The storms have moved out of Southeast Wisconsin just in time for yet another weekend stuffed with fun outdoor festivals! Whether you’re celebrating Italian heritage, chowing down on fresh, fried fish or perusing the livestock at the county fair, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this weekend. Check out this weekend’s festival guide:
Festa Italiana (Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee)
Festa Italiana is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year at Henry Maier Festival Park. And with its fantastic entertainment, delicious food and, of course, festive fireworks, it’s no surprise it’s one of Milwaukee’s most popular festivals of the summer.
There’s a steady lineup of musical, dance and comedy acts at this year’s Festa, including opera singers, swing rockers Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, an ABBA tribute band and more! This year’s surprise Saturday-night headliner is country music superstar Phil Vassar.
Festa will also have plenty of kids entertainment options from a play area, bocce ball games and checking out the LEGO piazza. There’s also a children’s parade, complete with fun floats, jugglers, clowns, dancers and more!
One of the most popular traditions is the Sunday Mass, held at 11am, followed by a large procession throughout the festival grounds. Anyone who attends mass Sunday morning will gain free admission to the festival that day.
Where: Henry Maier Festival Grounds, Milwaukee
When: Thursday 5-11pm, Friday-Sunday 11:30am-midnight,
How Much: Admission is $10 in advance and $13 at the gate. On Saturday, anyone the age of 35 gets in free from 3-5pm!
More Information: www.festaitaliana.com
Waukesha County Fair (Waukesha County Expo Center)
The oldest county fair in the state of Wisconsinnever seems to disappoint in terms of booking great entertainment acts, and this year’s fair is no different. Friday night, catch Foreigner while ‘80s hair metal band Cinderella performs Saturday night.
If you’re not intent on rocking out like it’s 1985, take the kiddies to check out the livestock or peruse the arts and crafts tables. They’ll also delight in the “Tiger Encounter,” with showings each day of various types of tigers and education about how tigers interact, eat and how few are found in the wild today.
You can fill up on a pancake breakfast on Saturday morning just before taking in the demolition derby, beginning at 1pm. And of course, the people-watching is fabulous while taking a stroll down the midway.
Where: Waukesha County Expo Center
When: Thursday 3-11pm, Friday-Saturday 8am-midnight, Sunday 8am-8pm
How Much: Admission is $9 for adults, $3 for kids, and free for children 6 and under.
More information: www.waukeshacountyfair.com/index.htm
Fish Day (Lakefront, Port Washington)
“The World’s Largest Outdoor One-Day Fish Fry” is a huge attraction to picturesque Port Washington. Indeed, you’ll find many of varieties of fried fish to munch on, but that’s not the only star of the show. The festival kicks off with an 8k run/2-mile walk at 8am, and the festival grounds open at 10am. A huge parade winds through the city, ending at the grounds. You won’t want to miss the classic car show, the arts and crafts show, carnival, water fights or the fireworks, which begin at 9:30pm. While there are a handful of music stages at Fish Day, including genres from blues to country, with classic-rock cover band U2Zoo taking the stage at 7:30pm.
Where: Harbor and Lake Park, Port Washington
How Much: Admission is free.
More Information: www.portfishday.com
Did we miss one of your favorite festivals? Let us know in the comments section!