Michael Holloway

The Return of Shrekfest

Plus: Third Ward Art Festival, Laborfest (and parade) and a reunion show for The Globe.

By - Aug 31st, 2023 03:53 pm
Attendees at the 2022 Shrekfest. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Attendees at the 2022 Shrekfest. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Good thing there is an extra day this weekend, because there are a lot of happenings to checkout around the city. Laborfest will ring in the holidays with a free festival celebrating the workers who made sacrifices to make our work lives better. And if you have a taste for onions or just want to hang out with other Shrek enthusiasts, Shrekfest will take over Humboldt Park. If you want to just hang out and enjoy some art, the Third Ward Art Festival is back and will run for two days.

September 1-3: St. Francis Days

St. Francis Days has been celebrated since its inception in 1965, originally featuring a parade and the St. Francis Day Beauty Queen Pageant. The event has since grown – there’s still a parade, but now there are carnival rides, live music and activities such as cornhole tournaments. The St. Francis Days carnival will run from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Friday and from 12 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. A $25 wristband grants access to all rides. The live music lineup features performances by Almighty Vinyl, Metal Men, Black Diamond and more. St. Francis Days will take place at Milton Vretenar Memorial Park. The parade will start at 11 a.m. and will run from Howard Avenue to the park.

September 2: Shrekfest

The Midwest’s largest celebration of green ogres is back! Join hundreds of other Shrek enthusiasts in the swamp for Shrekfest – a one-of-a-kind, bizarre event that’s celebrating its tenth year. Shrekfest, held at Humboldt Park, features games, live music and competitions such as the fan-favorite onion-eating contest. Afterwards, check out the Shrek Rave taking place at The Rave, or the Shrekfest Afterparty at X-Ray Arcade. Shrekfest is free to attend and is appropriate for the entire family.

September 2: The Globe Reunion Show

Once upon a time, there was an abundance of live music on Milwaukee’s East Side. One contributor was legendary Milwaukee venue The Globe East, which closed its doors 20 years ago. Now, 18 bands will pay tribute to the venue with a reunion show. The Globe Reunion Show will take place at The Miramar Theatre and will run from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. The lineup includes performances by Black Belt Theater, The Exotics, Ethan Keller and more. To check out the full lineup and to purchase tickets, visit The Miramar Theatre’s website.

September 2: Milwaukee Comic Con

The Milwaukee Comic Con event will once again bring comics, trading cards, collectibles and more to the Wisconsin State Fair Park Exposition Hall. Over 250 tables of goodies for sale will be set up, every attendee receives a free comic at the door. Special guests include Jeremiah Lambert Art (known for his work with Hasbro and Transformers), and award-winning comic book colorist Jeff Balke. Milwaukee Comic Con will run from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

September 2-3: Third Ward Art Festival

The 11th Annual Third Ward Art Festival will showcase the works of over 150 juried artists from all over the country. Many artists will have art for sale, while others will put on art demonstrations and host booth chats and offer painting lessons. The Third Ward Art Festival will also feature live music on two stages and food and drink from a variety of vendors. Families can swing by the Kid Zone, where they can participate in art fest bingo, sand sculpting, coloring and more. Third Ward Art Festival will take place on N. Broadway and is free to attend. The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

September 4: Laborfest

Ring in the holiday at Laborfest – a celebration of those who have made sacrifices so that workers can enjoy weekends, employment protection, vacation time and many other benefits that we tend to take for granted.  Laborfest features live music, a classic car show, a union raffle and more. There will also be a Laborfest parade showcasing the workers’ trucks and Harleys. The parade will start at 11 a.m. at Zeidler Union Square and will end at the Henry Maier Festival Grounds – where Laborfest will be held. Laborfest will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is free to attend.

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