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First day of Summerfest 2014 highlights included Caroline Smith and Neon Trees

Hannah Mrozak
Hannah Mrozak
Copyright 2014 John Schulze

Summerfest 2014 is officially underway. Yesterday, June 25, the 11 day Milwaukee music festival opened it's gates at noon and flooded the lakefront festival grounds with a dizzying array of food, beverages and music. There was something for everyone, one of the best selling points for spending an afternoon and evening at Summerfest. The Marcus Amphitheater headliner was Bruno Mars and the BMO Harris Pavilion headliner was Ray Lamontagne.

Caroline Smith performed June 25 at Summerfest
Copyright 2014 John Schulze

Other musicians and bands on hand to perform on the first day of Summerfest included locals Hannah Mrozak and Paul Cebar. Dan Rodriguez, Neon Trees, Foy Vance and Caroline Smith were among some of the national acts on hand to entertain the crowd. From the Tiki Hut to the BMO Harris Pavilion each performer made the most of the stage provided.

Crowds were great early on despite chilly weather threatening to ruin the summer fun, but the lakefront stayed dry despite the clouds overhead. During the opening ceremonies Summerfest gave away 25,000 free tickets valued at over a quarter million dollars. Patrons merely had to walk up to Summerfest staff and say, "Let's paint the town red," to receive a free ticket. The only down note of the night was the postponement of the fireworks due to fog. Fireworks are planned now for Thursday June 26 at 9:30p.m. and the weather looks like it will cooperate.

June 26 performers include Nora Collins, Your Villain My Hero, Jule Vera, Caitlyn Smith, Kimberly Brown, The Guilty Wanted, Scotty McCreery and Best Coast. Lady Gaga is the Thursday headliner at the Marcus Amphitheater. A full schedule of performances is available at the official Summerfest website. Summerfest runs from June 25 to June 29 and resumes July 1 and runs to July 6 at the Milwaukee lakefront. The festivals runs from Noon to Midnight.