Community Engagement Events Our Work

Summer en la Plaza

After the 2020 “Summer that Wasn’t”, Harbor District, Inc. is thrillwed to finally present our 2021 summer event series, Summer en la Plaza!

In May of 2019, just before the pandemic, local community partners brought their event ideas to the Harbor District and our local community. The result was a summer event series to be held at Harbor View Plaza in 2021. All of the events below are free, family-friendly, and open to the public. From Puerto Rican Drum and Dance to hanging out with some special critters, we know you’ll find something fun going on at Summer en la Plaza!

Location: All events take place at Harbor View Plaza ( 600 E. Greenfield Avenue)


  • Art Start Presents – The “See Me Because” Exhibition: The Art Start Portrait Project is a multivolume, multimedia project and platform for the self-determined voices and visions of youth from communities that have been historically marginalized, asking the world to see them as they chose to be seen. This project is in partnership with Milwaukee’s Casa Romero Renewal Center.

    • Exhibition is open May 26th – July 30th


  • Fanana Banana Presents – “For the Culture”: This will be a cultural immersion event featuring creative Muslim culture. The event will feature art, Henna, cultural performances, a children’s activity area, and food. Fanana Banana’s mission is to elevate muslim creatives by providing them with a platform to showcase their artistic talend through supportive and inspiring events.
    • Saturday, June 19th 
    • 2:00pm – 5:00pm


  • Bembé Drum and Dance Presents – Bombazo in the Plaza: A Bombazo is a music tradition that uses bomba, an Afro-Puerto Rican style of music as a form of artistic expression with the use of drums and dance. Bembe will host a drum circle festivity that will host performers from the Milwaukee and Chicago area. Bembé will engage the audience by teaching Bomba dance and drumming.
    • Sunday, July 11th
    • TBD

  • Schlitz Audubon Nature Center Presents – Family Nature Day: Summer is the perfect season to bring your family to Harbor View Plaza and experience the natural beauty of Milwaukee’s Harbor District. Lead by a team of fun, creative nauralists from Schlitz Audubon, your family can interact with natural objects, go on a scavenger hunt and meet some amazing animal ambassadors: real live snakes, turtles, and raptors! You’ll also have the chance to understand the natural history of Lake Michigan and the importance of protecting this precious fresh water resource.
    • Saturday, July 17th
    • 12:00pm – 4:00pm


  •  Heard Space Presents – The System: The System is a reimagined short-play of the Aesop fable “The Crow and the Pitcher” The modernized version allures to class issues, unjust systems and societies, and access to clean water. Heard Space’s The System plays on the idea that every small step creates a bigger impact and reminds us that, with a little imagination, there is always a new way to solve old problems.
    • Saturday, August 7th
    • 2:00pm – 4:00pm


  • First Stage Presents – KidZDays: This free summer event provides educational/interactive arts programming for children on the outdoor stage. First stage will provide a 45-minute interactive storytelling workshop. Activities will focus on classic children’s stories and include guided improvisations, theatre games, and more. The second part of this event will take storytelling experiences that promote literacy and language comprehension skills through interactive theater activities.
    • Saturday, August 28th
    • TBD


  •  Harbor District, Inc. Presents – Harbor Fest: Harbor Fest is back 2021 to celebrate all things Fish, Water, and Ships! Join us for a family friendly, free street festival. This year Harbor Fest will feature the Milwaukee Boat Parade and Sturgeon Fest.
    • Sunday, September 19th
    • 11:00am – 4:00pm


  • Dia de los Muertos Celebration & Millas Muertas: Dia de los Muertos is a holiday that is near and dear to a large population of the Latino community. In honor of that, we’re hosting an event to celebrate the community. This event would include food trucks, music, dancing performances, artists, and tables for ofrendas. This event will also include a 5k run that will start on the corner of 1st and Greenfield, through Walker’s Point, and finishing at Harbor View Plaza, The Plaza will serve as a base for the 5K and celebration.
    • Saturday, October 30th
    • TBD
Community Engagement Events Our Work

Harbor Fest

Harbor Fest returns, featuring sturgeon fest and boat parade






After a year of events that really wasn’t, we’re happy to announce that Harbor Fest will return this year on September 19, 2021. Not only are we excited for the return of this fun, family-friendly street festival, but we’re excited to be hosting the Milwaukee Boat Parade and Sturgeon Fest! That’s right, a three-in-one extravaganza!

On Sunday, September 19th, Harbor District’s annual street festival Harbor Fest will expand, combing the celebration of Milwaukee’s harbor with the Milwaukee Riverkeeper Boat Parade and Sturgeon Fest by Riveredge Nature Center. The festival will be along the 600 block of East Greenfield Avenue, outside of the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences building and Harbor View Plaza.

The vision of Harbor Fest is to reintroduce Milwaukee to its harbor, and the festival offers a wide variety of free, family-friendly activities related to boats, fish, rivers, science, and all the things that make our waterfront great.


Festival-goers can:

  • Tour the UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences
  • See the Milwaukee RiverKeeper MKE Boat Parade
  • Release a baby sturgeon with Riveredge Nature Center, click here to register
  • Learn how to filet a fish with WDNR
  • Take a free pontoon boat ride in the harbor
  • Watch art in the making and aerialists at work
  • Connect with Harbor District businesses and environmental groups
  • COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic
  • Climb a rock wall
  • Enjoy lunch from local food trucks, with a beer from New Barons Brewing Coop and a paleta from Paleteria Yayo
  • Dance the afternoon away with DJ Hala and Cache

And so much more!


Harbor Fest is made possible by generous support from Rockwell Automation, V. Marchese, Inc., Michels Corporation, Komatsu Ltd., Harbor District Business Improvement District (BID 51), Walbec Group, Inc., Milwaukee Airwaves and other sponsors.


Per CDC guidance, due to transmissible nature of the Delta variant, masks are strongly encouraged for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status.




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