Henry W. Maier Festival Park (the Summerfest Grounds) turns green today through Sunday as the 35th annual Milwaukee Irish Fest celebrates Irish music and culture with a jam-packed roster of featured artists and all sorts of Celtic activities. It’s the largest celebration of its kind anywhere in the world, so if you’re into W.B. Yeats, harp music, hurling, Irish dog breeds, red hair or freckles, this is probably one place you’ll want to be this weekend.
Imagine a stunning lineup of up-and-coming music artists — people like Louisiana singer-songwriter Kristin Diable and Milwaukee’s own Hayward Williams — all performing in quaint downtown Burlington, Wisconsin. Then add in food and drink vendors, plus activities for kids, including games and free music workshops. Now imagine that admission is free. What you’re picturing is called the Tall Tales Music Festival, and it’s happening Friday and Saturday outside The Coffee House at Chestnut & Pine (492 N. Pine Street).
It’s huge, it’s loud, and it has been known to send fully-grown Chicago Cubs players scrambling for cover. The Chicago Air and Water Show takes place Saturday and Sunday at Chicago’s North Avenue Beach (1600 N. Lake Shore Drive). If you like to celebrate the shocking power and precision of America’s flying forces along with a million and a half to two million like-minded folks, then this is an excellent way to cap off the summer beach season. Admission is free.
If you’d prefer a slightly smaller gathering that still celebrates aircraft – as well as some classic cars – check out Wings & Wheels of Kenosha on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m at the Kenosha Regional Airport (9900 52nd Street). There’s a pancake breakfast from 8 to 11, and a variety of food throughout the day. Admission is free, and helicopter rides are available for $40 — or, for that same price, you can fly over Kenosha’s lakefront in a Cessna 172. Just don’t expect to see two million people looking up at you.
Fresh roasted sweet corn, plus brats and hot dogs, chef demonstrations, hayrides and pony rides — these are all on the agenda Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the 5th annual Sweet Corn Festival at Jerry Smith Produce & Pumpkin Farm, 7150 18th Street in Kenosha. Admission is free, parking is free, and vendor booths have been added this year.
The Tremé comes to Kenosha on Saturday as the legendary Rebirth Brass Band headlines the HarborPark Jazz, Rhythm & Blues Festival on the city’s lakefront. The band’s 2011 album Rebirth of New Orleans won a Grammy.