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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, April 18, 2014

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Fish Day revelry ...
Fish Day revelry ...
... incuding snake charming ...
... incuding snake charming ...
... and keg stands by the author!
... and keg stands by the author!

A Fish Day frolic

As Wisconsinites, we all deal with an abundance of stereotypes – we all drink too much, eat too much cheese, we all drink Pabst and Schlitz, carry an extra layer of winter weight, and of course the only thing we care about is the Packers. While some of this does sound oddly familiar, we know there is so much more to growing up and living in Wisconsin. But, that doesn't mean that every once in a while it isn't a good time to enjoy some of these oddities that surround our beloved state.

Enter Fish Day.

If you haven't heard of this festival, well frankly, you should educate yourself. Fish Day takes place in beautiful Port Washington. It is billed as the world's largest one day outdoor fish fry. Contrary to popular belief, the festival does last only one day (although there are many who start early and finish late). I personally have attended this fishy fest on a regular basis for as long as I can remember. Then again, I also grew up in good ol' P Dub.

I chose to cut the parade this year (given that the best part in past years was the South Shore Drill team) and get some extra z's, safely tucked away from the madness in my Milwaukee apartment.

The first omen predicting trouble occurred before I had the chance to exit the freeway. While traveling I-43 northbound, a couch flew off a truck two cars in front of me. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but it added an extra five minute delay to my day drinking. Shame on you reckless driver, shame on you.

After a safe arrival, I hoofed it toward downtown to begin celebrating. I arrived at a friend's house party only to find that there was already a puker. Oh Fish Day, but it's so early! We drank our patriotic High Life and Budweiser before heading to another house party closer to downtown.

A mid-afternoon gathering, slight buzz, quarter barrel and a group of high school friends only meant one thing. Keg stands. Alright, maybe I'm a little old for this and yes, I was wearing a dress, but still. It had to be done.

Before I kn…

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Dancing on picnic tables is contagious.
Dancing on picnic tables is contagious.
Just happy to be here.
Just happy to be here.
Are you ready to rock?
Are you ready to rock?

Easing back into the Big Gig

Everyone has a favorite holiday. For some it's Christmas, others Thanksgiving, but for me it's that summery time of year in Milwaukee. You guessed it, Summerfest.

All right, maybe I'm a little too excited about all this and, yes, I know it's not actually a holiday, but then again, maybe you're just not excited enough. Pros and cons aside, I'm a fan. From my point of view, one of the best sales tactics the good ol' folks at the fest came up with this year was the power pass. If you go more than three times and didn't buy one, you should kick yourself. This wonderful little pass allows me one-time access to the grounds each day for $45.

After working the morning brunch shift, by Saturday afternoon, I was itching to get to the Big Gig. My mind was filled with memories of past Summerfest experiences. You know, eating deep fried anything, chugging MGD and rocking out to a variety of music.

My trek to Summerfest took a minor detour in order to pay homage to one of America's best beers, the one, the only, Pabst Blue Ribbon. I stopped at Burnhearts, 2599 S. Logan Ave., mid-afternoon to check out the Burnhearts and Pabst Street Party. I confess, I missed this event last year, but I was pleasantly surprised upon arriving at the scene.

A large stage was set up next to the bar entrance at the corner of Logan and Potter Avenues, and a section of Potter was blocked off to traffic. Outside, you could snag a PBR for $3, with all other drinks and the full beer selection available inside the bar.

After getting our Pabst fill, my small group strolled up a few blocks to Palomino, 2491 S. Superior St., to collect one more group member and catch a shuttle down to Summerfest. The shuttle begins picking up from Palomino in the afternoon and runs approximately once an hour. By about 6:30 p.m., we arrived.

Getting through the gates was manageable as most of us bought a power pass or ticket in advance. A small line and mild pat-down and then I was free to roam the fest. Upon realizing i…

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