Lakefront Festival of Art kicks off Friday, runs through weekend

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee Art Museum's 2013 Lakefront Festival of Art kicks off on Friday, June 21st -- and artists and organizers spent Thursday getting ready for the event that has kept people coming back since 1963.

Larry Oliverson has hung his artwork at Lakefront Festival of Art for the past 35 years!

"All artists like to be in a show that is extremely high-quality, and this show is one of the best quality-wise in the country," Oliverson said.

Oliverson has attended over 300 art festivals across the country.

"It's an opportunity for people to come see artwork from all over the country. It's like having a gigantic gallery come and visit you," Oliverson said.

More than 1,100 artist apply for a spot in the festival every year -- and only 176 are chosen.

"The best part of this show is meeting the customers. I have relationships with customers that have been 15, 20 years down the road," James Wilbat said.

Event organizer Krista Renfrew says it's not just the art that has people coming back year after year.

"We have the Milwaukee Magazine wine garden. New this year, we have the Blue Moon beer garden that offers microbrew tastings and fun stuff. We have some great bands that will be on our live stage everyday. We have amazing food from around the city," Renfrew said.

Another new attraction this year is the Coquette Cafe, which will offer lakeside linen dining.

Lakefront Festival of Art begins Friday morning, June 21st at 10:00 a.m., and runs through Sunday evening.