Milwaukee summer festivals went virtual in 2020; in 2021, Milwaukee summer festivals appear to be taking a hybrid route. Some summer festivals have been canceled, some are still on (for now), and some are in a weird limbo state. Sigh. Anyway, here’s an updated list of summer festivals that are still on the books, officially off the books, and questionable.

SUMMER FESTIVALS THAT ARE STILL ON (FOR NOW)

Bay View Gallery Night
June 25 – various locations

The Bloody Mary Festival
August 21 – Fiserv Forum Plaza

Bristol Renaissance Faire
Saturdays, Sundays, and Labor Day July 10-September 6 – Kenosha

Fromm PetFest
September 25 – Henry Maier Festival Park

Garlic-Infused Block Party
June 11 – Braise
“While our annual Garlic Fest has to wait until 2022, you can still get your garlic fix at our Garlic-Infused Block Party! All your garlic favorites: green-garlic bloodies, pork buns with garlic aioli, and more!”

Juneteenth
June 19 – Parade leaves from 14th and Atkinson at 9:30 a.m. and goes to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Mexican Fiesta
August 27-29 – Henry Maier Festival Park

Milwaukee Armenian Fest
July 18 – St. John Armenian Church

Milwaukee Brewfest
July 31 – McKinley Park

Milwaukee Comedy Festival
October 3-10 – various locations

Milwaukee Film Festival
May 6-20 – virtual

Milwaukee Fringe Festival
August 28 – Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Peck Pavilion

Milwaukee Irish Fest
August 20-22 – Henry Maier Festival Park

Milwaukee Rally
September 2-6 – various locations

Milwaukee Taco Fest
August 1 – Henry Maier Festival Park

Serbian Days
August 20-22 – St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral

Summerfest
September 2-4, 9-11, 16-18 – Henry Maier Festival Park
“We could not be more excited to unveil the lineup for Summerfest and introduce a new festival format; more weekends and more headliners, promises to be a big hit among our fans. From first timers, including Chance the Rapper, Miley Cyrus, and Run the Jewels, to Fest favorites including Dave Matthews Band, T-Pain, Styx, and Chris Stapleton, our lineup continues to be one of the most diverse and unique in the industry.”

UPAF Ride For The Arts
June 6, 13, 27 – various locations

Washington Park Wednesdays
“This year Washington Park Wheels returns to the neighborhoods for the month of July. Come August, barring any unforeseen circumstances, we will return to the park with four Washington Park Wednesday performances on the historic bandshell stage! August may look a little bit different while we keep everyone safe, but it’ll sound like Summer.”

Wisconsin Highland Games
September 3-5 – Waukesha Expo Center
“After consultation with local government and health officials Wisconsin Scottish has decided to go forward with this year’s Wisconsin Highland Games (Sept 3-5th.) This year we will be honoring those Nurses, Doctors, Emts, and other first responders including frontline hospital and medical staff .who have borne a special burden during this unprecedented in modern times pandemic.

Wisconsin State Fair
August 5-15 – Wisconsin State Fair Park
“We are happy to confirm there are WonderFair days ahead and are excited to safely gather to celebrate everything we are so proud of in Wisconsin. We look forward to making many exciting announcements in the weeks to come!”

World of Beer Festival
August 28 – The Bavarian Bierhaus



SUMMER FESTIVALS THAT ARE CANCELED

Bastille Days
“Planning for Thursday night Jazz in the Park concerts and the Bastille Days Festival 2021 are currently on hold. The health and welfare of the community is our number one priority and we will do our part to keep the best interests of our attendees and vendors in mind.”

Brady Street Festival
“The Brady Street Business Improvement District announced today a new partnership with Scout Gallery owners, Jeff Redmon and Dana Redmon, to curate the return of its annual Art Walk event, coming this summer. The popular event will be held July 10, and will feature artists and musicians from the Milwaukee area, but will be staged with safety in mind due to COVID-19 concerns. In addition, Brady St BID announced its summertime event Sunday Fundays, also in partnership with Scout Gallery, will also return but the largest and most popular event, Brady Street Festival, will be cancelled for this year.”

Burnhearts/Pabst Fest
“Pabst Street will not be happening, but at least it looks like Burnhearts will be back in some capacity soon. And if enough people get their shots and do their part to stop the spread, we can pretty much bank on Mitten Fest coming back in early 2022.”

Festa Italiana
“COVID-19 has impacted virtually every business and industry across the country. Around the world festivals, sporting events, conferences, and community celebrations have been cancelled, or postponed, due to lingering effects of this virus. Unfortunately, Festa Italiana in Milwaukee is among the festivals that will have to wait until next year. The health and safety of our employees, volunteers, vendors, members, and attendees is our highest priority. While we have confidence in the City and County of Milwaukee’s vaccine distribution plan, we thought it would be prudent to give our health officials a little more time to reach our broader community. The social impact of holding Festa Italiana is near and dear to our hearts and brings a stronger resilience to the Italian Community Center and the City of Milwaukee. The Italian Community Center would like to thank the many volunteers and attendees who make it possible to hold such a prestigious festival every year. Festa Italiana will return to its glory BIGGER and BETTER than ever in 2022.”

Fresh Coast Jazz Festival
“Out of an abundance of caution, we have again made the difficult decision to postpone the three-day Fresh Coast Jazz Festival due to Covid. Of course, the well-being of our fans, artists, sponsors, team and the community at large are of paramount importance and drove this difficult decision. Even though we are postponing the three-day festival, we know that lots of people are incredibly eager to get out and hear some live music. We will soon announce a smaller scale event for October 2021. Great, live jazz will be back very soon.”

German Fest
“It was not an easy decision to cancel for the second year in a row. Our Board of Directors took many scenarios into consideration. We deliberated for many months. Taking all factors into account, the decision to cancel was the best option to allow the vaccine distribution to take place and ensure the safety of our attendees and our many dedicated Volunteers at German Fest. Although vaccines are being distributed, and results have been promising, current timelines indicate that we could not plan and execute the festival in 2021. No one wants to cancel once, let alone twice, but we will continue to take the steps necessary to support public health. We will continue to plan so that when the pandemic has passed, German Fest will be ready.”

Locust Street Festival of Music & Art
“After careful consideration, the Locust Street Festival of Music & Art, and the event that kicks it off, the Riverwest Beer Run, have both been cancelled for 2021. Known as one of Milwaukee’s most popular, diverse, and longest-running street festivals, this was to be the event’s 45th year. This is the second consecutive year that Locust Street Festival has been cancelled. While the severity of the Covid-19 virus has been reduced in recent months, the Festival committee made the decision that it’s again best to cancel this year’s festival, than to risk the health and safety of its attendees, artisans, staff, and organizers. It was scheduled for Sunday, June 13th, 2021. With the cancellation, the Locust Street Festival and Riverwest Beer Run will next take place on Sunday, June 12, 2022.”

Milwaukee BBQ Fest (formerly Big Gig BBQ)
“We want to make sure that our vendors, their staffs and you fine folks stay safe this year and do not feel we can produce this event to the capacity that we need to be successful. Please continue to support Milwaukee’s fine BBQ restaurants this year as they need your help and bellys! SEE YOU IN 2022!”

Milwaukee Highland Games
“We are very sad to let you know that Scottish Fest on June 5th, 2021 is canceled. We have made the decision based on the information we have regarding Covid and safety issues for our public. We have been informed, for example, that it would be unlikely that Pipe Bands would be attending, plus other health and safety considerations. We are heartbroken but want to assure that come hell or high water Scottish Fest June 4th 2022 will be held at Hart Park once again. We will be together again in fellowship and fun soon.”

Milwaukee WingFest
“As we do feel like we are very close to being able to produce events again it is hard to ask our wing vendors to work outside of their restaurants for a day. The focus needs to be on their businesses right now and that is why we are pushing this event to 2022 when more people are vaccinated and restaurants are fully staffed back up. So support them how you can. The restaurants are really struggling right now with staffing so please make sure to send them any cook, server, bartender leads so they can help produce your favorite wings! Also be patient with them as Wisconsin reopens. SEE YOU IN 2022 FOR ALL THE WINGS!”

Polish Fest
“After much consideration, we have made the difficult decision to not hold Polish Fest June 11 to 13. Planning was on track for this year; however, at present, COVID-19 is currently a part of everyone’s lives, we believe the best decision is to not hold Polish Fest this year so early in the summer to allow for more vaccinations to the broader community. Our Festival Committee and our Board of Directors reviewed many options. We believe this is the best decision for our attendees, volunteers, entertainers, and vendors…our entire extended ‘Polish Fest Community.'”

PrideFest
“As of now, we are not planning on an October event. We hoped to but we just don’t have a clear path to success and time is running out to do an event justice. 2022 it is.”

Strawberry Festival
“The Festivals of Cedarburg Board met Wednesday night and came to the difficult decision that, based upon current CDC guidelines and COVID trends, it was in the best interest of the public to cancel Strawberry Festival 2021. The Festival was scheduled for June 26-27. They discussed moving it to later date but decided that was not feasible. We are now focusing our efforts on Wine & Harvest Festival, September 18-19 at this point. Important to note: The Festival employees or Executive Director did not have a vote on cancelling this event. Please director your comments to the Festival Board.”

Zoo a la Carte
“The staff looks forward to planning for the 2022 ‘Feast with the Beasts’ when the zoo can welcome back visitors, restaurant owners, and musical performers to the same well-known festival that so many have come to love as an annual tradition.”

SUMMER FESTIVALS THAT ARE POSTPONED OR TBD

Brewtown Rumble
“As much as we’d love to have everyone together, an event of this size won’t be feasible for our normal summer date. We’re still hoping to do something later in the fall—and we’ll definitely keep all of you in the know.”

Crusherfest
From February 2: “We are planning Crusherfest for late summer / early fall of 2021.”

Jazz In The Park
“Check back for information on Jazz in the Park 2021.”

Milwaukee Air & Water Show
“The 2021 Milwaukee Air & Water Show, scheduled for this summer, July 24-25, is currently on a hold status. We will update everyone as soon as possible once the status of the event changes. Thank you for your patience and support.”

River Rhythms
“Westown Association has also made the decision to postpone the River Rhythms concert series held at Pere Marquette Park. Because Pere Marquette Park is Milwaukee County property, organizers would be required to enforce all Milwaukee County Parks and City of Milwaukee safety mandates including mask wearing, social distancing and capacity limits, making it difficult to produce the event at this time. However, Westown has started discussions with Milwaukee County Parks to develop a plan to safely hold the event later this summer in hopes that restrictions are relaxed.”