The People

Milwaukee is an ethnic melting pot and it celebrates that heritage every summer in a series of lakefront festivals. More than 500,000 people attend these weekend events, which include German Fest, Polish Fest, Asian Moon Festival, Irish Fest, African World Festival, Indian Summer, Festa Italiana, Mexican Fiesta and Arab World Fest. Festivals, however, aren’t confined to the lakefront. In July, Milwaukeeans celebrate the beginning of the French Revolution at Bastille Days, a downtown block party that is considered to be the largest celebration of its kind in the country. Greek Fest is an annual celebration held at State Fair Park.

Though most Milwaukeeans are American by birth, they are proud of their cultural heritage. Thirty-eight percent of Milwaukee residents report having some German ancestry. Other ethnic groups include: African (16 percent), Polish (13 percent), Irish (10 percent), English (5 percent), French (4 percent), Italian (4 percent), Hispanic (4 percent), Asian and Pacific Islander (4 percent) and Native American (1 percent). Racine has a rich ethnic heritage as well. It was home to the largest Danish settlement in the world outside of Denmark and continues to have a strong Danish community..

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