A Summer of Festivals (2024 Edition)

Monday, Jul 8  ·  Milwaukee

It’s festival season here in Milwaukee, although some might argue it’s festival season in Milwaukee all year long! Our city hosts over 100+ festivals, and it’s one of the things we love the most about our lovely Milwaukee. With live music and culture radiating from every corner, we’ve decided to provide you with a helpful guide to all the fun and festivities. We’ve included a list below of all our favorite festivals to help you plan your perfect Milwaukee summer the next time you stay with us!

For most festivals, it’s advisable to bring cash, wear comfortable shoes, and check online if any specific items are allowed or prohibited. We hope you have a fun and safe time, and don’t forget to return to us for a well-deserved slumber and delicious breakfast at our Cafe!


Summerfest (June 27-29, July 4-6)

Weekend one has already passed, and what a weekend it was, with headlining performances from the Goo Goo Dolls and SZA leaving fans raving! Weekend two promises even more incredible music from big names, including Illenium, Keith Urban and REO Speedwagon, from June 27th to the 29th. Weekend 3, from July 4th to 6, has a host of artists closing out the festival, from Lil Yachty and Cold War Kids to Maroon 5 and more. Get your tix, find yourself a jumbo pretzel, and cross your fingers that the weather plays nice!

Getting to Henry Maier Festival Park from The Plaza is a breeze. You can rent a Bublr bike or Lime scooter for a quick 8-minute ride or enjoy a 25-minute walk that hugs the scenic lakefront. Prefer free public transit? Catch The Hop from Cathedral Square, just a 6-minute walk away, and hop off in the Third Ward — only a 10-minute walk from all the festival action!


Bastille Days (July 11-14)

This French-themed festival transforms our Cathedral Square Park into a French-themed festival featuring a mini Eiffel Tower, delicious food, and plenty of entertainment. Crepes, artisanal crafts and live music await you over this warm July weekend. Amuse-toi bien!

If you’re staying at The Plaza, you’re just a short stroll away. Cathedral Square Park is a mere 6 minute walk down the street and around the corner!


Brady Street Fest (July 20)

This one-day festival stretches the length of Brady Street and promises a vibrant celebration of our eclectic East Side neighborhood! This fest dates back to the 1970s, was reborn in 2007 and has been on our list of favorite festivals ever since. Food, crafts and live music offer a full day of fun in the sun, and we can’t wait for it!

A 7-minute bike ride from The Plaza is an excellent option for getting there, or a 15-minute walk if you’re hoofing it. It’s up to you!


Harley-Davidson Homecoming Festival (July 25-28)

Harley’s annual festival is coming up at the end of July for 4 days of engines and electric guitars reverberating through Veterans Park. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are making an appearance along with a handful of other high-octane artists for a lakeside celebration of all things Harley Davidson. Don’t miss it!

Veterans Park is just a hop and a skip from The Plaza! Walk south to Mason Street and take the bridge near the Art Museum across N Lincoln Memorial Drive, and follow the sound of V-Twin engines north! The walk is about 20 minutes.


German Fest (July 26-28)

Kicking off at the end of July, German Fest at Henry Maier Festival Park is an annual weekend filled with authentic German food, music, and other cultural activities. Sip a stein, dance to some polka, and split a pretzel amongst good friends! Just make sure those lederhosen still fit. 


Black Arts Fest MKE (August 3)

This one-day event at Henry Maier Festival Park celebrates the deep roots of African Heritage and cultural arts, spanning a dynamic day of fun-filled festivities. Experience captivating programming from art, education, poetry, and dance to fashion, wellness and cuisine. All of it and more will be on full display to celebrate African ancestry and pride for any Milwaukeean looking for a memorable multi-generational experience. We highly recommend it! 


Wisconsin State Fair (August 1-11)

The Wisconsin State Fair is returning to State Fair Park this August for two weeks, displaying everything from agricultural exhibits and carnival rides to concerts and food (our favorite part). It’s always a fun time at the fair! Grab an ear of seasoned corn and grab a seat at the outdoor amphitheater to hear some comedy from Gabriel Inglasis or some comedic bars from Yung Gravy, with Foreigner thunderously closing out the fair on the 10th. All of the action is at State Fair Park, a 24-minute drive (or rideshare) away from The Plaza.


Irish Fest (August 15-18)

Irish Fest at Henry Maier Festival Park is sure to be a jolly good time! 4 days of Irish music, festivities, and craic are in store, with over 100 acts performing across the grounds. Everything from traditional Irish music to modern indie rock promises to entertain even the most ornery. Sláinte!


Puerto Rican Festival (August 18)

The rich island culture of Puerto Rico will be on full display for a lively day of festivities at Humboldt Park! Let the smells entice you, the live music move you, the cultural exhibits inspire you, and the community make you feel as warm as the sun on a Caribbean beach. Come and join in the fun! 

Humboldt Park, located in Bay View, is a breezy 12-minute drive from The Plaza.


Mexican Fiesta (August 23-25)

Mexican Fiesta brings the sound, culture, and taste of México to Henry Maier Festival Park for a celebratory (and delicious) August weekend! It’s sure to be a spirited time full of educational opportunities and cultural experiences that honor the tradition, culture, and familial strength of the Mexican community in Milwaukee. And take it from us – the food is going to be delicious.

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