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There’s something missing this week in Wisconsin.
You guessed it: the energy, buzz and excitement that only Summerfest brings. As the state’s economic and entertainment center, Milwaukee gets most of the Big Gig rewards and love – as it should. But with healthy arteries and strong suburbs, everyone wins when Milwaukee’s Summerfest shines.
And shine it did this year. Wow. Near-perfect weather. An amazing line up and new stuff galore to entice us all.
At OnMilwaukee, we’re honored to support, sponsor, cover and partner with Summerfest. It’s a civic responsibility, quite frankly, and this season, we stepped it up with Summerfest emojis, sponsorship at the BMO Harris Pavilion and unsurpassed team coverage.
I love Summerfest and always have. There’s nothing like it and nothing else that can draw nearly 100,000 additional people daily to our Downtown for 11 straight days.
The festival creates jobs, civic pride and increased connections to other parts of the city. It’s a beacon that brings people together.
A few of my highlights this year?
- The daily traffic jams in Downtown. I always love this. We need it, and it helps showcase how all types of transit make our city go. It also forces us all to slow down.
- Speaking of transit types, Bublr was a highlight this year. Discovery World helped with a new station, and while I would rather see a station closer to the main gate, it was great to have this option – especially for quick lunch trips to the fest.
- Going without an agenda. For the final Saturday, we went without a specific "who to see" plan. It was great. Highly recommended.
- Taking the kids. Still not a big fan of kids after 7:30 p.m. or so, but if you have little ones in your life, Summerfest is a blast and a treat. Take 'em next year.
- Lobster corn dogs from Lakeside Supper Club. Yum.
- Country. While every genre shines at Summerfest, country continued to grow, and multiple Amp headliners, including Blake Shelton, all rose to the occasion.
- Cans. I really liked that I could buy beer in 16 oz cans. Thanks, Summerfest.
- Nora Collins needs to get to a bigger stage. Make it happen.
- First year jitters, maybe, but people still aren’t sure what to do with the new seating policy at the BMO Harris Pavilion. No solutions from me yet, but there’s opportunity here for something. Just not sure what. Regardless, the shows there were unique and cool.
I could go on and on, and we’ll, of course, report on the final numbers soon. Plus, here's a great recap of all the reviews and set lists from the Marcus Amphitheater shows.
But as you prep for the next great fest in the area – Bastille Days is up this weekend – say thank you and good bye to Summerfest 2016 and look forward to the 50th edition next year!
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.