The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

OLIVER: Milwaukee summer festivals leave sweet taste in mouth

eric_cutoutI stayed in Milwaukee for the summer, and I have to say you missed a lot if you went home. To get you up to speed on what you missed, and to get a head start on the infamous “What I did over my Summer Vacation” essay, I present for your reading enjoyment, My First Summer in the Brew City: A Summer in Milwaukee.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think back on this past summer is jackets. Lots of them. Everywhere. The weather was curious. It would be 50 on Wednesday and in the 90s on Thursday. It was confusing to say the least. I am all for a cooler summer, but there were a few weeks where we barely reached 70.

If you can make it past the ever-changing, consistently inconsistent weather and stand to be outside for a couple of hours, you can head to one of Milwaukee’s numerous festivals. If there is a way to hold a festival for something, Milwaukee finds it.

Yes, we have all heard of Summerfest. Most Wisconsin natives rave about the state fair, but as a non-Wisconsin native, I found there are almost hundreds of other festivals.

First there was Bastille Days, a celebration of the French Revolution at Cathedral Square where impeccable food meets fitness, as the festival features a 5k run/walk through the streets of the city at night.

Then you have Strawberry Fest in nearby Cedarburg. If you want to be blown away by the sheer amount of things strawberries can be added to, go to Strawberry Fest. There were strawberry doughnuts, strawberry brats, strawberry beer and of course the ever delectable strawberry shortcake.

But the best part of my  summer was going to the Wisconsin State Fair for the first time.

Imagine a place where all of your favorite foods are together: Snickers, bacon, and peanut butter and jelly. Now fry them, dip them in chocolate and – most importantly – put them on a stick and hand them out to thousands. Welcome to the state fair.

The Wisconsin State Fair is known for one thing in particular––cream puffs.

It starts with a seemingly unimpressive pastry puff. The wonderful people at the Cream Puff Pavilion – all sporting hoodies and hats as they work in the wintery conditions – slice it open, and fill it with cream. They top it with powdered sugar, throw it on a plate (next year, cream puffs on a stick?) and give it to you.

I was not incredibly excited to try this Wisconsin staple, but once I bit into it, it made me rethink my idea of heaven. Instead of clouds, angels and harps, I imagine cream puffs––lots of them. I mean, I hate cream filled doughnuts and whipped cream, but I would definitely make an exception for a cream puff.

Summer in Milwaukee may be nothing like the summers of Illinois. I may never get used to wearing a coat and pants one day, and shorts and a T-shirt the next. I will say this much for the dairy state though, they sure know how to throw an absolutely amazing festival.

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