By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Jun 22, 2022 at 1:00 PM

The great Milwaukee summer is HERE! 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.

It’s 96 degrees in Milwaukee, and Caitlin Cullen is stationed in a Milwaukee church’s industrial kitchen cooking for masses of people.

“I’m sweating my eyeballs out,” Cullen says over the phone during our interview, while clanking pots and whirring appliances can be heard in the background.

Cullen is making large batches of food for Kinship Community Food Center, a Riverwest-based organization of which she serves as the Food Center Director. Kinship is a food pantry, but also works to nourish communities through support, collaboration, socialization and connection.

“About 20 percent of what we do is food pantry related, but most of what we focus on is connecting folks through their communities and lifting people up through shared experiences,” says Cullen.

The center will be one of numerous non-profits to benefit from Summerfest admission promotions this year.

Kinship Community Food Day, presented by Palermo’s Pizza, takes place Friday, July 1, from noon to 3 p.m. During this time, the first 2,000 patrons who donate three non-perishable food items at the Mid Gate receive one free admission ticket valid for the day.

All donations will benefit Kinship Community Food Center. Cooking oil and fruit snack packs (low-sugar applesauce and mandarin oranges) are preferred.

“Sponsoring the Kinship Community Food Center Day is a way for us to help Kinship Community Food Center amplify their message and the needs within our community while offering music fans a nice incentive to come down to the world’s largest music festival to enjoy world class music and some of the best fun Milwaukee has to offer,” says Nick Fallucca, Chief Product & Innovation Officer for Palermo’s Pizza.

For Kinship, the backing from Summerfest and Palermo’s will create real change for many Milwaukeeans. On average, Kinship Community Food Center serves almost 300,000 pounds of food to more than 19,000 community members every year.

“This partnership will put a lot more into our coffers which ultimately raises awareness of who we are and what we’re about,” says Cullen. "It's good will for all."

This year, there are more ways than ever to give back to the community and get in free to Summerfest during the nine-day run. All promotions are valid for the day and time of the promotion only.

Thursday, June 23
Noon to 3 p.m.
Johnson Controls Stomp Out Hunger Day with Fox 6 Milwaukee

Admission: One free admission with a donation of at least two jars of peanut butter. Other food donations will be accepted at all three gates.

Friday, June 24
Noon to 3 p.m
Lou Malnati's Children’s Fest Day with TMJ4 and 99.1 The Mix
Free admission for anyone during the three-hour time period. Select food vendors will offer discounts on food and beverage items, too.

Saturday, June 25
Noon to 3 pm
Briggs & Stratton Mary Lou’s Closet Supply Drive
Free admission to the first 1,500 patrons who arrive during the three-hour time period at the Mid Gate and donate NEW deodorant, feminine hygiene products and/or socks with a total minimum value of $10. All donations benefit United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County’s community schools.

Thursday, June 30
Noon to 6 p.m.
Throwback Thursday Presented By Pick ’N Save.
$5 admission and 50 percent off beverages (excluding frozen drinks, specialty coffee drinks and smoothies) during the six-hour timeframe.

Friday, July 1
Noon to 6 p.m.
General Military Appreciation Day at Summerfest
Free admission for all active-duty military personnel and veterans who present a valid Military ID, copy or photo of a DD-214 form or driver’s license with Veteran classification at any gate along with up to four family members.

Friday, July 1
Noon to 3 p.m.
Kinship Community Food Day Presented by Palermo’s Pizza
Free admission for the first 2,000 people who donate three non-perishable food items at the Mid Gate. Cooking oil and fruit snack packs (low-sugar applesauce and mandarin oranges) preferred. All donations benefit Kinship Community Food Center.

Saturday, July 2
Noon to 3 p.m.
Northwestern Mutual “Make A Child Smile” Day
Free admission for the first 2,500 guests who donate new or gently used children’s books with a $10 minimum value. Picture books and early readers for children ages birth through 10 are preferred. All books collected at the Mid Gate Promotions Booth will be donated to Next Door.

Thursday, July 7
Noon to 3 p.m.
Silgan Community Food Drive
Free admission for the first 2,000 patrons who arrive between noon and 3 p.m. to the Mid Gate and donate three non-perishable food items. Canned fruits and vegetables are especially appreciated. All donations benefit Hunger Task Force.

Thursday, July 7
Noon to 4 p.m.
Direct Supply Seniorfest Day
Free for all patrons ages 60+ when they present their ID at the designated turnstile at any gate. Admitted seniors will also receive a voucher for $2 off a food or non-alcoholic beverage purchase over $10. In addition, all wheelchairs will be provided free of charge to seniors during the four-hour time periodt. Wheelchairs are subject to availability.

Friday, July 8
Noon to 3 p.m.
Show Your College Pride Day With OnMilwaukee, CW18 and My24 Milwaukee
Free for all who arrive during the three-hour window wearing a shirt or hat representing a participating college or university, or present their school ID. Only shirts or hats from the following colleges or universities will be accepted:

  • Cardinal Stritch University
  • Carthage College
  • Marquette University
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • University of Wisconsin - Parkside
  • University of Wisconsin-Platteville
  • University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • Western Governors University Saturday, July 9 • 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Saturday, July 9
Noon to 3 p.m.
Summerfest Fan Appreciation Day with Potawatomi Hotel & Casino
Free for all who arrive during the three-hour timeframe. Plus, the first 30,000 will receive one free ticket valid for Summerfest 2023.

For even more information about Summerfest promotions, go here.

This content is in partnership with Summerfest. We can't wait to see you all there! 

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.