By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Jun 27, 2022 at 9:01 AM Photography: Visit Milwaukee

The great Milwaukee summer is coming! Don't miss all of our great coverage on local festivals and happenings. Click here for your full summer line-up! 

Your guide to having a great summer is brought to you by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino and Peoples State Bank.

The Milwaukee summer festival season has finally arrived, and now it's time to start planning out your fun. But with seemingly a festival or live music event every weekend once again, it can be overwhelming to try and keep track of all the terrific options headed your way.

Luckily, the OnMilwaukee summer festivals guide is here to help.

Here's what you'll be doing, where you'll be drinking, who you'll be hearing and how you'll be getting a sweet tan this summer. (And stay tuned for updates as more festivals announce their official dates, musical lineups and more.)

Now get out there and have some Milwaukee summer fun!

Chill on the Hill
Humboldt Park
June 28-Aug. 30
Hosted as always at Humboldt Park, Chill on the Hill will welcome a plethora of bands over the course of three beautiful summer months, surrounded by food vendors and trucks from popular Bay View eateries and community partners. This year's lineup – taking the stage Tuesday nights at 6:30 p.m. – features excellent local acts like MilBillies, Paul Cebar, Vincent Van Great and Amanda Huff, the MSO, the 100th anniversary celebration of the American Legion Band and more. 

Henry Maier Festival Park
June 30-July 2 and July 7-9
From rock to pop, rap to alternative, country to electronic, the world's largest music festival has something for everyone! And best of all, general admission is less than $30 – with plenty of opportunities to save even more money with deals scattered throughout the festival! This year features yet another all-star lineup including Machine Gun Kelly, Thomas Rhett, Disturbed, Halsey, Backstreet Boys and more. And that's just the main stage!

Sounds of Summer
The Yard at Bayshore
July 1-Aug. 26

Head to the green gathering space in the heart of Bayshore and jam out to the Sounds of Summer live music series, with local bands and performers taking the mic every Friday night from 6-9 p.m. Food and drink are available as well from vendors and nearby food trucks. For the full lineup of music acts, click here

Bristol Renaissance Faire
July 9-Sept. 5
Grab your corset or your homemade chainmail armor; the Bristol Renaissance Faire is set to make its annual return. Open rain or shine every Saturday, Sunday and on Labor Day, the Bristol Faire takes visitors for a rollicking romp through Elizabethan England from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., complete with 16th-century arts, crafts, games, rides, food, music and one-of-a-kind encounters with a colorful cast of characters from the era.

Milwaukee Night Market
Wisconsin Avenue between 2nd Street and Vel R. Phillips Avenue
July 13, Aug. 17 and Sept. 21
Milwaukee Night Market is a glorious once-a-month collision of all wonder things Milwaukee has to offer. From 5-10 p.m., the Night Market puts on a free, open-air market that offers a wide variety of experiences for people of all backgrounds and ages, featuring a mash-up of art, craft and food vendors, live art creation, local music, Milwaukee businesses, tasty beverages and much more. Any day that ends with a Night Market is a good day.

Bastille Days
Cathedral Square Park
July 14-17
Bienvenu a Bastille Days! Come visit Paris via Cathedral Square Park and celebrate the much-anticipated return of one of the country's biggest French-themed gatherings, with impromptu street performers, roaming minstrels, musical entertainment and tasty French delicacies. This year's edition comes slightly downsized and altered – the giant replica 43-foot Eiffel Tower, for instance, won't be in attendance – but with tons of tasty food, the return of Storm the Bastille and much more, Bastille Days will still put the "oui!" into Milwaukee. 

Red Bull Flugtag
Veterans Park
July 16

Get ready for a lot of falling with style at Red Bull Flugtag, a special competition where several teams create incredible flying creations and do their best Wright Brothers impression ... if the Wright Brothers did choreographed costumed dance routines before takeoff and also the flying contraptions were pretty much designed for disaster. The Milwaukee edition features teams attempting to fly a giant brat, a giant deer and more, so get ready for goofiness, good times and maybe, just maybe, some actually decent air times. 

Armenian Fest
St. John the Baptist Armenian Orthodox Church, 7825 W. Layton Ave.
July 17
From 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., Armenian Fest serves up one of the finest fests in the great Milwaukee summer, celebrating Armenian culture with music, dancing, vendors and – of course – delicious authentic food. The menu this year will grill up multiple types of kabobs plus lahmajoon (aka Armenian pizza), boreg, paklava for dessert and much more. You are guaranteed to not leave hungry. 

Milwaukee Makers Market
See website for location

Every third Sunday of the month, next on July 17
The Milwaukee Makers Market is the perfect seasonal stop for lovers of art, crafts, alliteration, designers and almost any other hobby. The market meets 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. every third Sunday of the month at either Discovery World or Ivy House MKE – so drop by and find your new favorite living room conversation piece, artistic inspiration or something else completely unexpected.

Jazz in the Park
Cathedral Square Park
July 21-Sept. 29
Every Thursday, Cathedral Square Park fills with the sounds of summer from 6-9 p.m. (with a happy hour starting at 5 p.m.). Drinks will be available throughout various tents at the festival; however, it is asked that there are no carry-ins. While jazz may get top billing, the lineup for the weekly summer concert event – still to be announced for 2022 – offers a tuneful variety of local music from across genres and across the globe, all while surrounded by beautiful Milwaukee weather and Downtown scenery. 

Food Truck Fest
Henry Maier Festival Park
July 23

Do you feel the need? The need ... to feed? Then do we have the festival for you: Food Truck Fest, bringing a whole fleet of delicious four-wheeled dining options to the Summerfest grounds this summer. Presented by OnMilwaukee, the festival will feature two different sessions – lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., dinner from 4-8 p.m. – each with a variety of the best meals on wheels Milwaukee and the surrounding area can serve. For more information on tickets, click here

Milwaukee Air & Water Show
July 23-24
It's a bird! It's a plane! No, actually, it's both, as the Milwaukee Air & Water Show is back in the air on and over the lakefront. This year's show – its eleventh edition – will bring back the famed Blue Angels to headline the event, alongside other exciting demonstrations roaring to life on and above Lake Michigan.

EAA AirVenture
Wittman Regional Airport, 525 W. 20th Ave.
July 25-31
Every year, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh earns its distinction as "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration." The members of the EAA make this annual event one of the world's most impressive showcases of attractions, representing innovation, history, technological advancement and current and future trends in aviation.

Washington County Fair
Washington County Fair Park
July 26-31
Enjoy good food and good music at the Washington County Fair. Country headliners tend to dominate the festival – and this year is no different with Tyler Farr and Justin Moore, as well as Bret Michaels, rockin' the grounds in 2022. Plus there's a multitude of vendors and all sorts of fair fun, so come out and see what all the fuss is about!

Riverwest 24
July 29-30
Calling all biking lovers! Come out to Riverwest for its 24-hour bike race, where you get in some exercise while experiencing the culture and camaraderie of one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Milwaukee. Whether you're a hardcore cyclist aiming for a record time or a fairly pedestrian pedaler who just wants to have a good time in a great neighborhood, the Riverwest 24 is one tremedous day. 

German Fest
Henry Maier Festival Park
July 29-31
Prost to the return of German Fest, once again jam-packing three days on the lakefront with live music – this year including Austrian hit band Schürzenjäger, The Freistadt Alte Kameraden Band and many others – traditional dance, a Stein challenge pitting German-style homebrews againsts one another, children's activities, a Dachshund derby, history, wine tasting and much more. Oh, and of course plates upon plates of delicious authentic German food. 

Brady Street Festival
Farwell Avenue to Van Buren Street
July 30
You'll be rockin' the day and night away at one of this neighborhood festival's several stages packed with local bands – this year including Evan Christian, Holy Pinto, GGOOLLDD, Paper Holland, De La Buena and many more. (Find the full lineup right here.) And when you're parched from walking all around this great bustling drag as well as singing and dancing to all the live music, quench your thirst with an ice cold beer or fill up on an array of food from various vendors. 

Milwaukee Brewfest
McKinley Park
July 30
Hop on over to McKinley Park for this 12th celebration of hops, pouring unlimited samples of craft and micro brews, ciders, meads and more from around the world. Yes, you read that right: unlimited samples. Cheers to the perfect festival for Brew City. 

Wisconsin State Fair
Wisconsin State Fair Park
Aug. 4-14
It's the most Wisconsin time of the year: the Wisconsin State Fair! For ten days, enjoy some classic cream puffs, fried Oreos and all sorts of creative concessions by the winners of the Sporkies – then wear off all those calories by walking around the grounds, hopping on amusement park rides, cheering on endless fair competitions, people-watching, animal-watching and listening to countless concerts. Speaking of which, this year's main stage entertainment includes country star Brett Young, comedian Charlie Berens, hip-hop icon Nelly and more.

Black Arts Fest MKE
Henry Maier Festival Park
Aug. 6
One of the more recent additions to Milwaukee's slate of summer festivals, Black Arts Fest MKE brings African heritage, culture, community, celebration, history, art, food and more down to the lakefront from noon until midnight. Plus, if you act early and buy your tickets in May, admission only costs $12 thanks to its early bird special!

Bronzeville Cultural and Arts Festival
Aug. 6-13
The Bronzeville Cultural and Arts Festival, taking place amid Bronzeville Week in early August, focuses on the historical and cultural importance of the Milwaukee iconic neighborhood, offering local art, dance performances, venues for social discussion, free health screenings and more. 

Brewtown Rumble
Deer District
Aug. 7
Presented by Royal Enfield, Milwaukee's ride-in vintage motorcycle festival will once again rev up the streets of Cream City for the sixth time on Sunday, Aug. 7. The location for the Brewtown Rumble's triumphant is different, moving from Walker's Point and Fuel Cafe on S. 5th St. to the Downtown hub that is Deer District – but the party is still the same, featuring live music, vendors and, of course, sweet cycles of all makes and models.

Waukesha BluesFest
Naga-Waukee Park in Delafield
Aug. 12-13
Known as an "American Music and Art Festival," the festival features blues, R&B, soul, gospel and roots music mixed in with country and rock. In the past, the music celebration has seen the likes of Mavis Staples, James Hunter, John Mayall and many other nationally and internationally renowned musicians. This year, you can see headliners The Duke Robillard Band and Sue Foley. 

Center Street Daze
Center Street, from Humboldt to Holton
Aug. 13
Celebrating 25 years of fun, this Riverwest neighborhood festival is perfect for the whole family, featuring live music at a plethora of venues, vendors from around the community, tasty food and all sorts of wild events and entertainment. The opportunities are endless as you make your way down one of the city's most eclectic main drags, during one of the city's most eclectic days of the year. 

Morning Glory Art Fair
Deer District
Aug. 13-14

Fiserv Forum is used to seeing masterpieces on the court inside the building, but for two days this summer, there will be art outside of the arena as well with the Morning Glory Art Fair. Running 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Deer District, the festival brings more than 100 artists together to show off their remarkable works and wares across multiple mediums. 

Irish Fest
Henry Maier Festival Park
Aug. 18-21
Don't miss the world's largest Irish music and culture celebration. Hot off its 40th anniversary in 2021, the four-day family festival showcases an incredible plethora of live music and entertainment acts from all over the world – this year including We Banjo 3, Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Enter the Haggis and many more – several local Irish dance groups and dozens upon dozens of vendors selling Irish crafts, food and retail items. 

Milwaukee a la Carte at the Zoo
Milwaukee County Zoo
Aug. 18-21

Go wild with this special culinary excursion courtesy of the Milwaukee County Zoo, featuring four days of delicious bites from several local restaurants served alongside live music, wine tastings, demonstrations and more entertainment. Plus, you're at the zoo!

Bloody Mary Festival
Deer District

Aug. 20
From serving them with little beers to topping them with whole chickens, Milwaukee knows how to do bloody Marys. And this summer, we'll celebrate these tomato-y treats with another delicious pour of the Bloody Mary Festival, headed to the plaza outside Fiserv Forum this summer. Expect food, drink, live entertainment, more drink, games and even more drink in the mix this August. 

Indulge Milwaukee
American Family Field
Aug. 20-21

Indulge in a remarkable two-day feast at American Family Field with Indulge Milwaukee. Hosted both days from noon until 5 p.m., dig into special tastings from more than 30 local restaurants and accomplished chefs – plus even more delicious offerings from wine experts and cocktail mixologists to wash down all your delightful dishes. Hosted at the home of the Milwaukee Brewers, Indulge Milwaukee is a certain home run. 

Fresh Coast Jazz Festival
The Pabst Theater
Aug. 26-27

A fresh night of fresh music, the Fresh Coast Jazz Festival will return for its third year in 2022. Hosted in the historic Pabst Theater, the two-day music gathering booked a collection of excellent jazz artists for 2022 – including Marcus Adams and Friends, Adam Hawley, Bob James, Gabriela Anders Band and more. Stay into the evenings as well for the festival's Night Caps, offering bonus live jazz along with conversation with fellow fans and even the musicians. 

Mexican Fiesta
Henry Maier Festival Park
Aug. 26-28
Mexican Fiesta is a celebration of Mexican culture, history, art, music and food. Sample some wines, browse through art, participate in fun games and activities – past years have featured contests for jalapeno-eating, costumes and more – listen and dance to live music, and enjoy a delicious meal (or multiple meals) of tacos and then some. Mexican Fiesta also provides scholarship awards for some of Milwaukee's deserving Hispanic youth.

Hometown Rally
Various locations
Sept. 1-5

Don't let summer go away quietly. Instead, rev things up with the signature sound of rumbling Harley-Davidson V-twin engines at Harley's Hometown Rally. Taking the place of the old Milwaukee Rally, this multi-day festival brings bikers from across the state and even the country to the H-D Museum and several Harley dealerships in the area to talk shop, show off their rides, jam out to live music and entertainment, and send summer off in to the sunset the right way. 

Humboldt Park
Sept. 3

Milwaukee has a summer festival for just about everything – why not "Shrek"? Indeed, after years of celebrating the animated fractured fairy tale favorite in Madison, Shrekfest will call Humboldt Park its swamp for 2022, hosting live music, fan art, kooky competitions and festivities – almost entirely "Shrek"-themed, of course – all capped by a screening of the original movie surrounded by fellow fans. So be sure to make your way ogre to Humboldt Park from 3-9 p.m. in early September!

Downtown Dining Week
Assorted restaurants
Sept. 8-15
Dig into Downtown Dining Week, serving up delicious dishes all over Milwaukee from Sept. 8-15. Restaurants across Downtown – past years' dining weeks have featured the delicious likes of DOC's Commerce Smokehouse, Kanpai, Mader's, Oak Barrel, SafeHouse, Blue Bat, SportClub, Third Coast Provisions and so many more. Save up your appetite, and then save some cash, dining out at some of Downtown's finest.

Taco Fest
Henry Maier Festival Park
Sept. 10

Everybody loves tacos – and now we've got an entire festival dedicated to them! The latest foodie festival courtesy of OnMilwaukee, Taco Fest will return to the Summerfest grounds with delicious tacos of all shapes, sizes and shells – plus drinks, live entertainment, games courtesy of Bars & Rec, and even a chihuahua pageant to wash them all down. And did we mention tacos? Because there's gonna be a ton of tacos.

Bay View Bash
Between Potter and Clement on Kinnickinnic Avenue
Sept. 17
The Bay View Bash is back, delivering a community festival filled with food, art, music, crafts, books, community organizations and entertainment from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Kick it down Kinnickinnic with everything the Bay View neighborhood has to offer. 

Henry Maier Festival Park
Sept. 24
You've had all the festival fun this summer; it's only fair your cats, puppers and other furry friends have one dedicated to them as well. That's Fromm Petfest, a free festival running from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and featuring all sorts of fun activities and excitement for all your four-legged friends – from dock-diving to agility to just happy summery snacking. The best part: It's a festival for your pets, but you'll probably have a hoot too!

Doors Open Milwaukee
Sept. 24-25
Historic Milwaukee gets well over 100 buildings – big and small, new and old, landmarks and hidden gems – to quite literally open their doors to the city of Milwaukee for this adventure-minded early fall event. Guided tours are often times offered free of charge with no entry fee required – but if there is somewhere particularly interesting to you, check out the in-depth tours that are ticketed. Get out there and be a tourist in your hometown!

Festa Italiana
Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago Ave.
Sept. 24-25

It looked like we might unfortunately have another Festa-free summer in 2022 – but viva Festa because it's back after all! This year's event may be changing locations from the Summerfest grounds to its original roots at the ICC, but what's staying the same are the terrific traditions Festa friends know and love, from bocce to Italian dance to traditional ceremonies to the delicious food and drink, and so much more. 

Milwaukee Comedy Festival
Oct. 2-9
Show of hands: Who's in need of a good laugh these days? Alright, let's tally this up, looks like ... yep, literally everybody. Luckily, the Milwaukee Comedy Festival is coming back around for its annual tight five, with performers ranging in experience and style – from stand-up to sketch to improv and beyond – but all certain to hit your funny bone.