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In Festival Guide

German Fest begins on July 29 at the Summerfest grounds. (PHOTO: VISIT Milwaukee)

German Fest: July 28-30

Don't miss the original haus party.

Milwaukee's German Fest provides an ample supply of lederhosen, polkas and pilsner. It also prides itself on being the most traditional German event in North America, representing traditions from a number of regions.

German Fest shies away from the drunken shenanigans portrayed in movies and on television, and uses culture to celebrate the city's rich German heritage for people of all ages. And while Milwaukee and beer go hand-in-hand, it's the food that sets German Fest apart. Sausages, roasted pork, chicken and beef are abundant, so much so even the staunchest healthy-eaters would have a hard time staying away from the tortes and strudel.

Those watching the calories don't need to worry; stop by any of the stages to kick up your heels to German bands, most of them from the Milwaukee area.

Where: Summerfest Grounds

Hours: 3 p.m. to midnight on Friday, noon to midnight on Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission: Adult tickets are $12 in advance. At the gate, tickets cost $15 for adults, $7 for seniors 60 and over as well as for students with school ID. Kids 12 and under are admitted free with a paid adult admission. Active military members and their immediate family members will receive free admission with an active ID. There will also be free admission for all disabled or physically challenged attendees – with one escort – on Friday from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.

Discounts: Friday: $3 admission all day for everyone in honor of Military Appreciation Day, as well as free admission for active military, veterans and their immediate family members at all gates with proper ID.

Sunday: From noon until 3 p.m., patrons can bring three non-perishable food items to support the Hunger Task Force and receive free German Fest admission. Available at the south gate only. If one isn't in the giving mood for some cruel reason, German Fest will also offer free admission from 11:30 a.m. until noon at the south gate only.

Highlights: More food than you can possibly imagine including bratwurst, rollbraten (roasted pork loin sandwiches), schnitzel, goulash, spanferkel (pig roast) and spit-roasted chicken. Fireworks light up the sky on Friday and Saturday evenings at 10:30 p.m.

German Fest will also feature music and dance shows across several stages, parades, the Maibaum, regular Glockenspiel performances and a mascot battle. Friday will also feature a special opening ceremony salute to the U.S. military at 5:30 p.m.

For more information: visit or call (414) 464-9444.


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