There's nothing quite as Americana as the 4th of July in the small town communities of Oz. Looking for a celebration near you? Look no further!
Belgium The celebration begins early in Belgium, with fireworks at 9:45 p.m. on Friday, June 29th at Heritage Park.
Thiensville Thiensville's Family Fun Before the 4th is a nearly all-day event, and a great day for the whole family! On Saturday, June 30th, the parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. Follow it to the Village Park, where free ice-cream, live music, and a variety of events await, followed by fireworks at dusk.
Grafton Grafton's Independence Day Celebration happens on Saturday, June 30th, in conjunction with the annual Grillin' in Grafton. The parade begins at 17th Ave. by the tennis courts at 11 a.m., and makes its way to Centennial Park. Fireworks will take place at dusk.
Rotary Music Festival in Cedarburg The Drum Corps International Tour will return to Cedarburg on Tuesday, July 3, at 7 p.m. for the 19th Annual Rotary Music Festival. Cedarburg High School Stadium is set to play host to a lineup of 7 World and Open Class corps during this event that will take place on the eve of Independence Day.
Freistadt It doesn't get any more Americana than Trinity Freistadt's 4th of July Parade and Picnic! Spend your day enjoying one of Ozaukee County's best kept secrets, beginning with an outdoor worship service at 10 a.m. (weather permitting), an 11 a.m. picnic (complete with root beer floats), a tour of the Trinity Historical Grounds, and a 1 p.m. parade, followed by a flag raising, and the very German music of the Alte Kameraden Band and dancing by the Pommersche Tanzdeel Dancers.
Port Washington Port's parade begins at 10 a.m. on the 4th; follow it to Veteran's Park on the lakefront for an old fashioned ice cream social, bicycle judging, a watermelon seed spitting contest, and music throughout the afternoon. The only fireworks over the lakefront in Oz begin at dusk, and are best seen from Rotary Park or Coal Dock Park.
Saukville Saukville's parade begins at 1 p.m., going through downtown and ending at Grady Park for a picnic from noon-5 and music from 2-4. There will be music and food from 5 p.m. until dusk, and fireworks are at dusk over Peninsula Park.
Cedarburg Cedarburg's 4th of July Hometown Celebration boasts the largest parade in Ozaukee (roughly 2 hours long!), which begins at Fireman's Park at 10 a.m., and heads south along Washington Ave., making its way to Cedar Creek Park, where a picnic, music, and activities can be found until 9:30 p.m. The Madison Scouts perform at 1 p.m., and Dante's Bop will play from 2-7:30 p.m. The Civic Band performs in the band shell at 8 p.m., followed by fireworks at 9:30.
Happy Independence Day, Ozaukee!
By Mary Boyle
Most of the area theatre companies take a break over the summer months, when everyone would rather be outdoors and soaking up the sun, but there are a few whose season only coincides with Wisconsin's warmest months, and they bring their performances outdoors, with an almost exclusive focus on the most famous of playwrights: William Shakespeare.
Now entering their fourth season, the Summit Players are a group of mainly Marquette Alumni who are determined to make Shakespeare accessible to families by performing for free at State Parks throughout Wisconsin. This year, the production is the hilarious Twelfth Night and they are certain to have the audiences in stitches. Their plays use the original language, but they are edited for time, and to be as family-friendly as possible, while still retaining the brilliance that the Bard intended. They even offer a pre-show workshop that is perfect for school-aged kids. The Players will be just north of Oz at Kohler-Andrae State Park on Saturday, August 11th. The workshop is at 5:30 p.m., and the show is at 7; note that you will need a vehicle admission sticker to get into the park. You can also join them for their launch party at the Marquette campus, behind Raynor Library at 1355 W. Wisconsin Ave. in Miwaukee, on Friday, June 22nd at 6 p.m. To see the Summit Players full schedule and learn more, go to: www.summitplayerstheatre.com/
Optimist Theatre in Milwaukee has been doing Shakespeare in the Park in Milwaukee since 2010, and they return this season with King Lear, starring the amazing Jim Pickering, and including a cast of some of Milwaukee's finest, such as Jonathan Wainwright, Malkia Stampley, Robert Spencer, and Kat Wodtke. Last year, the group moved from its old home at Kadish Park to the Marcus Center's outdoor stage, the Peck Pavilion, as part of the Center's Live at the Peck Pavilion Series, which was a brilliant decision. With seating, a roof overhead, and the ability to purchase food and drink on site, the new location brought many more theatre-goers into the fold, and is sure to attract even more this summer. The production opens the evening of Thursday, July 5th, and runs through Saturday, July 21st. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday performances begin at 8 p.m., with Sunday performances at 7:30 p.m. There is one noon matinee on Tuesday, July 17th. Performances are free, and it is recommended to arrive no later than a half hour before the performance to claim your seats. To see the full schedule and learn more about Optimist Theatre, please visit: http://www.optimisttheatre.org
Door Shakespeare has been doing Shakespearean productions, as well as works by Moliere and Oscar Wilde, in the Garden of Björklunden’s 405-acre estate on Lake Michigan in Baileys Harbor for over 20 years. This season they will perform the Bard's Much Ado About Nothing and The Comedy of Errors from June 28th through August 18th and, as it happens, two of the cast members hail from Oz: brothers John and Luke Brotherhood of Mequon.
John, who recently completed his Freshman year of college at Fordham University, made his start at Door Shakespeare at the age of 10 in their summer camp, now called Camp Will, and his Door debut at the age of 16 as Balthasar in Romeo and Juliet. This summer, John will play the Jailer in Comedy and be a Musician and member of the Watch in Much Ado. Describing Door County as his favorite place in the world, John said it is the unique environment at Door that has kept him coming back: "The opportunity to tell stories in such an organic, beautiful, and fresh environment connects us as actors with nature in a very effective way, which allows for a deeper level of intimacy and honesty between the actors and the audience, and allows Shakespeare's beautiful text to resonate in a way that it may not be able to in other spaces."
John's involvement in Door inspired his younger brother, Luke, who will be a Junior at University School in Milwaukee this fall, to get involved. Luke made his Door debut at the age of 14 in Julius Ceasar and A Midsummer Night's Dream, and is now returning for his third summer with Door. He echos his brother's sentiments regarding his involvement with the company: "The thing I love most about Door Shakespeare is the impact it has on both audiences and actors, alike. As cheesy as it sounds, being in the woods all day without cell connection makes people connect with each other more, and I think it is part of the reason lasting friendships are built within the company. With all of the natural beauty surrounding the theater, actors often go to the waterfront or walk a trail while practicing their lines. While many actors argue that their job is enjoyable regardless of location, I think being able to work in such a gorgeous location makes the job even more enjoyable."
Both brothers shared some worthy tips for those thinking of making the trip: bring blankets and wear multiple layers, because it is often cold; come early to give yourself time to walk the trails and enjoy the lake view; and finally, the 5 p.m. Saturday performances are best for patrons with children. To learn more about Door Shakespeare, their play schedule, and their other programs, visit http://www.doorshakespeare.com.
For those willing to travel just a bit further, one of the best outdoor theatre experiences in Wisconsin is just outside of Spring Green at the American Players Theatre. APT has multiple productions, both modern and classic, throughout the summer on two different outdoor stages, but they never fail to perform at least one of Shakespeare's plays. This year, APT has selected two by the Bard: As You Like It and Measure for Measure. The APT season opens Friday, June 15th, and runs through Sunday, October 7th. To learn more about APT's complete season, including free concerts, go to: https://americanplayers.org/
While there's only one show, it's a bit closer to home: the West Bend Theatre Company will be performing Much Ado About Nothing on Thursday, August 23rd, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Jansen Family Park in West Bend. Set in the 1980's and featuring some well-known 80's pop tunes, this should be an interesting evening of Shakespeare. Find out more at: https://www.wbtheatreco.com/
There is a reason that Shakespeare in the Park can be found in outdoor spaces throughout the country: in William Shakespeare's time, his plays were mainly performed in open-air theaters, so it feels right to recreate those conditions for today's audiences. The outdoor theatre experience, much like an outdoor concert, has an energy all its own that must be experienced to be understood. While every live theatre performance is unique, the weather and nature are crucial and unpredictable parts of the outdoor theatre production that give an entirely different, and highly individual, dimension to a play, and make for an unforgettable performance. Add to the itinery of your camping trip, or go just for the show, but make sure you add one of these performances to your summer calendar!
Richard Taylor, who is represented by Tory Folliard Gallery, Milwaukee, never took a class on making sculptures, however, he completed his undergraduate degree in Art History at UWM in the 1980’s and went on to receive his MFA in painting and printmaking from UWM. As the Artist in Residence at Quad Graphics in the early 1990’s, Taylor made huge murals for the company. Founder, Harry Quadracci gave Taylor free reign to experiment with the various tools and resources at Quad Graphics. Taylor learned to use the computers and related design software, and he began working with metal, especially aluminum, in the metal fabrication shop.
Music plays a big role in Taylor’s life. He plays saxophone and his love of jazz is revealed in his work though titles, shapes and suggestions of rhythms, harmony, syncopation, and through color. Other recognizable shapes in Taylor’s works include chess symbols, which represent choices in life. Well-known artists who have influenced him artistically are David Smith, Frank Stella, Alexander Calder, and Stuart Davis.
The sculptures on view are just a slice of Taylor’s current artistic endeavors. Last year he started a residency at Studio 224 in Port Washington, where he has returned to print making, using found objects for his inspiration. Many of the shapes in his prints resemble the motifs on view in the Cedarburg Art Museum’s courtyard.
Taylor has done site-specific works and enjoys working in series. He is working collaboratively with engineers at UWM to create solar panel sculptures. Some of his colorful aluminum works are wall mounted, for display indoors. These include a series of “farmscapes” that all have similar components in variable arrangements and colors, echoing the subtle differences between farms that consist of fields, barns and silos.
The museum is proud to present five exhibitions this summer, including Paul Yank: Process and Perspective, From China with Love: Hand-Colored Photographs and Letters Home, 1919-21, Gifts of Carl Marr’s Milwaukee Family, and Selections from the Plein Air Best of Show Collection. The opening reception for Altered Scale: Sculpture by Richard Taylor and all of the other summer exhibitions at the museum is June 9th starting at 4pm. The Beer Garden will be open from 5-8pm to kick off the season. For the full Beer Garden schedule visit Cedarburgartmuseum.org/beergarden.
One of the best parts of summertime in Ozaukee County is the plethora of outdoor concerts to attend. From Summer Sounds to Gathering on the Green, there's something for everyone. Here's the 2017 lineup:
Belgium Summer Nights LIVE Beginning Friday, June 1st from 6-9 p.m., Belgium's Community Park will feature live music and family fun for all, starting with Tuesday Afternoon and DocRube. Food and drinks are available for purchase, and sign up for kickball! Two more concerts are TBA on August 3rd and 31st.
Summer Sounds in Cedarburg The 16th Season of Summer Sounds kicks off Friday, June 15th, at Cedar Creek Park with Con Brio from San Francisco, and special guest, Mic Over Matter, and continues every Friday through August 17th. Each concert begins 6:30 p.m., and there is plenty of food and drink available on site, as well as a playground for the kids nearby. Bring a blanket or chairs, find your spot, and plan on an evening of fun!
GALA in the Park On Thursday nights at 6:30, beginning July 12th with the Altered Five Blues Band and running through August 23rd with Totally Neon, the Grafton Area Live Arts Concert Series will return to Veterans Park on the Milwaukee River. Popcorn and beverages will be for sale by the Grafton Lions, and John's Pizzaria will be serving food.
Shully's River Sounds in Thiensville will have free concerts on the first Thursday of each month from 6:30-10 p.m., rain or shine, with some delicious food available, made (of course!) by Shully's. June 7th is Five Card Studs, July 12th is the Alex Wilson Band, and August 2nd is the Eddie Butts Band. Attendees are encouraged to bring two non-perishable food items for Family Sharing's Food Pantry.
Live at the Triangle in Saukville's Veteran's Park will return with 6 free concerts this summer on Wednesday evenings from 7-9:30 p.m., beginning with Pack on June 13th, and ending with Our House on August 22nd. Food and beverages are available for purchase on site.
Gathering on the Green at Mequon's Rotary Park returns for its 23rd year on Friday, July 13th with American Authors, and Saturday, July 15th with Denis DeYoung and the music of Styx, and Lou Gramm, the original voice of Foreigner. New this year is a Battle of the Bands, with the top 5 Industry and local bands competing the weekend of the event.
Newport Shores in Port Washington has bands scheduled all summer long on their outdoor stage, right on the shore of Lake Michigan, beginning on June 2nd with Midlife Oasis, and going through September 22nd with the Shane Dar Band.
Beanies Summer Rock the Patio concert series happens every Sunday evening from 5:30-7:30 p.m. from June 24th to August 26th. Grab a famous Beanies Margarita, relax, and listen to some great tunes!
Climb the hill to the iconic St. Mary's church on Fridays from noon to 12:30 for the St. John XXIII Summer Music Series: Music on the Hill! The perfect accompianment to your lunch break, with an ecclectic mix of music from June 22nd to September 22nd.
Nines Live on the Sunset Deck is an outdoor concert series on Thursday nights from 7- 10 p.m. at the Nines American Bistro in Mequon. The series begins on June 7th with Marcell &Friends, and continues through August 30th with the Jackie Brown Trio.
Cedarburg Art Museum Beer Garden will have live music and food Thursday evenings from 5:30-8:30 p.m. beginning on June 14th and through September 13th, as well as during Strawberry Festival and Wine & Harvest Festival, and for a special Opening Reception on June 9th from 5-8 p.m. and a Beer Garden Party on July 3rd.
If you don't mind the drive, Sheboygan has the amazing Levitt AMP Sheboygan Music Series kicks off on Thursday, June 21st at 7 p.m. with Boogát. Most performances are Thursday evenings beginning at 7; however, the Series also incorporates the Midsummer Festival of the Arts on Saturday and Sunday, July 21st and 22nd, on the JMK Arts Center Festival Green.
Also not too far from Oz, the Homegrown Music Festival returns to Regner Park in West Bend on Sunday, July 8th from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., with The Coulee Boys, Trapper Schoepp, The Freques, Faux Fawn, Redshift Headlights, Driveway Thriftdwellers, and Nickel & Rose. Parking is free, and a $10 donation is recommended.
To stay informed about all of the great live music happening in and around Oz, make sure to stay tuned to the Ozaukee Living Local Events Page, and subscribe to our Friday Newsletter!