6 Cultural Festivals Bringing the World to Wisconsin

Are you longing to travel, but not wanting to go too far from home? Do you dream of indulging in a sweet Italian cannoli, taking a turn on the dance floor in a pair of Dutch wooden shoes, or raising a stein to sights and sounds of a German Oktoberfest? Well, you’re in luck – you can enjoy all this (and more!) without hopping on an airplane, right here in Wisconsin. 

Wisconsin residents are proud to represent cultures from around the world, and we love sharing heritage, traditions, and celebrations with you. Take a step into another country for the day at one of these fantastic cultural festivals!

Festa Italiana – Milwaukee

Get a taste of all things Italian at Festa Italiana in downtown Milwaukee. Enjoy wine tastings, classic Italian fare and chef demonstrations to tempt your taste buds, play a game of bocce ball or take a spin at the carnival, and end your night with a gondola ride under a sky of fireworks.

Featuring a cannoli-eating contest, futsal tournament, and a full lineup of entertainment, there’s something at this festa to delight the whole family.  

Irish Fest – Milwaukee

Join in the fun at the world’s largest celebration of Celtic music and culture. Each year Irish Fest brings the sights, sounds and tastes of Ireland to Milwaukee’s lakefront with mouthwatering Irish cuisine like bangers and mash and live entertainment around every corner.

Stop into the Jameson Lounge for a taste of some of Ireland’s finest whiskey or head over to Leprechaun Village where the family can search for gold.

Holland Festival – Cedar Grove

Holland Festival celebrates Cedar Grove’s Dutch heritage with a full lineup of family-friendly activities. Kicking off the weekend is the traditional street scrubbing by costumed residents before everyone dons their klompen (wooden shoes) and the asphalt becomes a dance floor.

Enjoy live music, arts and crafts, a parade and more in a charming, small-town environment.

Oktoberfest USA – La Crosse

Throw on your lederhosen for one of Wisconsin’s most popular festivals! Celebrate German heritage and culture in La Crosse at this lively fest featuring the Maple Leaf Parade, live entertainment, authentic German food and, of course, beer.

Grab your friends and your stein and get ready for a great time!

Mexican Fiesta – Milwaukee

Delight your senses with the tastes and sounds of Mexico at this Milwaukee fiesta. Enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine and mariachi music, then head out to the dance floor for the salsa/ bachata dancing contest.­­­­

Best of all, Mexican Fiesta is all about giving back, and proceeds from the fiesta go toward scholarships for local Hispanic students.

Bastille Days - Milwaukee  

Take a quick trip to France by joining the fun at Milwaukee’s Bastille Days held in Cathedral Square Park. You and your crew can take a selfie with the 43-foot-tall replica of the Eiffel Tower that puts on a light show every hour, sample delicious French cuisine, browse international vendors and much more.

This popular fest draws over 250,000 visitors annually and is one of the largest French-themed celebrations in the nation! 

Looking for more fest fun? Find an event near you with our directory or try these five Wisconsin festivals for the whole family!

This entry was posted in Fairs & Festivals Museums & History Events