'Great Milwaukee spirit:' Group of 'Summerfest-ers' returns to Big Gig without founding member

MILWAUKEE -- The weather was nearly perfect for the first day of Summerfest 2019 Wednesday, June 26, with sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s. That meant big crowds at Maier Festival Park heading into Wednesday night.

"Decided to camp out, because we wanted to see Walk the Moon. We also wanted to be front row," said Sarah Gorczany.

Sarah and Katherine Gorczany arrived hours in advance to stake out their spot.

"She hasn't seen them before, so I'm excited for her. They're great performers," said Gorczany.

Sarah and Katherine Gorczany

From dedicated fans to first-time Summerfest attendees, the Big Gig offered something for everyone.

"I'm seeing Lizzo tomorrow and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and most likely T-Pain on Friday," said Mykenzi Schicker, who was waiting to see Steve Aoki on Wednesday.

The area surrounding the stage where Steve Aoki was set to perform filled up fast.

"I drove past here in December, and I was just like, 'I want to be back!'" said Schicker.

FOX6 News found one group that made Summerfest a tradition.

"People have come in from Florida, Tennessee, Chicago," said Lora Dolan.

Summerfest 2019 was extra special, as the group paid tribute to their founding "Summerfest-er," who passed away in January.

"We decided to all come up here, as we always do, and have the shirts made, and celebrate the music, and venue, and everything that she loved -- and be all together," said Dolan.

The summer-like temperatures arrived just in time for festival attendees to enjoy Milwaukee's lakefront.

"You get such great Milwaukee spirit. The weather is beautiful, and good music," said Gorczany.