German Fest Milwaukee is a weekend that many people look forward to all year! This Milwaukee tradition is a three day festival that starts on Friday at 5 p.m. and lasts until Sunday at 9 p.m. It's full of German culture, food, drinks, performances by bands like the Alpine Blast Trip, and dachshund derby (sometimes)! I've been going to German Fest in Wisconsin for 10+ years and I have learned a lot about the weekend. What you should wear, what you should bring, etc. 

To help, here is my list of what should be on your German Fest Milwaukee Survival Guide!

Remember Your Sunscreen (& Umbrella)

This (and all) German fest, keep an eye on the weather and pack appropriately. Pack a sunscreen with a higher SPF because a dirndl blouse burn is like a farmers-tan hopped up on schnapps! Nobody likes that sweetheart neckline for the rest of the summer! Also find ways to reapply sunscreen throughout the festival weekend

On the flip side... the open air Summer Fest grounds have plenty of tents, but if you want to grab some food, or another beer, you may need to venture out from under the shelter, so don't forget an umbrella while experiencing German culture.  

soft pretzel during German fest


Having water in between beers is key to keeping hydrated during the usually super hot German fest and having a safer experience (for you and your liver). There are drinking fountains (or bubblers as the Wisconsinites call it) outside each of the bathrooms throughout the the German fest grounds were you can re-fill any of your cups with some fresh Wasser!

If you have longer hair... some hair-ties are a must to keep you cool when the Wisconsin humidity sets in. You'll also want to make sure your lips stay hydrated with some lip balm... you don't want to have dry cracked lips when you're tasting the Weinbauer Wines.

Insiders Guide to German Fest

Keep Cool

The German Fest grounds are located along the shoreline of beautiful Lake Michigan and it's the best place to cool down. There is always a wonderful fresh breeze off the lake and there are picnic tables along the edge where you can sit and relax. Plus, if your fans of fireworks, there is a gorgeous fireworks display to celebrate German culture and the festival on Friday and Saturday nights! However being by the water in the middle of the summer can bring the bugs. I recommend packing some insect repellent. 

View of lake at German fest

Wear Comfortable Footwear

Last but not least... a second pair of shoes in your survival kit may be cumbersome, but when you have a huge throbbing blister, nothing feels better! You'll want to be walking about the entire German fest grounds checking out all the great performances, participating in fun activities like culture village, trying delicious authentic food & drinks, and fully experiencing german culture. Since German fest is primarily outdoors walking barefoot is really not an option, so when your feet have had enough, sometimes a fresh pair of shoes is all it takes to feel like a million bucks. Click here to download our German Fest To Dos so you don't miss any cool things while celebrating German culture

Woman wearing dirndl celebrating german culture in wisconsin at German Fest

Kill That Hangover!

Lots of people have their own hangover remedies, so I'll share mine... 2 Aleve, plenty of water and some kartofflepuffer (potato pancakes). German Fest potato pancake houses have the BEST potato pancakes ever and nothing helps me get through a Sunday like those for breakfast! Trust me -- you do not want to be hungover during the dachshund derby. 

German Potato Pancakes at german fest

Now that you have the list of things that should be in your survival kit on festival grounds, doesn't mean that you'll actually compile it for yourself... so that's where I come in! I've already done it for you. Click here to get your physical German Fest Survival Kit and then you'll be ready to celebrate German culture all weekend long!

German Fest weekend survival kit

During German Fest weekend, don't forget to come visit the Rare Dirndl pop-up boutique on the south-east corner of the Marketplatz! See you soon!!!

BONUS TIP: While most pop up boutiques at German Fest have digital  payment services, be sure to bring some cash with you in case there's a minimum spend limit or they don't take your credit card! 
Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now! 
July 10, 2018 — Erika Neumayer

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