Harbor Fest celebrates Milwaukee's waterways; 'Enjoy our rivers'

Harbor Fest is a celebration of Milwaukee's waterways – and it drew hundreds out to the riverfront on Sunday, Sept. 25. 

"This is our city, this is our harbor," said Jennifer Bolger Breceda, Executive Director of Milwaukee Riverkeeper.

Milwaukeeans love their waterways and the harbor is where they meet.

"It’s all connected to the lake, the rivers, to our communities," Bolger Breceda said.

Jennifer Bolger Breceda

That is why Harbor Fest has come back for the sixth year – to celebrate the harbor's history and its future.

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"There are parts of the river and parts of the harbor that need to be revitalized and brought back to live and that’s part of the celebration that we start using this again," Bolger Breceda said.

Accompanying the music and family-friendly activities was a special release of sturgeon – the biggest and oldest freshwater fish in the Great Lakes.

Sturgeon release, Milwaukee

"They are the keystone species in the lake that tells us we have good water quality if they’re surviving out there," said Mary Holleback of the Riveredge Nature Center.

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The harbor has been a part of Milwaukee's history for 187 years. People who visited the fest want to see it operate for years to come.

"We hope that people come here and connect to it and come back year after year and enjoy our rivers, our waterways and continue to know this is their place," Bolger Breceda said.