Today, the 28th day of the sixth month in the year of our Lord 2017, is the first day of the 50th edition of Summerfest (presented by American Family Insurance). From June 28-July 2, and July 4-9, the “World’s Largest Music Festival” will take over Henry Maier Festival Park like a cat takes over a folded-out newspaper (don’t you hate that?). Ah yes, the Big Gig: the sights, the sounds, the music, the Taped Music, the Pizza Cones. It’s an annual event that is truly and uniquely Milwaukee’s, impossible to replicate anywhere else on planet Earth.

Except, of course, there are approximately 8,000 other events called “Summerfest” floating around out there. Hell, there are two in Colorado alone. So today, as Milwaukee rings in Summerfest 50 with the likes of, let’s see here, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Moody Blues, let’s watch some videos from a bunch of Bizarro World Summerfests. (Notice: Summerfest, the “smile logo,” the Big Gig, and The World’s Largest Music Festival are trademarks of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. Sorry, Albuquerque.)

Summerfest (Chicago, Illinois)
“Skydive Chicago’s annual Summerfest continues to grow with each passing year and this summer is without a doubt going to be U-N-R-E-A-L. Bringing jumpers together from all over the world, Summerfest 2017 is set to pave the way for the future of all that is boogie awesomeness.”

Summerfest (Ankeny, Iowa)
“Ankeny’s annual summer celebration has been going on for 51 years! SummerFest is a four-day run of carnival rides, parades, music and contests. Thursday through Sunday, July 6-9, 2017, on the grounds near Prairie Ridge Middle School, 1010 Prairie Ridge Drive. Organizers expect more than 10,000 people each day. The theme this year is ‘HEROES UNITE,’ which will focus on not only the fictitious super heroes but our local heroes that make a difference in our every-day lives. Whether you’re a Baby Boomer, Gen Xer or a Millennial, you’re sure to find something to enjoy at SummerFest. See you soon!”

Summerfest (York, South Carolina)
“Celebrating over 34 years, Summerfest, the one-day festival held on the fourth Saturday of August in York, SC, has provided entertainment for the whole family. Admission is FREE! Shop the craft fair, stroll the street filled with vendors and food trucks and enjoy the classic car show; 10-K, 5-K, and fun runs, moonlight bike ride, golf tournament, children’s activities, train rides, climbing wall, inflatables, health fair for all ages, country music contest, music from several stages and much more.”

Summerfest (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
“Summerfests are an Albuquerque tradition dating back to the 1980s. Summerfests are free community events around town. They feature children’s activities such as face painting, inflatables, and climbing walls, a microbrew garden for those who are of age, an artisan market full of handcrafted goods by local craftsmen, food trucks and more. It is fun for all ages.”

Summerfest (Logan, Utah)
“Set on the shady lawn of the historic Logan Tabernacle on Father’s Day weekend, Summerfest offers fine art, great food and entertainment to it’s visitors as well as quality entertainment with headliner concerts each evening. Local and regional visitors will have the opportunity to purchase fine art and gifts at great prices, and a delightful variety of food, snacks and drinks. All vendors are carefully selected for quality and variety and visitors will not be disappointed.”

Summerfest (Brighton, Colorado)
“On Saturday, June 3, the City of Brighton will host Summerfest (formerly known as Culturefest), one of Brighton’s largest community festivals. […] The event’s First National Bank Entertainment Stage will feature four musical performances throughout the event. Check out the line up here.”

Summerfest (Evergreen, Colorado)
“There is nothing better than Evergreen in the summer with its sun filled days and gentle mountain breezes. Summerfest features over 120 artists and craftspeople from across the country, with plenty of handmade treasures for you and everyone on your gift list. Artists bring a variety of mediums, including ceramics, digital art, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, mixed media, painting, photography, sculpture, wood, and more!”

Summerfest (Centralia, Washington)
“The day begins at Fort Borst Park with a pancake breakfast, and a fun run (I Ran From The Cops and SWAT Challenge), followed by games, contests and entertainment throughout the day. Next, head to downtown Centralia for the annual Summerfest parade. The action then moves to the fairgrounds where a destruction derby can be found. The day wraps up with an awesome fireworks display at the fairgrounds. Fees are charged for the fun run, SWAT Challenge, food vendors (except breakfast) and the destruction derby; most other events are free!”

Summerfest (Indian River, Michigan)
“The Indian River Summerfest is a Pure North Family Celebration that takes place the fourth week of each July. With a Lobsterfest, Family Beach Bash, Entertainment Tent, Craft Show, Classic Car and Truck Show and more, there is something to entertain everyone in the family!”

Summerfest (Lakefield, Minnesota)
“Summer is all about enjoying the outdoors with family and friends. Here in Lakefield, we like to think of our city as one big family. Come celebrate with us at Family Fun Night in the park with live music, check out the craft show to see some locally hand-crafted goods, or send your teens off for an epic battle of Hippo Chow Down with giant inflatables! We can’t wait to get all the events started!”

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.