Indian Summer Festival
Press Release

2018 Indian Summer Festival brings excitement to Milwaukee Sept. 7-9

Festival hours are 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, noon to midnight Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

By - Jul 26th, 2018 08:14 am
Indian Summer Festival. Photo by Jack Fennimore.

Indian Summer Festival. Photo by Jack Fennimore.

Indian Summer Festival celebrates traditional and contemporary Native culture at the lakefront Maier Festival Park (Summerfest grounds) in Milwaukee, Wis., Sept. 7-9.

The festival includes crowd favorites like the competition pow wow, choreographed fireworks on Saturday and contemporary as well as traditional Native American performers. Canoe rides return this year by popular demand. The Fiddle and Jig Contest brings fiddlers and jiggers of all ages together for a very spirited competition filled with humor (with winners chosen by audience response).

Crowd favorite Brule headlines the Miller Main Stage Saturday night. The group is known for thrilling audiences with a merging of cultural rock, traditional dancers in full regalia and theatrical instrumentations. Eagle and Hawk return on Friday and Saturday nights. Another must-see is the multi-cultural drum jam on Friday night.

Cultural Craft Workshops, for items such as flutes and corn husk dolls, are planned throughout the weekend, with additional information available at the Indian Summer Festival website.

There are lots of family-friendly attractions at the festival. The Mountain Men bring history to life in a European settler camp reenactment. Go Native Now entertains and educates with a fun, interactive display. Plant walks at Lakeshore Park, are available throughout the weekend. Cost is free to festival guests already on the grounds, but spaces are limited to the first 30 people. The walking tours are led by Lakeshore Park naturalists.

A part of every festival is the FOOD. Vendors offer traditional foods – frybread, Indian tacos, bison burgers, wild rice, roasted corn and berry desserts – as well as regular festival favorites. Foodies also flock to the festival’s food demonstrations

At the Circle of Art show, American Indian artists display works in a variety of media. The Indian Summer Marketplace features Native-inspired goods.

Festgoers can gain an appreciation of traditional arts at the Living Cultures area by seeing and talking to craftspeople making items such as hand drums, beadwork, flutes, lacrosse sticks and baskets. Visitors also can learn how wild rice is harvested. Iroquois social dancing also adds to the atmosphere.

Sports fans are drawn to the festival by the amateur Olympic-style boxing competition as well as the lacrosse demos and matches.

Bingo, presented by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, returns for 2018.

On Friday, Sept. 7, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., teachers and students in grades three through nine are welcomed to Indian Summer Festival’s Education Day. While Indian Summer Festival opens to the public at 4 p.m. on Friday, the grounds are open only to Education Day participants during the day. Early registration is requested by Sept. 1. The cost for Education Day is $6 per person. Register and pay online at Payment also will be accepted at the Indian Summer office. Payment is accepted at the festival grounds beginning Tuesday, Sept. 5.

Sunday events include the 10 a.m. non-denominational Indian Summer Prayer Ceremony and Dylan’s 5K Run & Walk for Autism, benefitting the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin.

Festival hours are 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, noon to midnight Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Ticket prices are $15 for adults. Children 12 and under are free. $12 for seniors age 60+. There are a number of special admission deals. For more info and updates, visit and follow on Facebook and Twitter. Advance tickets are available for purchase online.

Forest County Potawatomi Foundation is the Major Presenting Sponsor of Indian Summer Festival.

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