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The World’s Largest Music Festival Returns!

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by Guest Blogger Carrie Woods

The time is near, Milwaukee. Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival, kicks off this Wednesday, June 26. It’s time to “get your smile on” to the sounds of more than 800 bands rocking the shores of Lake Michigan from up and coming indie artists and local favorites to the nation’s biggest names. The whole lineup from Tim McGraw to the Eagles, New Kids on the Block to Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and more can be found here.

Here’s a list of Summerfest tips and MUST DO’s so you won’t miss a thing!

  • GET A DEAL… Come on opening day at 5:30 p.m. and find a Summerfest staff person with a Fest Flag, say “Smile On” and get a free weekday admission ticket (while supplies last)! Or take advantage of one of these great Admission Promotions.
     
  • DANCE… the night away. At some point, be sure to do so on a picnic table. The lineup at JoJo’s Martini Lounge will get you boogieing in no time.
     
  • SHOP… in four huge marketplaces where you’ll find apparel, handcrafted jewelry, paintings and prints, accessories and much more.
     
  • TAKE A PHOTO… with your friends in the giant chair found in the South Market.
     
  • GET THE VIEW… of the grounds filled with Summerfest fans from above, the Milwaukee skyline and Lake Michigan on a trip across the Skyglider.
     
  • EAT GREAT MILWAUKEE FOOD Saz’s Mozzarella Marinara, tacos from Botana’s, German Sampler Platter from Mader’s, Ribs from Pitch’s, WURST from the Usinger’s Wurst Garden (Yes, we DO have a garden for wurst. This is Milwaukee.), and dessert from funnel cakes to cannolis and a gelato trio on a stick!
     
  • DO SOMETHING NEW… Summerfest has brought some new attractions and additions to the 2013 festival including paddleboats, Summerfest Skydive Shows, ziplining along the waterfrontand the #SFLIVE Lounge – offering interactive fan experiences, live artist interviews and the opportunity to participate in this year's "Smile On/FEST FLAG" campaign to win great prizes! Fans can also take Smile On photos and have the chance to be featured on Lamar Digital billboards around the city powered by Lamar Advertising. Read more on these activities here.

We’ve already had people getting in on the spirit of Summerfest. As residents of the home of the world’s largest music festival, Milwaukeeans know how to rock. We harnessed that talent last week as the VISIT Milwaukee Street Team asked hundreds of locals to rock their best air guitar solos to win Summerfest tickets. Check out the video of the action here.


Details:
Summerfest
June 26-30 & July 2-7 (closed July 1)
Henry Maier Festival Park (Summerfest Grounds)

 
Get Ready for a Great Lakefront Weekend!

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By Bill Prange
Web Marketing Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

Another great Milwaukee weekend is ahead of us! This weekend some of the best action in the city will be taking place along the Lake Michigan, so make plans to head down to the lakefront for a memorable weekend in the sun.

On Friday and Saturday, the Malibu Open Waterski Championship and Summer Festival returns to Veterans Park Lagoon for the fourth year in a row. Many of the best professional and junior water-skiers will compete in a variety of events that will award more than $64,000 in prize money. You’ll see the athletes break speeds of more than 70 mph on the water and jump distances of more than 200 feet!

On-site activities include an athlete meet-and-greet where fans can get autographs, a mechanical bull, rock climbing wall, kids’ activities, food, music, and “The Flying Sausage,” where you’ll see the Milwaukee Brewers very own Famous Racing Sausages take to the water!

Learn more about all the Malibu Open activities.

Next, head a little further south, where art will come to life at the Lakefront Festival of Art, held Friday-Sunday at the Milwaukee Art Museum. This year more than 170 jury-selected artists from across the country will have their artwork on exhibit, with much of it for sale. You’ll see a broad spectrum of art media such as painting, sculpture, photography, jewelry, ceramics and much more. Make sure to keep an eye on the “wings” of the Milwaukee Art Museum – the Burke Brise Soleil – which open and close throughout the day!

After you’ve had your fill of art and athletics, make your way to Bradford Beach for some relaxation in the sun. Grab a cocktail under the shade of a cabana bar, enjoy a massage or organize a game of volleyball on one of the dozens of beach volleyball courts. Looking for a snack? I highly recommend a visit to the Bartolotta Restaurant Group’s Northpoint Custard for some of the best burgers and frozen custard you’ll find anywhere in the city.

I’ve just got one more piece of advice – don’t forget your sunscreen! It’s going to be a terrific weekend on Milwaukee’s lakefront.

 
Craft Burgers & Brews at Miller Time Pub

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By Guest blogger Carrie Woods
 

The Miller Time Pub & Grill recently reopened as a new and improved Miller Time Pub & Grill! Doesn’t sound like a big change we know, but hang in there with us just a little bit longer and you’ll see what we mean. This (new) neighborhood restaurant now features a full menu with craft burgers, salads, entrees, desserts, an extensive craft beer selection and (our favorite) cheese curds!                                      

The new Miller Time Pub & Grill even has certified cicerones (Italian, from Cicerone Cicero; First known use: 1726; Def. - a guide who conducts sightseers) and servers who are trained in one of Milwaukee’s favorite topics – beer. They’ll help you match your meal with the right brew making a perfect pairing.

Along with the extended menu and all-knowing wait staff, the restaurant now has a renovated interior with iconic memorabilia, photos and vintage ads, which reflect the Miller Time Pub’s relationship with MillerCoors. The main dining room now features booths and tables and a loft area where leather furniture keeps things casual. There is now an area where guests can purchase Miller memorabilia, as well as Miller Time Pub & Grill merchandise. The renovations keep the casual-lets-go-watch-the-game feeling but add a nice sit-down restaurant atmosphere.

·         HOPPATIZERS: Artisan Sausage Platter (served with fresh pretzel bread AND potato pancakes!) with cheddar cheese dipping sauce – AND/or – Wisconsin Cheese Curds with creamy chive ranch

·         CRAFT BURGERS: Steakhouse Burger topped with rosemary mushrooms (YUM), house made steak sauce, crispy onions and provolone

·         WISCONSIN FISH FRY: MILLER beer-battered and fried haddock, roasted poblano tartar (WOW!), three cabbage coleslaw, potato pancakes and of course, applesauce

·         DESSERT: Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding with Irish whiskey sauce. Enough said.

·         WASH IT ALL DOWN: Here is the list of brews on tap. Have the cicerones help guide you to match your meal!

And that’s just the start. Make Miller Time Pub your next stop for lunch or dinner to check out the full menu and taste for yourself! 

 

Details:
Miller Time Pub & Grill
509 West Wisconsin Avenue
 

 
Make it Polish Fest this Weekend!

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by Guest Blogger Margaret Casey

Who needs beer and brats when you can have vodka and pierogis? That is the question and Polish Fest is the answer! The ethnic festivals kick off with three days of celebrating Polish culture at Henry Maier Festival Park, this Friday through Sunday, June 14-16.

Head down to the festival for everything from music to crafts, Polish delicacies to vodka tastings. The Buffalo Concertina All-Stars will brag about their own Polish Fest – which they claim to be the largest – but we know better. Our own Polish Fest has increased attendance every year, and this year it’s on track to set another record.

Adults can chill out on the Harley Deck and sample Sobieski Vodka drinks while colorful Polish folk dance groups perform on the stage below. Polka bands from around the country and Canada will have you dancing the night away and Milwaukee’s own Mount Olive will be rocking it on Saturday night after the fireworks. Come on now…who wouldn’t want to watch “The Big Boomski” on a gorgeous Saturday night on the lakefront?

Bring the kids for lively entertainment at the Children’s Stage, where balloon artists, musicians, Kohl’s Wild Theater and the reptiles and amphibians of the Schlitz Audubon Society are sure to bring smiles. And Poland’s Highland (Tatra) Sheepdogs will be wagging their tails to greet you.

The cultural area features traditional Polish crafts, including wycinanki (paper-cutting), pisanki (decorated eggs) and more, and Milwaukee’s pre-eminent historian, John Gurda, joins other experts in discussing various topics of Polish immigrant history.

And of course the FOOD…pierogis and paczki and chrusciki, oh my! Mouthwatering traditional Polish specialties including sausages, pancakes, soups and pastries are sure to win you over. Cooking demos will even show you how to prepare Polish dishes at home.

Check the Polish Fest website for ticket info and many special deals: www.polishfest.org. Gate Tickets $12.00, Advance Tickets $10.00, Senior (55 +) Gate Tickets $10.00, Children (15 & Under) FREE with paying Adult.

Baw się dobrze…(Have Fun) at Polish Fest! 

Details:
Polish Fest
June 14-16
Henry Maier Festival Park (Summerfest Grounds)

 
Start Your Engines

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By Zack Zupke
Creative Services Manager
VISIT Milwaukee

Biggest four-sided clock in North America. World’s largest music festival. World’s only Harley-Davidson Museum. Sexiest building on the planet. Milwaukee’s list of unique venues and events goes on and on and continues this weekend at the Milwaukee Mile as Andretti Sports Marketing brings the stars of the IZOD IndyCar Series back to the longest continually operating speedway in the nation at Milwaukee IndyFest.

The fest will feature two days of exciting race action from the IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights and Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires cars Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15. Fans will also have the opportunity to watch Firestone Indy Lights and Pro Mazda Championship test for free on Thursday as an added bonus to this year's IndyFest.

In addition to the racing, IndyFest will also include a long list of activities and attractions throughout the two-day festival. Race fans will love getting up close with drivers as they work on their cars pre-race, families will enjoy the free ferris wheel and game area and the beer garden with local bands will rock the grounds after the checkered flag is waved.

The Milwaukee IndyFest infield will be packed with even more activities for race fans, families and festival-goers. There will be a number of unique sections inside the confines of the historic one-mile oval to rev up race fans all weekend long, including: The Coors Light Music & Beer Garden, Family Fun Zone, Vintage Car Corral and the IZOD IndyCar Fan Village.

So, while you celebrate Father’s Day weekend in one of the most unique cities in the world with the best dad in the world, there’s no better place to start summer’s engines than Milwaukee IndyFest at the Milwaukee Mile. 

Details:
Milwaukee IndyFest
June 13-15
Various Locations

 

 
Suite Location

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By Zack Zupke
Creative Services Manager
VISIT Milwaukee

The tried, but true, real estate adage “location, location, location” supposes it’s not always the “what,” but more the “where” that counts. So, when your “what” matches your “where,” you’re golden. The new Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Milwaukee Downtown went for the gold and is definitely glowing at the intersection of Wisconsin Ave. and Old World Third St.

Previously a Best Western property, Marriott gobbled up adjacent space from long-time businesses Johnnie Walkers and Powers Jewelers to create a surprisingly-stunning footprint in the historic Straus Building. The newest hotel in downtown Milwaukee, this is an atypical Fairfield Inn & Suites, complete with industrial chic design and urban spaces (a garage door opens to make the lobby and Old World Third Street one and the same), yet all the amenities you’d expect like a business center, clean spacious rooms (103 total), free high-speed internet and complimentary daily breakfast buffet.

The spaciousness continues with a 1,000-square-foot, lobby-level meeting room equipped to handle 75 guests with on-site catering services for breakfast and lunch, a rare find in a Fairfield Inn & Suites. Even more impressive is a fantastic fitness center set against the backdrop of cream city brick, smartly preserved during renovation so it feels like you’re working out in a New York loft.

The lofty endeavor took some time to complete, but the Fairfield Inn & Suites, set in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, is open for business and it’s a hit. It’s got location (just a block from the Delta Center and a five-minute walk to Milwaukee’s lakefront) and everything else business and leisure travelers will need and, most importantly, enjoy.


Details:
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Milwaukee Downtown
710 N. Old World Third Street
 

 
Don’t miss the largest LGBT pride festival in the country!

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by Guest Blogger Todd O'Leary

Milwaukee was just named one of the Top 10 Destinations for Gay Travelers by TravelNerd. One of the main reasons we achieved this designation was because of PrideFest.

Kicking off Milwaukee’s lakefront festival season is PrideFest. As the largest LGBT pride festival in the country, PrideFest attracts thousands of people to the city every year. I think attendees will find PrideFest to be one of the most diverse festivals in Milwaukee – gay, straight, families, couples, singles, all races and ages – all are welcome!

The Basics

Milwaukee PrideFest

June 7-9, 2013 at the Henry Maier Festival Park

Tickets are $16 for a single day admission

While there are many highlights to PrideFest, I’ve chosen a few below, just to get you thinking. For a full line-up, check out PrideFest’s website.

Big Gay 5K

The fun actually starts a day early, with the 2nd Annual “Big Gay 5K” presented by the Cream City Foundation, Milwaukee Gay Sports Network, and PrideFest. This year’s run/walk will take place on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 6:30pm with a special celebration and awards ceremony inside the PrideFest grounds. This is a fun (and healthy) way to participate in the festival! Each participant will receive a t-shirt and a single-day PrideFest admission ticket. The Run/Walk is $32 in advance and $40 the day of the race. All proceeds benefit AIDS Walk Wisconsin and the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin.

The organizers of PrideFest (all volunteers, by the way) do a great job with the festival, but do a particularly nice job on the entertainment lineup. Over the past several years, PrideFest’s headliners have read like a who’s-who of the entertainment world.Here are this year’s headliners:

Friday, June 7 – Sophie B Hawkins – 9:15pm at the Miller Lite Mainstage; followed by Andy Bell at 11pm (also on the Miller Lite Mainstage)

Saturday, June 8 – The Indigo Girls – 10:30pm at the Miller Lite Mainstage

Sunday, June 9 – Dangerous Muse at 7:30pm at the Miller Lite Mainstage; followed by Amanda Palmer at 8:45pm (also on the Miller Lite Mainstage)

In addition, the Dance Pavilion has become a destination in its own right. National and local DJs spin for the audience, while roving performance artists hype up the crowd.

The Health & Wellness Area demonstrates the festival’s commitment to the community’s health and well-being. Over 30 organizations take part in the area, which includes HIV & AIDS testing, interactive performances on a dedicated stage, and prize opportunities for those who visit.

Milwaukee Pride Parade

Though not technically part of PrideFest, the Milwaukee Pride Parade is a fun and colorful procession through Milwaukee’s main “gayborhood” – Walker’s Point. The parade begins at 2pm on Sunday at 2nd Street and Lapham. It travels north on 2nd Street to 2nd & Seeboth. This year’s Grand Marshal is Sue Black, President of the Milwaukee Wave Professional Indoor Soccer Team, and former Milwaukee County Parks Director.

Milwaukee’s summer festival season is here and I can’t think of a better way to kick it off than with the colorful pageantry, fantastic entertainment and pride-full festivities of PrideFest. See you there!


Details:
PrideFest
June 7-9
Henry Maier Festival Park (Summerfest Grounds)