CITY OF MILWAUKEE
Milwaukee is the largest city in the State of Wisconsin, the 31st 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. According to 2010 census data, the City of Milwaukee has a population of 594,833. Milwaukee is the main cultural and economic center of the Milwaukee–Racine–Waukesha Metropolitan Area with a population of 2,040,498 as of an official 2013 estimate. This ranks the region as the 29th most populous Combined Statistical Area of the United States. In 2012, Milwaukee was listed as a gamma global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.
The first Europeans to pass through the area were French Catholic missionaries and fur traders. In 1818, the French-Canadian explorer Solomon Juneau settled in the area, and in 1846 Juneau's town combined with two neighboring towns to incorporate as the City of Milwaukee. Large numbers of German and other immigrants helped increase the city's population during the 1840s and the following decades.
Known for its brewing traditions, major new additions to the city include the Milwaukee Riverwalk, the Wisconsin Center, Miller Park, an internationally renowned addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, and Pier Wisconsin, as well as major renovations to the U.S. Cellular Arena. In addition, many new skyscrapers, condos, lofts and apartments have been constructed in neighborhoods on and near the lakefront and riverbanks.
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 a million 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 (FestaItaliana) and German (German Fest) festivals in July. The African, Arab, Irish, Mexican, and American Indian events wrap it up from August through September. Milwaukee is also home to Trainfest, the largest operating model railroad show in America, in November.