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Milwaukee is the largest city in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, the 28th most populous city in the United States and 39th most populous region in the United States. It is the county seat of Milwaukee County and is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan.

Tourism
Milwaukee's skyline visible from a sailboat out on Lake Michigan

Milwaukee is a popular venue for Lake Michigan sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, ethnic dining, and cultural festivals. Milwaukee is recognized for its museums, fine dining and hotels, professional sports, performing arts, gardens and parks, and Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens

Culture

Museums

Milwaukee is home to a wide variety of museums:

Art

The Milwaukee Art Museum is perhaps Milwaukee's most visually prominent cultural attraction; especially its $100 million wing designed by Santiago Calatrava in his first American commission. The museum includes a "brise soleil," a moving sunscreen that unfolds similar to the wing of a bird.
The Grohmann Museum, at Milwaukee School of Engineering is home to the world's most comprehensive art collection dedicated to the evolution of human work. It houses the Man at Work collection, which comprises more than 700 paintings and sculptures dating from 1580 to the present. The museum also features a spectacular rooftop sculpture garden.
Haggerty Museum of Art, located on the Marquette University campus houses several classical masterpieces and is open to the public.

Science and natural history

Discovery World

The Milwaukee Public Museum has been Milwaukee's primary natural history and human history museum for 125 years, with over 150,000 square feet (14,000 m2) of permanent exhibits. Exhibits feature Africa, Europe, the Arctic, and South and Middle America, dinosaurs from 65 million years ago, the tropical rainforest, streets of Old Milwaukee, a European Village, a Sampson Gorilla replica, the Puelicher Butterfly Wing, hands-on laboratories, and animatronics. The Museum also has an IMAX movie theater/planetarium. Milwaukee Public Museum is home to the world’s largest dinosaur skull.
Discovery World, Milwaukee's largest museum dedicated to science, is just south of the Milwaukee Art Museum along the lake front. Visitors are drawn by its high-tech, hand-on exhibits, salt water and freshwater aquariums, as well as touch tanks and digital theaters. A double-helix staircase wraps around the 40-foot (12 m) kinetic sculpture of a human genome. The S/V Dennis Sullivan Schooner Ship docked at Discovery World is the world's only re-creation of a 1880s-era three-masted vessel and the first schooner to be built in Milwaukee in over 100 years. It teaches visitors about the Great Lakes and Wisconsin's maritime history.
Betty Brinn Children's Museum is geared toward children under 10 and is filled with hands-on exhibits and interactive programs, offering families a chance to learn together. Voted one of the top 10 museums for children by Parents Magazine, it exemplifies the philosophy that constructive play nurtures the mind.

Social and cultural history

The Pabst Mansion

Pabst Mansion Built in 1892 by beer tycoon Frederick Pabst, this Flemish Renaissance Mansion was once considered the jewel of Milwaukee's famous avenue of mansions called the "Grand Avenue". Interior rooms restored with period furniture, to create an authentic replica of a Victorian Mansion. Nationally recognized as a house museum.
Milwaukee County Historical Society features Milwaukee during the late 19th century through the mid-20th century. Housed within an architectural landmark, the Milwaukee's Historical Society features a panoramic painting of Milwaukee, firefighting equipment, period replicas of a pharmacy and a bank, and Children's world - an exhibit that includes vintage toys, clothes and school materials. The museum houses a research library, where scenes from the movie Public Enemies were shot.
America's Black Holocaust Museum, founded by lynching survivor James Cameron, features exhibits which chronicle the injustices suffered throughout history by African Americans in the United States. The museum closed temporarily in July 2008 as a result of financial difficulties; no formal re-opening date had been set.
Jewish Museum Milwaukee is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of the Jewish people in southeastern Wisconsin and celebrating the continuum of Jewish heritage and culture.
Mitchell Gallery of Flight, Located at General Mitchell International Airport, Milwaukee's aviation and historical enthusiasts experience the history of General Mitchell International Airport with a visit to the Gallery of Flight. Exhibits include General Billy Mitchell; replicas of past and present aircraft including the Lawson Airline, the first commercial airliner; the Graf Zeppelin II, the sistership to the tragically legendary Hindinberg; a 1911 Curtis Pusher, an airplane with the propeller in the rear of the plane; and the present day giant of the sky, the 747. Other exhibits include commercial air memorabilia, early aviation engines and airport beacons.
Harley-Davidson Museum, opened in 2008, pays tribute to Harley-Davidson motorcycles and is the only museum of its type in the world.

Arenas and performing arts

Milwaukee is home to a number of musical groups and venues, including:

First Stage Children's Theater
Festival City Symphony
Florentine Opera
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Milwaukee Theatre
Milwaukee Youth Arts Center
Milwaukee Ballet
Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Milwaukee Shakespeare
Carte Blanche Studios Theatre
Milwaukee Youth Theatre
Pabst Theater
Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps
The Rave /Eagles Ballroom
Riverside Theater
Skylight Opera Theatre
Wisconsin Conservatory of Music
Turner Hall
Bradley Center
Miller Park

In 1984 ComedySportz was founded in Milwaukee by native Dick Chudnow and has since become a franchise, with numerous venues throughout the United States and England. In July 2009 the ComedySportz world championship returned to Milwaukee to coincide with their 25th anniversary.

Public art and monuments

Milwaukee has some 75 sculptures to honor the many people and topics reflecting the city's history. Among the more prominent monuments are:

Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben
Tadeusz Kościuszko
Casimir Pulaski
Solomon Juneau
Abraham Lincoln
George Washington
Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli
Pope John Paul II
Martin Luther King Jr.
The Victorious Charge
Leif Ericson
Jacques Marquette
Goethe-Schiller Monument
Memorial to the Postal Carriers Union
Memorial to the three workers who died in the "Big Blue" crane accident at Miller Park

City of Festivals

While Milwaukee had been previously marketed as "A Genuine American City" as well as "A Great Place on a Great Lake," it has earned the nickname, the "City of Festivals."

The city hosts the Wisconsin State Fair, as well as an annual lakefront fair called Summerfest. Listed in the 1999 Guinness Book of World Records as the largest music festival in the world, for the last several years Summerfest has attracted around 840,000 visitors each year to its eleven stages.

Milwaukee is home to a variety of primarily ethnically themed festivals throughout the summer. Held generally on the lakefront Summerfest grounds, these festivals span several days (typically Friday plus the weekend) and celebrate Milwaukee's history and diversity. In 2008 Riversplash, which markets itself as 'the official opening of summer', kicks off festival season on the last weekend of May. Festivals for the LGBT (PrideFest) and Polish (Polish Fest) communities follow in June. Summerfest spans 11 days at the end of June and beginning of July. Milwaukee hosts the Great Circus Parade in July. In 1960, the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin was started in Milwaukee with chapters in other parts of the state. There are French (Bastille Days), Greek, Italian (Festa Italiana) and German (German Fest) festivals in July. The African, Arab, Irish, Mexican, and American Indian powwow indiansummer.org events wrap it up from August through September.[60] Milwaukee is also home to Trainfest, the largest operating model railroad show in America, in November.

Cuisine

Milwaukee's ethnic cuisines include German, Italian, Russian, Hmong, French, Serbian, Polish, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Indian, Korean, Vietnamese, Turkish, Middle Eastern and Ethiopian.

Famous Chef Julia Child visited Milwaukee and selected Milwaukee native chef Sanford D'Amato to cook for her 80th birthday. D'Amato, trained in New York City, is the executive chef for Milwaukee's five star restaurant Sanford, and Coquette Cafe Milwaukee.

Milwaukee County hosts the Zoo-A La Carte at the Milwaukee County Zoo, and various ethnic festivals like Summerfest, German Fest, and Festa Italiana to celebrate various types of cuisine in summer months.

Music

Milwaukee has a long history of musical activity. The first organized musical society, called "Milwaukee Beethoven Society" formed in 1843, three years before the city was incorporated. This was later replaced with the Milwaukee Musical Society.

The large concentrations of German and other European immigrants contributed to the musical character of the city. Saengerfesten were held regularly.

In the early 1900s guitar legend Les Paul, and pianist Liberace were some of the areas most famous musicians. Both Paul, born in Waukesha, and Liberace, born in West Allis, launched their internationally recognized careers in Milwaukee music venues. Paramount Records, primarily a jazz and blues record label, was founded in Grafton, a northern suburb of Milwaukee, in the 1920s and 1930s. Hal Leonard Corporation, founded in 1947 is one of the worlds largest music print publishers, and is headquartered in Milwaukee. The Hal Leonard Guitar Method was launched in Milwaukee becoming one of the first methods to incorporate popular music. The course today remains the leading guitar method in the world; it has taught millions of people how to play. Today, Hal Leonard represents in print some of the world's best known and most respected artists, such as: Aerosmith, Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Billy Joel, Elton John, B.B. King, Nirvana, Tom Petty, Pink Floyd, The Police, Elvis Presley, Queen, Bonnie Raitt, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Frank Sinatra, Sting, U2, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Who, Hank Williams, Stevie Wonder, and others.[64] More recently, Milwaukee has enjoyed a vibrant history of rock, hip hop, jazz, soul, blues, punk, ska, industrial music, electronica, world music, and pop music bands.

Milwaukee's most famous music venue is Summerfest. It is the world's largest music festival and was founded in Milwaukee in 1968. Live musical acts are offered on 11 stages, for 10 days in early summer from noon to midnight. On the Lake Michigan waterfront, the largest theatre is the Marcus Amphitheater wtth the a 23,000-capacity.

Venues such as Pabst Theater, Marcus Center for Performing Arts, the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts, Marcus Amphitheater (Summerfest Grounds), Riverside Theater, the Northern Lights Theater, and The Rave frequently bring internationally-known acts to Milwaukee. 'Jazz in the Park', a weekly jazz show held at downtown Cathedral Square Park, has become a summer tradition; free, public performances with a picnic environment. Nearby Pere Marquette Park hosts "River Rhythms" on Wednesday nights.

The Milwaukee area is known for producing national talents such as Steve Miller (rock), Wladziu Valentino Liberace (piano), Al Jarreau (jazz), Eric Benet (neo-soul), Speech (hip hop), Daryl Stuermer (rock), BoDeans (rock), Les Paul (rock), the Violent Femmes (alternative), Coo Coo Cal (rap), Die Kreuzen (punk), Andy Hurley of Fall Out Boy (punk), Eyes To The Sky (hardcore), Rico Love (rap), Andrew 'The Butcher' Mrotek of The Academy Is... (alt-rock), The Promise Ring (indie), the Gufs (alt rock), Kid Cut Up (hip hop) and Decibully (indie).
[edit] Municipal wireless

Through its Milwaukee Wireless Initiative, the city has contracted with Midwest Fiber Networks to invest US$20 million in setting up a municipal wireless network city-wide. Under the plan, the city will designate numerous government and public service websites for free access, and city residents will be able to access unlimited content for a monthly fee. Full wireless coverage was expected by March 2008,[66] but delays have been reported.[67]

The city had previously established free wireless networks in two downtown city parks: Cathedral Square; and Pere Marquette Park.

Parks and recreation

Milwaukee County is known for its well-developed Parks of Milwaukee park system. The "Grand Necklace of Parks", designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of New York's Central Park, includes Lake Park, River Park (now Riverside Park), and West Park (now Washington Park). Milwaukee County Parks offer facilities for sunbathing, picnics, grilling, disc golf, and ice skating. Milwaukee has over 140 parks with over 15,000 acres (6,100 ha) of parks and parkways.

Parks and nature centers

Monarch Trail is a 1.25-mile (2 km) trail that highlights the fall migration of the Monarch butterflies.

During the summer months, Cathedral Park in Downtown Milwaukee is home to "Jazz in the Park" on Thursday nights. Nearby Pere Marquette Park hosts "River Rhythms" on Wednesday nights.

Milwaukee County public markets

Milwaukee Public Market, located in the Third Ward neighborhood, is an indoor market that sells produce, seafood, meats, cheeses, vegetables, candies, and flowers from local businesses.

Milwaukee County Farmers Markets, held in season, sell fresh produce, meats, cheeses, jams, jellies, preserves and syrups, and plants. Farmers markets also feature artists and craftspeople. Locations include: Aur Farmers Market, Brown Deer Farmers Market, Cudahy Farmers Market, East Town Farm Market, Fondy Farmers Market, Mitchell Street Market, Riverwest Farmers Market, Silver Spring Farmers Market, South Milwaukee Farmers Market, South Shore Farmers Market, Uptown Farmers Market, Wauwatosa Farmers Market, West Allis Farmers Market, and Westown Market on the Park.

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