Milwaukee August 08, 2017
8 Ethnic Festivals In Milwaukee That Will Wow You In The Best Way Possible
Milwaukee is serious about culture, and it definitely shows through our festivals! We’re home to several of the worlds largest ethnic celebrations, you can find an incredible experience nearly every weekend during the summer, and most of these great festivals end the night with fireworks! If you want unique food, music, and performances that will take you to a whole different part of the world, you have to check out these eight ethnic festivals in Milwaukee.
1. Polish Fest
If you don't live here, you may not know this, but we have a strong Polish community that's constantly growing. Milwaukee is home to the largest Polish festival in America, and though it only rolls around once a year, you know you will always find a perfect pierogi or Kielbasa at this epic festival.
2. Bastille Days
This popular French festival is one of the nation's largest French-themed celebrations. The festival lasts four days and is located in downtown's Cathedral Square. You'll want to stop by after work and pick up some beignets while watching some street performers. Don't forget to take a picture with the Eiffel Tower to complete the experience and feel like you're in Paris! The best part: this festival is free.
3. Festa Italiana
Holy canoli! This is one festival you don't want to miss. Though this festival started more than forty years ago, it's grown into one of the largest Italian events of its kind. Per Italian culture, everyone who comes is treated as family. There's good food, good opera, and even better people. Every night of the festival ends with a fireworks show that some argue is second-to-none.
4. German Fest
This festival is a true Milwaukee tradition. With great food and even better beer, there's not a single part of the German culture you'll want to miss. Three times a day, on every day of the fest, you can catch a Glockenspiel performance, where you'll see the german clock come to life.
5. Irish Fest
You're in luck! This is the world's largest celebration of Irish music and culture, with 17 stages for live music, is right here in Milwaukee. Hundreds of performers travel from all over the world to make this festival one you'll never forget. After you grab a Guinness from the Jameson lounge, walk on over to the Celtic Canine area, where you can see and pet Ireland's most popular dog breeds. After that, grab some Irish stew or a potato and watch a match of hurling! Everything about this festival is truly a pot of gold.
This is Milwaukee's newest festival and everyone is loving it! IndiaFest is also a non-profit organization in town and is doing a lot to bridge the gap between India and the Milwaukee community.
7. Mexican Fiesta
Founded in 1973 as a street festival in the south side neighborhoods where they had to shut down the streets due to the party, this is a true celebration of Hispanic culture. A few years later the fiesta was invited to the Summerfest Grounds, where it now hosts a three-day event celebrating everything from salsa dancing to authentic Mexican cuisine. Let's be real, who doesn't need more tasty tacos in their lives?
8. Indian Summer
To end out the summer festival season in Milwaukee you can't miss Indian Summer. It's the largest Native American festival in the United States! Wisconsin is a very fitting location for this celebration, as we're home to 11 federally-recognized Indian tribes and even the name "Wisconsin" is derived from the Indian word "Algonquian."
No event allows you to experience the passion and culture of Native Americans quite like a Pow Wow. Drums pound, feet stomp, and bright colors swirl in a combination of traditional dancing, singing, and storytelling that is unlike anything you've ever seen.
These ethnic festivals are only a taste of what Milwaukee has to offer. What do you do to experience the diverse cultures in Milwaukee?
If you’re living this fantastic Milwaukee summer to the fullest,
here are some hikes around the city that you should add to your bucket list!