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June 26, 2017
Summerfest grounds


Summerfest kicks off in Milwaukee this week. Can you believe the World's Largest Music Festival is celebrating its 50th year?

Summerfest is quite a different event today than in its early years. For instance, the festival didn't have a central location its first two years. Instead, it was held in a variety of venues around the city. Then, when Summerfest did move to the lakefront after the Army sold the battery and radar station to the city, makeshift stages and offices housed the festival. Over time, the grounds and its many stages became more permanent. 

While Summerfest is likely our best known music festival, Wisconsin is home to dozens and dozens of music festivals, especially in the summer months. Because if there's one thing we do well here in Wisconsin, it's to get out and enjoy the good weather while we have it!

- Your Wisconsin Life team
Have You Heard?
Midsummer festival in 1930s Milwaukee
Summerfest, 1930s-style
Summerfest may be the world's largest music festival but it isn’t Milwaukee’s first lakefront music festival. Milwaukee Midsummer Festival featured music and dancing but also motorcycle hill climbs above Bradford Beach, swimming races in the frigid waters of Lake Michigan (including an event for dogs), and exhibitions of “group and solo club swinging” by the Milwaukee Turners. Historian John Gurda tells us about this unique celebration that entertained Milwaukeeans in the 1930s. Listen here.
Have You Seen?
Country Artist Brings Joy And Music To Students

Milwaukee musician K.C. Williams was born and raised in the city, but his musical roots were planted in the country. As a child he’d spend summers at his uncle’s farm in Greenwood, Mississippi. It was there that he discovered a love of country music. But as an African-American man growing up in Milwaukee, that meant line dancing to the beat of his own drum. Watch the story here

Art from Eaux Claires - Lee Butterworth
Links We Love
We're always running across amazing stories, inspiring projects, and fun places to visit. Here are a few that have caught our eye recently.
  • These amazing art installations and the lovely natural beauty of the grounds where the Eaux Claires Music and Arts Festival was recently held.
  • More photos from the Eau Claire area but of a less recent vintage - the turn of the 20th century. This exhibit of photographs from Daniel Bastian Nelson capture everyday life. It's on display at the Chippewa Valley Museum through the summer as well as online.
  • We love food and we love discovering new places. We also love to get Tarik Moody's take on the food happenings of Milwaukee with the Moody Cook. Thanks to Tarik, we now know we can find deep fried mojitos at Summerfest this year.
  • Adding Amnicon Falls State Park to our summer to-dos. 
  • Harry Houdini's love for deviled eggs. Us, too, Harry. Us, too.
Something About A Flower
The latest story in our original comic series about a multi-generational family from creator Rodney Lambright II. Catch up on the story here. 
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