German Fest Milwaukee 2023 Guide

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German Fest is a Milwaukee tradition and has been held during the last full weekend in July since 1981. It will return to the Summerfest Grounds in Milwaukee’s lovely Henry Maier Festival Park on July 28, 29 and 30, 2023. Celebrate all things German along the beautiful shoreline of Lake Michigan.


There will be 4 stages with international, national, regional and local musical talent. You’ll see bands, dance groups and singers. This year’s headliners will include

  • Schurzenjager
  • Alpine Blast
  • Copper Box
  • The Bierman
  • MX Reboot
  • Tom Schneider & the 25’s Party Band
  • ZAlpensterne
  • Dorf Kapelle

German Food & Drinks

One of the highlights of the German Fest is the authentic German dishes and pastries. Be sure to come hungry so you can enjoy

  • Schnitzel – breaded boneless pork cutlet
  • Frankfurter – hot dog
  • Rollbraten – roasted pork loin with sauteed seasonal onions
  • Goulasch – seasoned stew meat sprinkled with paprika and served over noodles
  • Knoedel – dumpling
  • Wurst – Sausage
  • Sauerkraut – pickled cabbage
  • German pretzels
  • Kuchen – cake
  • Strudel – fruit-filled pastry
  • Schwarzwaelder Kirschtorte – Black Forest cherry cake
  • Bienenstich – German coffee cake filled with a special custard and topped with almonds and honey

And, as you would expect, the German Fest has a German Fest Bier Garden. The new official shot is jagermeister, a coffee flavored cold brew. If you’re looking for something gluten free, try New Grist Gluten Free. Each day the Lakefront Brewery will tap a unique limited edition Stichfass for purchase. The Stichfass will contain a Lakefront Bier infused with a German liquor and other imported liquors.

Additional Festival Info

German Fest’s Cultural Village has displays featuring pictures, posters and memorabilia of Germany plus a Passport Program to help young people learn more about Germany.

One of the most popular features of the German Fest is the Dachshund race called the Dachshund Derby. This is followed by the Dachshund Costume Contest.

Other notable features of the German Fest include

  • Marketplatz
  • Parades
  • Fireworks
  • Learn how to play Sheepshead
  • Children’s playground
  • German dance performances
  • Battle of the Mascots
  • Children’s Arts & Crafts
  • Glockenspiel Show

If you’d like to attend the German Fest and want to look the part, check out these creations for women and these for men.

German Cuisine

If you enjoyed the German food at the fest and would like to learn more about German cooking, try these cookbooks. And you can use our links to see how you can save on each one.

Or you can enjoy German cuisine at the 10 Best German Restaurants in Milwaukee as chosen by the users of TripAdvisor.

  1. Mader’s
  2. Old German Beer Hall
  3. Kegel’s Inn
  4. Von Trier
  5. Hofbrau Milwaukee
  6. Milwaukee Brat House
  7. Lakefront Brewery Beer Hall
  8. Foltz Family Market
  9. Historic Turner Restaurant
  10. The White House Bay View

If you love German food but can’t get to these restaurants one night, you can get food from Kegel’s Inn delivered by DoorDash. Check out their menu.

German Hotels

If you’d like to visit Milwaukee for the German Fest, you should consider the following hotels. They are all offering discounted rates which can save you money on your stay.

  • Comfort Suites Milwaukee Airport 24% Discount
  • Comfort Inn & Suites NW Milwaukee 24% Discount
  • Quality Inn Milwaukee Airport 21% Discount
  • Econo Lodge Milwaukee Airport 20% Discount
  • Cambria Hotel Milwaukee Downtown 20% Discount
  • Rodeway Inn & Suites Metro Airport 20% Discount
  • Sleep Inn & Suites Airport 15% Discount
  • Comfort Inn Plaza Court 5% Discount

If you’re going to be flying to Milwaukee, book your flight here and you can save money.