June 21st, the first day of Summer 2011. Weather-wise it certainly hasn't felt like Summer. Nearly six months have passed and we've barely had one full week that did not include chilly temps or rain. This past weekend was nice. It was in the 70s and sunny. Today we had some pretty nasty thunderstorms and lightning. But it is finally Summer! Lots of fun and great times to be had this year!
This past Saturday, I went on a secret bar tour, the Atomic DJ Secret Bar Tour. What a great time! Sixty plus people, one bus, 7 bars, drink specials at each location, and a whole lot of shenanigans. Went with several friends and made several more. What makes it secret is the fact that we didn't know where we were going until just before getting on the bus. The seven bars included: a 130 year old tavern where one of the original bartenders was buried in the basement; a strip club; a saloon that the Capone brothers used to hide out in; and a couple other establishments. I have intentions of going on future tours, including the one in August which happens to fall the day after my birthday.
This coming weekend I'm thinking about going to the Milwaukee Firkin Craft Beer Festival. Should be no surprise to most that I am a craft beer enthusiast. It's from 3 to 7pm and will have over 90 beers to sample. We'll see how that turns out if I decide to go.
Summer in Milwaukee also means the beginning of festival season. There's Polish Fest, German Fest, Bastille Days, Festa Italiana, Summer Soulstice, Irish Fest, and my favorite of all of them...Summerfest. I've been going to Summerfest every year for the last several years. Last year I wrote about 'running the gauntlet'...attending all 11 days of Summerfest. I absolutely love it! Live music! Great food! Tasty beverages! And thousands of my closest friends. Okay, maybe they aren't all really close friends. Summerfest begins in eight days on June 29th. There are a couple things different about this year. One is that Summerfest is closed on July 4th. Odd, but I'm okay with it. The second thing is that, as of right now, I may only go six days this year. The lineups are spectacular. Last year was something special apparently because there was a band I wanted to see every day. I believe this year is the year for the early bands as the headliners aren't that appealing. I've discovered some really awesome young bands at some of the earlier time slots, such as Saving Abel, Anew Revolution, and Egypt Central a few years ago. In 2011, Saving Abel is headlining the opening day at one of the stages. Other bands I plan on seeing are Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (giving them a shot at redemption from their complete failure last year), Rise Against, Sick Puppies, Dropkick Murphys, 10 Years, and Hollywood Undead to name a few. I'll be writing about the bands that I see so stay tuned.
I am looking forward to what the 2011 Summer has in store for me. It's shaping up to be a really good year so far.