Summer’s not over yet for Milwaukee

The dog days are over. Pack up the flip-flops and bust out the textbooks. Kiss away the sun’s rays and prepare for the sting of Wisconsin’s winter. Forget about Summerfest and start planning for late nights at Raynor.

The start of school doesn’t necessarily mean the end of all things fun in the city, though. Milwaukee has a sliver of summer spirit left, and now’s the time to savor the remainder of Cream City’s summer arts and entertainment scene. These sizzling summer events, festivals and markets extend through September or October, just enough time for some post-summer solace.

Stay calm, cool and collected

Jazz in the Park, a free outdoor music festival, takes place on Thursdays through Sept. 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. in Cathedral Square Park. The festival features a swinging lineup of jazz, big band, funk, R & B, reggae, blues and more.

Each week, an average of 8,000 people bring blankets and chairs to picnic at the park and enjoy an evening of live entertainment from local, national and international musicians.

Over 100 musicians each year submit their content to be considered for a spot on the Jazz in the Park lineup, said Kate Borders, executive director of East Town Association. With plenty of eager and musically talented artists to choose from, the association certainly has no trouble selecting the cream of the crop.

Part of what makes the event such a success is its consistency in providing good entertainment, Borders said.

“People don’t necessarily need to look up who’s playing on a given Thursday,” she said. “They can trust that whoever it is will be entertaining.”

Guests are welcome to bring their own food and nonalcoholic beverages; however, the event features six on-site food vendors, including Louise’s, Rudy’s Mexican Restaurant, Flannery’s Bar and Restaurant and McGillycuddy’s Bar and Grill.

Jazz in the Park takes place every Thursday in September from 6 to 9 p.m. at Cathedral Square Park, 825 N. Jefferson St. For more info, visit easttown.com/events/jazz-in-the-park.

Point Fish Fry & a Flick offers free movies right on the lakefront. Photo courtesy of Andrew Nelson.

Enjoy one last evening on the lakefront

At dusk on select Fridays through Sept. 23, Point Fish Fry & a Flick offers free outdoor movies on a big screen literally on Milwaukee’s lakefront. The event takes place at Discovery World and features a $10 Bartolotta’s cod fish fry, along with ten other local food vendors with dinner options under $5. Vendors include American Gyro, Haute Taco, Streetza Pizza and Cold Spoons Gelato.

The event also offers specials on Stevens Point Brewery beer, as well as free beer tasting, said Andrew Nelson, public relations manager for The Pabst Theater. Alterra coffee and other refreshments are available for purchase as well.

Beyond the food and drink specials, the event aims to bring the community together. One way it accomplishes this feat is with its bazaar: a mini, local flea market where patrons can purchase goods from five or six different local retailers and businesses at each event.

The movie choices, schedule and prices intend to attract college students on their way back to school, Nelson said.

“Milwaukee always is the greatest place in the world to be in the summertime,” Nelson said. “Most of the big festivals die off in August, so we wanted to create something we could extend further.”

Point Fish Fry & a Flick takes place on select Fridays through September at Discovery World, 500 N. Harbor Dr. Free movies begin at dusk and all other events begin at 5 p.m. For more info, visit pointfishfryandaflick.com.

Powwow at the Summerfest grounds

Celebrating its 25th year, Indian Summer Festival takes place Sept. 9 to 11 at the Henry W. Maier Festival Park. Among numerous American Indian-centered events and activities, the festival features a lineup of American Indian entertainment and musicians, including the Indian Summer Music Awards (ISMA) and performances by the award winners.

Other specialties at Indian Summer include a native film festival, tribal farmers market, powwow competition, traditional Native American foods, Native American arts and crafts and a marketplace with over 100 vendors.

Indian Summer aims to educate, preserve and promote American Indian cultures. In order to do so, the festival offers live demonstrations of traditional skills such as beadwork, finger weaving, bow and arrow making, basket weaving and more.

In addition, the festival is closed to the general public during the day on Sept. 9 to allow kindergarten through sixth grade students and teachers to spend the day as part of a special educational program.

Indian Summer Festival takes place Sept. 9 to 11 at the Henry W. Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr. General public hours: Friday, Sept. 9 from 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, Sept. 10 from noon-midnight, Sunday, Sept. 11 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is $12. For advance sale and other promotional prices, visit indiansummer.org.

Local farmer's markets offer more than fresh produce. Photo courtesy of Lisa Kingery.

Brush up on your marketing

Milwaukee’s farmer’s markets offer local and fresh produce, but also often offer local artists, designers, crafts, cooking demos and workshops, live music and entertainment, among other activities.

Fondy Food Center, located on the north side, prides itself as the city’s largest market with more than 29 vendors and farmers, said Lisa Kingery, food and nutrition program director for Fondy. Known for its abundant local produce, Fondy is open four days a week, with “event day” on Saturdays.

Produce that comes from 20 miles away as opposed to 2,000 is fresher and tastes that much better, said Kingery. But markets supply more than fresh food to put on your plate – they also offer a sense of community and eliminate grocery shopping as a chore.

“People don’t just come to a market to grab their tomatoes and rush back home. They stick around for awhile. They get to know the farmers,” Kingery said. “There’s something very psychologically satisfying about knowing exactly where your tomatoes come from.”

Fondy Food Center is located at 2200 W. Fond du Lac Ave. Open Saturdays 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Nov. 19 and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Oct. 30. For more info, visit fondymarket.org or call 414-933-8121.