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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014

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The 45th anniversary Summerfest tribute exhibit features 23 signed guitars.
The 45th anniversary Summerfest tribute exhibit features 23 signed guitars.
Tom Petty's John Hancock.
Tom Petty's John Hancock.
The B-52s signed a guitar as a thank you.
The B-52s signed a guitar as a thank you.
The exhibit features posters and video footage, too.
The exhibit features posters and video footage, too.

Sneak peek: Summerfest exhibit at Discovery World

I had the pleasure of checking out the new 45th anniversary Summerfest tribute exhibit this afternoon at Discovery World. It opens to the public Thursday, May 24 through Sept. 15.

The exhibit features never-been-seen memorabilia from the past 44 years including dozens of signed guitars from Devo, B.B. King, Justin Bieber, Modest Mouse, Elvis Costello, Steve Winwood, B-52s, Flaming Lips, Cypress Hill, Carrie Underwood and Big Gig darling Tom Petty.

According to John Boler, the vice president of sales and marketing for Summerfest, the guitars were given by the musicians as a "thank you" and have been stored in the Summerfest archives for years.

Drum heads, posters, promotional merchandise and video screens showing historical footage are also a part of the exhibit.

"Discovery World is a fantastic facility and a great neighbor of Summerfest," says Boler. "This exhibit triggers good memories and gets people excited about being a part of the 45th anniversary."

A kick-off party will take place on Thursday, May 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. and will feature live music. Everyone in attendance gets a free 4th of July admission ticket and a 45th anniversary T-shirt. A special $5 admission will allow guests to check out both the Summerfest tribute exhibit and Les Paul's House of Sound exhibit.

Plus, between 6 and 7:45 p.m., guests can enter to win a three-hour Pedal Tavern Tour and sign up for the 45 Day Countdown Contest to win prizes daily from Summerfest and its partners.

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