotes public discussion of political and social issues; a panel of experts presents their views on a chosen topic and explores solutions with the audience and the 4th Street Forum moderator; at Milwaukee Turner Hall; see photo album page available photo album page
    • Free Music: Directory of area music series; a directory of places to go in the greater Milwaukee area for free music and other events, including summer concert series
    • Gallery Night: Quarterly art gallery event; art galleries, art schools, and art musuems throughout the downtown, east side, Third Ward, and Walker's Point, and around offer special exhibits, food, entertainment on a Friday night
    • Green Energy: Green Energy Summit and Exposition; green sector development and investment; energy-water nexus; education, efficiency, financing, agriculture, building, business, manufacturing, careers, innovation, recycling, renewables, responsibility, sustainability, transportation, and water; see photo album page available photo album page
    • Indyfest: Car racing at State Fair Park in West Allis
    • Holiday Lights: Winter season lights display; lights illuminate downtown parks and buildings
    • Holiday Parade: Annual Holiday Parade; downtown Milwaukee
    • Jazz: Milwaukee Jazz Vision; periodic jazz events; Bay View Jazz Fest; Visions on the Lake
    • Jazz in Park: Weekly summer jazz concert; in Cathedral Square park in downtown Milwaukee's East Town
    • Lake MI Trail Marathon: Marathon; Half Marathon; 50k; 32k Training Run; trails through Milwaukee's park system
    • Lakefront Marathon: Annual marathon; from Grafton to downtown
    • Live @ Peck: summer concerts and film at the outdoor Peck Pavillion at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
    • Live @ the Lakefront: Summer concert series at Discovery World; at Pier Wisconsin on Lake Michigan
    • Made in MKE: Made in Milwaukee; Milwaukee Art, Music, Dance, Fashion and Culture
    • Maker Faire: makers show off their stuff; tech enthusiasts, inventors, crafters, educators, tinkerers and hobbyists of all ages exhibit their work and share their knowledge and skills; co-hosted by Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and the Milwaukee Makerspace, in collaboration with MAKE magazine and sponsored by Brady Corporation.
    • Marathon/Runningfest: Milwaukee Running Festival; marathon, half-marathon
    • Memorial Day Parade: downtown Milwaukee to the memorial in Veterans Park
    • Mexican Independence: Mexican Independence Parade and Festival
    • Milwaukee Day: a celebration of the 414; events throughout the city on April 14th to recognize what is special about Milwaukee
    • Milwaukee Rally: Harley-Davidson motorcycle rally; produced by Harley-Davidson Dealers of Metro Milwaukee
    • Morning Glory Craft: Morning Glory Fine Craft Fair; fine craft artists exhibiting media in ceramics, glass, leather, wood, photography, jewelry, fiber, enamel, handmade paper, metal, and mixed media
    • Park Events: Calendar of events in Milwaukee County parks
    • Polar Plunge: Polar Bear Plunge Milwaukee
    • Race4Cure: The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race for the Cure; fundraiser for the Komen foundation which fights breast cancer
    • Reclaiming Our Heritage: honors veterans; highlights the architectural and cultural treasures of the National Soldiers Home Historic District; Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center; multi-era military encampment, veteran tributes, entertainment with historic flair, lantern tours of Wood National Cemetery, guided tours of the buildings and grounds
    • Ride for Arts: Miller Lite Ride for the Arts; bicycle ride to benefit the United Performing Arts Fund
    • River Challenge: Milwaukee River Challenge; a rowing regatta on the Milwaukee River along a 3.5 km course
    • River Flicks: summer film series; see photo album page available photo album page
    • River Rhythms: Weekly summer concert series; in Marquette Park on the Milwaukee river
    • Rockerbox: motorcycle show and street party; on Center Street outside of Fuel Cafe
    • St Patrick's: Saint Patrick's Day Parade; Shamrock Club of Wisconsin; my photos
    • Skyline Music: Summer music series at Selig-Joseph-Folz Ampitheater
    • State Fair: Wisconsin State Fair; annual celebration of the agriculture and industry of Wisconsin
    • Starup Week: new business community
    • Veterans Parade: Annual parade recognizing veterans; my photos
    • World Beef Expo: Annual beef tradeshow; held at Wisconsin State Fair Park and features many breeds of beef cattle, breed auctions, a prospect auctions, commercial trade show and seminars, youth and collegiate livestock judging competition, and youth sweepstake events
    • YP Week: Young Professional Week; events celebrating Milwaukee for the young professional workforce
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