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 2022 lineup:
Summer Sounds in Cedarburg Summer Sounds kicks off Friday, June 17th, at Cedar Creek Park and continues every Friday through August 19th. 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!
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 June 22nd and running through August 24th. Food and beverages are available for purchase on site.
Belgium Summer Nights LIVE 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 on Friday, June 3rd and Friday, July 22nd from 6-9 p.m.
Shully's River Sounds in Thiensville will have free concerts on the first Thursday of June, August and September from 5:30-9 p.m., rain or shine, with some delicious food available, made (of course!) by Shully's. Bring your own chairs; no carry-ins.
Gathering on the Green at Mequon's Rotary Park returns Thursday, July 7th with Bruce in the USA, Friday, July 8th with Roots & Boots, Saturday, July 9th with Night Ranger and 38 Special and Sunday, July 10th with Danny Gokey.
the baaree Thiensville's Nepalese restaurant, the cheel, still runs their outdoor beer garden, the baaree, located at 105 S. Main St., while beginning construction on the restaurant. The baaree has amazing live music all summer long, along with great food and drinks.
Beanies Summer Rock the Patio concert series happens every Sunday evening from 5:30-7:30 p.m. through Labor Day weekend. Grab a famous Beanies Margarita, relax, and listen to some great tunes near the lake in downtown Port Washington!
The Cedarburg Art Museum Beer Garden will have live music and food Thursday evenings from 5:30-8:30 p.m. beginning on June 9th and through September 15th, as well as during Strawberry Festival and Wine & Harvest Festival.
The Mequon Public Market/Spur 16 Summer Patio Music Series has some great live music planned for their outdoor patio over the summer! Keep an eye on their website for more details.
Oz has several places to catch live music year round, just hit on their links to see who's playing next!
The Stagecoach Inn's Five20 Pub in downtown Cedarburg
Rebellion Brewing Co., right on Cedar Creek in downtown Cedarburg
The Bridge in Grafton
Boot Q 'n Boogie in Waubeka
If you don't mind the drive, Sheboygan has the amazing Levitt AMP Sheboygan Music Series kicks off on Thursday, June 23rd, with most of the music starting at 6 p.m., but check their lineup for details. The Series also incorporates the Midsummer Festival of the Arts on Saturday and Sunday, July 16th and 17th, 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 10th from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., with a great lineup of Wisconsin bands. 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! Am I missing a series or place to catch live music in Oz? Let me know!
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.
Since 2014, the Summit Players, a group of mainly Marquette Alumni, have worked hard to make Shakespeare accessible to families by performing for free at State Parks throughout Wisconsin. This year, the production is the Bard's much loved Much Ado About Nothing. 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, and they even offer a pre-show workshop that is perfect for school-aged kids. The Players won't be at Belgium's Harrington Beach State Park this season, but they will be just north of Oz in Sheboygan at Kohler-Andrae State Park on Saturday, July 16th, and just west of Oz in Hartford at the Kettle Moraine State Forest on Saturday, August 19th. 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 parks. 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 Twelfth Night Or What SHE Will, an entertaining romp that everyone will enjoy. Since the pandemic, SITP has moved from the Peck Pavilion to a touring show that will travel around the Milwaukee area between June 18th and August 7th. The show, as always, is free and outdoors (you will need to bring your own chair/blanket) and walk ups are welcome, but you are encouraged to register at their website; space is always first come, first served. Members (a yearly donation of $75) are able to reserve seats at one show each season 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 other classical works, 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 Tempest and The Three Musketeers from June 22nd through August 27th. A trip to Door County is made even better with the addition of live, outdoor theatre in the Garden of Björklunden. 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 stages, one outdoor and one indoor, but they never fail to perform at least one of Shakespeare's plays. This season, APT has selected two by the Bard: the rarely produced Love's Labours Lost and the classic tragedy of Hamlet. The APT season opens Friday, June 11th, and runs through Sunday, November 20th. To learn more about APT's complete season, 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 itinery of your camping trip, or go just for the show, but make sure you add one of these performances to your summer calendar!
There's nothing like spending a beautiful day at a Farmers Market, getting to know your local farmers and growers and connecting with community. Although we lost both the Grafton and Fredonia Farmers Markets this year, there are still plenty of great options to choose from, and even more ways to get your local food beyond the markets, which is an excellent sign of a healthy local food system!
Port Washington Port's Farmers Market opens Saturday, June 18th and runs every Saturday through October 29th. Main Street is closed between Franklin and Wisconsin Streets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 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 12th and going through October 30th (except Independence Day and Labor Day weekend), with fresh produce, flowers, and arts and crafts.
Thiensville Thiensville's Village Market opens Tuesday, June 21st at Village Park, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will continue every Tuesday through October 11th. 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, has a shorter run, but will be open on Saturdays from 9-1 August 6th through the end of September at Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church, located at W76 N627 N Wauwatosa Rd.
Just outside of Oz in West Bend is the amazing West Bend Farmers Market, which is worth a look if you've never been, as it is the largest in the area. Happening every Saturday from 7:30-11 a.m. from May 21st through October 29th, it's an early one, but the Historic District is a sight to see, in itself, plus it puts you in walking distance to the Museum Of Wisconsin Art!
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. The brand new DreamPort Harvest Market in downtown Port Washington is a sweet little shop that brings some of the area's best local food indoors every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
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, Barthel's Fruit Farm in Mequon, Rare Earth Farm in Belgium (which is a CSA, but also has an online store), The Victory Garden Farm, Willoway Farm (which has an amazing flower CSA) and Appleland Farm Market (which is open Wednesdays from noon-6, then opens for the apple season on August 22nd; they have also added a CSA) in Fredonia, and Winterspring Farm CSA in Newburg.
One of the best ways to get local food from a wide variety of local growers is to join the Ozaukee Area REKO Ring on Facebook, which was started by The Victory Garden Farm. Growers post their offerings on the site each week and you can purchase/order direct from them, then pick up your order on Thursdays between 6 and 7 p.m. in Grafton. Many of the farms mentioned here are a part of the REKO Ring.
Do you see something we've missed? Contact us, and we'll add it to the article! Mary@OzaukeeLivingLocal.com