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 28th at Heritage Park, following the baseball game.
Thiensville Family Fun Before the 4th is a nearly all-day event, and a great day for the whole family! On Saturday, June 29th, the massive 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 has a brand new event to celebrate Independence Day called Holidaze Where The Music Plaze, which begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 29th, and runs through 10 p.m. The morning starts healthy at the Lumberyard Plaza with Yoga from 8-9 followed by a Family Workout. The parade begins at 11 a.m. followed by a performance by the UW Madison Marching Band at Paramount Plaza, where the celebration continues from noon-6 p.m. with a beer tent, live music, and food and drink specials throughout downtown Grafton businesses. The celebration then moves to Lime Kiln Park from 6:30-10 p.m., with more live music and fireworks at dusk!
Rotary Music Festival in Cedarburg The Drum Corps International Tour will return to Cedarburg on Wednesday, July 3, at 7 p.m. for the 20th 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 live music by The Verdict from noon-2. Head over to Pirates’ Hollow Waterpark from 1-4 p.m., where they will be having a Biggest Splash Contest and Family Relay Race at 3 p.m. 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. on the 4th, 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., when the fireworks begin.
Happy Independence Day, Ozaukee!
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, May 31st from 6-9 p.m., Belgium's Community Park will feature live music and family fun for all. Food and drinks are available for purchase, and sign up for kickball! Join them again on Friday, July 12th and Friday, August 16th.
Summer Sounds in Cedarburg The 17th Season of Summer Sounds kicks off Friday, June 14th, at Cedar Creek Park with Castlecomer and special guest, Mic Over Matter, and continues every Friday through August 16th. 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 11th with the SenSations and running through August 22nd with The Cheap Shots, 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 6th is Five Card Studs, July 11th is De La Buena, and August 8th 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 Leroy Airmaster on June 19th, and ending with Otto Day and the Nites on August 21st. Food and beverages are available for purchase on site.
Gathering on the Green at Mequon's Rotary Park returns for its 24th year on Friday, July 12th with Lee Brice and special guest Ashley Elle, and Saturday, July 13th with Pat Benetar and Neil Giraldo. For the second year, there is also 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 15th with Xeno & Joe, and going through August 31st with Max & the Invaders.
Beanies Summer Rock the Patio concert series happens every Sunday evening from 5:30-7:30 p.m. from June 30th to August 25th. 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 accompaniment to your lunch break, with an eclectic mix of music from June 14th to August 30th.
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 13th with Lou Menchaca Jazz Express, and continues through August 29th with Lovin' Kind.
Cedarburg Art Museum Beer Garden will have live music and food Thursday evenings from 5:30-8:30 p.m. beginning on June 6th and through September 22nd, as well as during Strawberry Festival and Wine & Harvest Festival, and for a Beer Garden Party on July 3rd.
the cheel Thiensville's Nepalese restaurant, located at 105 S. Main St., has live music all summer long, both in the restaurant and the baaree, the outdoor beer garden. For up to date listings, see their facebook page.
If you don't mind the drive, Sheboygan has the amazing Levitt AMP Sheboygan Music Series kicks off on Thursday, June 20th at 7 p.m. with Viento Callejero. Most performances are Thursday evenings beginning at 7; however, the Series also incorporates the Midsummer Festival of the Arts on Saturday and Sunday, July 20th and 21st, 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 7th from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., with The Freques, Wise Jennings, No Name String Band, Red Hawks, Chris Haise Band, Brett Newski, and The Mascot Theory. 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!
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 fifth 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 Bard’s best-known tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. 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 3rd, with a workshop is at 5:30 p.m. and the show at 7. You will need a vehicle admission sticker to get into the park, which you may purchase at entry. To see the Summit Players full schedule and learn more, go to: www.summitplayerstheatre.com/
Optimist Theatre has been doing Shakespeare in the Park in Milwaukee since 2010, and they return for their third season at the Marcus Center’s Peck Pavilion with A Comedy of Errors. Milwaukee’s James Pickering and Robert Spencer, who were brilliant in last season’s production of King Lear, will grace the OT stage again this summer. The production opens for a preview the evening of Wednesday, June 26th at 8 p.m., with Opening Night the following evening at 8 p.m., and runs through Saturday, July 13th. 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 9th. 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 Henry V, Directed by Matt Daniels, and Merry Wives of Windsor, Directed by Marcella Kearns, from June 18th through August 24th. Both Directors are well-known to Milwaukee audiences, both for directing and on the stage, but are making their Door debuts, and join a cast of several other Milwaukee favorites, including Elyse Edelman, James Carrington, Carrie Hitchcock, and Mark Corkins, who were all on the Door’s stage last summer. 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, the country’s second largest outdoor theater devoted to the classics. Celebrating their 40th year this season, APT has multiple productions, both modern and classic, throughout the summer on two different stages, one outdoor and one indoor, but they never fail to perform at least one of Shakespeare's plays. This year, APT has selected two by the Bard: Twelfth Night and Macbeth. The APT season opens Friday, June 15th, and runs through Sunday, October 6th at the outdoor theater and into November for the indoor. To learn more about APT's complete season, including free concerts, go to: https://americanplayers.org/
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 itinerary of your camping trip, or go just for the show, but make sure you add one of these performances to your summer calendar!
Hames Nature Preserve is a 7 acre property in Waubeka along the Milwaukee River. This Ozaukee Washington Land Trust property is new to Treasures of Oz and features artist-in-resident Hal Rammel, who is using pinhole photography and field recordings during ARTservancy. Visitors at the Eco Tour will learn about water safety with Kettle Moraine YMCA and check out the kayak and canoe launch
Treasures of Oztreasuresofoz.org
Fine art in nature, hiking, birding, raptors, getting in the water, just being there - however you like to connect to nature, you will find it at Treasures.
Treasures of Oz celebrates its tenth year with another wonderful eco-tour filled with six
treasures sites, some new and some favorites - all with an infusion of art. This free, family-friendly event happens on June 15th. All sites are open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Celebration headquarters at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve stays open until 4:30p.m.
The art infusion comes from an artist-in-residence program between the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust and Gallery 224 in Port Washington. Called ARTservancy, the program places artists in land trust preserves for a year to create work that evolves from their interaction with nature. Virmond Park, an Ozaukee County site, has its own art installation, the largest in Ozaukee parks and preserves, created by artist Sally Duback with many of Ozaukee’s school children.
New sites to the tour include the Hames Preserve on the Milwaukee River in Waubeka and Birchwood Hills Nature Preserve in the City of Port Washington. One of the favorites is the Cedarburg Environmental Study Area, which boasts an amazing ant village. Well-known and well-loved naturalists Kate Redmond and Tom Kroeger will once again
teach and showcase the inter-workings of nature. This team is both brilliant and totally
delightful to hear.
Another favorite, Sauk Creek Nature Preserve, with its stunning trails along an iconic creek, will feature artist-in-residence Risé Andersen, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, OWLT, two former Port mayors who are devoted to this preserve, and KleenTest Products, the neighbor across the street. Visitors will learn how this local manufacturing company utilizes company-wide sustainability efforts to make a positive difference in our community.
Forest Beach will have multiple exhibits to see. There are trail walks the through multiple bird habitat areas, music, and an always-fun, always unique silent auction. The Raptors of Pine View Wildlife Rehabilitation will do a live raptor talk at 1:00 and Randy Hetzel with be there all day with his array of wild critters. Butterfly lovers will enjoy learning to raise monarch butterflies at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve; the Monarch Workshop is the second in a series of three that culminates with a butterfly release party in August.
Attendees can find a map, directions and download a passport after May 1st at
treasuresofoz.org and get their passport stamped at each location. Passport stamps can be traded for free raffle tickets at Forest Beach at the end of their tour.
Treasures of Oz is sponsored by Sweet Water, the Junior Woman’s Club of Mequon Thiensville and the WeEnergies Foundation. It is a collaboration between the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, Ozaukee County Parks and the many organizations in the Ozaukee Treasures Network.
Food: it's something we all have in common, seeing as everyone needs to eat. Luckily, we have a plethora of Farmers Markets to get fresh, local food all over Ozaukee County; and, if you do it right, you can hit one almost every day of the week! Here are the details:
Port Washington Port's Farmers Market will be the first to open for the season on Saturday, June 2nd, during the Port Family Pirate Daze. Main Street is closed between Franklin and Wisconsin Streets from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Saturday from June 2nd through October 27th, except July 14th (because of Fish Day), with fresh produce, honey, soaps, bakery, live music, and more.
Saukville Located at Veterans Park in the center of downtown, Saukville's Farmers Market happens every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., beginning on June 24th and going through October (except September 3rd), with fresh produce, flowers, and arts and crafts.
Thiensville Thiensville's Village Market opens Tuesday, June 12th at Village Park, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will continue every Tuesday through October 16th. Live music and The Best "Dam" Chef Competition are some of the highlights of this market, aside from fresh food, flowers, and more.
Cedarburg The Cedarburg Makers & Growers Market, which features a variety of artisans and locally grown produce, happening every Friday from June 8th through October 26th from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. in the Cedarburg Cultural Center parking lot. located at the corner of Washington Ave. and Mill St.
Grafton Grafton's Farmers Market happens Thursdays from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. at Veteran's Park beginning July 12th and through September.Vendors include many varieties of farm-fresh, home grown produce, flowers, honey, fresh-baked breads, Seasonings, Cheese Curds, Hand-made soaps, Balms, and sprays, popcorn, gourmet chocolates and more. Mel's Charities will be serving pulled pork sammys, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, brats and hot dogs, as well as food trucks selling cupcakes, crepes, tacos and more. In addition, the Grafton Public Library will be joining the Market each Thursday for Story Time with songs, rhymes and stories for young children and their families, and Riveredge Nature Center will be doing Kayaking and Tree Climbing on certain dates.
Fredonia A relative newbie on the Farmers Market scene, the Fredonia Farmers Market takes place at the Fredonia Government Center from 2-6 p.m. every Wednesday from June 13th through October 31st.
If you just can't make it to the market, there are other ways to get your local food! Outpost in Mequon is committed to local and regional produce and products, with several of their items coming from producers within 100 miles of the co-op. There are also a number of farms in Oz that sell directly to consumers, including Witte's Vegetable Farm and Kay's Home Farm (which has pasture-raised beef) in Cedarburg, Rare Earth Farm in Belgium (which is a CSA, but also has an online store), Polzin Farms in Grafton (which has pick your own strawberries, and more!), The Victory Garden Farm (which is hoping to add CSA shares soon), Willoway Farm CSA (which even has flower shares) in Fredonia, and Wellspring CSA in Newburg.
Do you see something we've missed? Contact us, and we'll add it to the article! Mary@OzaukeeLivingLocal.com