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Milwaukee is the largest city in the state of Wisconsin and 22nd largest (by population) in the United States. The city is the county seat of Milwaukee County and is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. As of a revised 2006 U.S. Census estimate, Milwaukee had a population of 602,782. The city is the main cultural and economic center of the Milwaukee–Racine–Waukesha Metropolitan Area with a population of 1,773,519.
The first Europeans to pass through the area were French missionaries and fur traders. In 1818, the French-Canadian explorer Solomon Juneau settled in the area, and in 1846 Juneau's town combined with two neighboring towns to incorporate as the City of Milwaukee. Large numbers of German and other immigrants helped increase the city's population during the 1840s and the following decades.
Once known almost exclusively as a brewing and manufacturing powerhouse, Milwaukee has taken steps in recent years to reshape its image. In the past decade, major new additions to the city have included the Milwaukee Riverwalk, the Midwest Airlines Center, Miller Park, an internationally renowned addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum, and Pier Wisconsin, as well as major renovations to the Milwaukee Auditorium and U.S. Cellular Arena. In addition, many new skyscrapers, condos, lofts, and apartments have been constructed in neighborhoods on and near the lakefront and riverbanks.
The Milwaukee area was originally inhabited by the Fox, Mascouten, Potawatomi, and Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) Native American tribes. French missionaries and traders first passed through the area in the late 17th and 18th centuries. The word "Milwaukee" comes from an Algonquian word Millioke which means "Good/Beautiful/Pleasant Land", Potawatomi language minwaking, or Ojibwe language ominowakiing, "Gathering place [by the water]". Early explorers called the Milwaukee River and surrounding lands various names: Melleorki, Milwacky, Mahn-a-waukie, Milwarck, and Milwaucki. For many years, printed records gave the name as "Milwaukie". One story of Milwaukee's name says,
The spelling "Milwaukie" lives on in Milwaukie, Oregon, named after the Wisconsin city in 1847, before the current spelling was universally accepted.
Milwaukee has three "founding fathers," of whom French Canadian Solomon Juneau was first to come to the area, in 1818. The Juneaus founded the town called Juneau's Side, or Juneautown, that began attracting more settlers. However, Byron Kilbourn was Juneau's equivalent on the west side of the Milwaukee River. In competition with Juneau, he established Kilbourntown west of the Milwaukee River, and made sure the streets running toward the river did not join with those on the east side. This accounts for the large number of angled bridges that still exist in Milwaukee today. Further, Kilbourn distributed maps of the area which only showed Kilbourntown, implying Juneautown did not exist or that the east side of the river was uninhabited and thus undesirable. The third prominent builder was George H. Walker. He claimed land to the south of the Milwaukee River, along with Juneautown, where he built a log house in 1834. This area grew and became known as Walker's Point.
By the 1840s, the three towns had grown quite a bit, along with their rivalries. The 1840s brought on some intense battles between the towns, mainly Juneautown and Kilbourntown, which culminated with the Milwaukee Bridge War of 1845. Following the Bridge War, it was decided the best course of action was to officially unite the towns. So on January 31, 1846 they combined to incorporate as the City of Milwaukee and elected L. Solomon Juneau as Milwaukee's first mayor. A great number of German immigrants had helped increase the city's population during the 1840s and continued to migrate to the area during the following decades. Milwaukee has even been called "Deutsches Athen" (German Athens), and into the twentieth century, there were more German speakers and German-language newspapers than there were English speakers and English-language newspapers in the city. (To this day, the Greater Milwaukee phonebook includes more than 40 pages of Schmitts or Schmidts, far more than the pages of Smiths.)
During the middle and late 19th Century, Wisconsin and the Milwaukee area became the final destination of many German immigrants fleeing the Revolution of 1848 in the various small German states and Austria. In Wisconsin, they found the inexpensive land and the freedoms they sought. The German heritage and influence in the Milwaukee area is widespread. In addition to Germans, Milwaukee saw large influxes of immigrants from Poland, Italy and Ireland, as well as many Jews from Central and Eastern Europe. By 1910, Milwaukee (along with New York City) shared the distinction of having the largest percentage of foreign-born residents in the United States.
Furthermore, early in the 20th Century, Milwaukee was home to a number of pioneer brass era automobile makers, including Ogren (from 1919 to 1922) and LaFayette (from 1922 to about 1924).
The late 19th century saw the incorporation of Milwaukee's first suburbs. The aforementioned Bay View existed as an independent village from 1879-1886. In March 1889, that community saw four days of protest and one day of rioting against its Chinese laundrymen. Sparking this city-wide disturbance were allegations of sexual misconduct between two Chinese and a number of underaged white females. The unease and tension in the wake of the riot was assuaged by the direct disciplining of the city's Chinese. In 1892, Whitefish Bay, South Milwaukee, and Wauwatosa each were incorporated. They were followed by Cudahy (1895), North Milwaukee (1897) and East Milwaukee, later known as Shorewood, in 1900. The early 20th century saw the additions of West Allis (1902) and West Milwaukee (1906), which completed the first generation of "inner-ring" suburbs.
During the first half of the twentieth century, Milwaukee was the hub of the socialist movement in the United States. Milwaukee elected three socialist mayors during this time: Emil Seidel (1910-1912), Daniel Hoan (1916-1940), and Frank Zeidler (1948-1960). It remains the only major city in the country to have done so. Often referred to as "Sewer Socialists," the Milwaukee socialists were characterized by their practical approach to government and labor. Also during this time, a small but burgeoning community of African Americans who emigrated from the south formed a community that would come to be known as Bronzeville.
Milwaukee continued to grow tremendously until the late 1950s. Milwaukee was home to immigrants from Ireland, Germany, Hungary, Poland and other central European nations. There was also great northward migration of African Americans from the Southern United States. With the large influx of immigrants, Milwaukee became one of the 15 largest cities in the nation, and by the mid-1960s, its population reached nearly 750,000. Starting in the late 1960s, however, Milwaukee, like many cities in the "rust belt," saw its population start to decline due to various factors, including the loss of blue collar jobs and the phenomenon of "white flight." Nevertheless, in recent years the city has begun to make strides in improving its economy, neighborhoods, and image, resulting in the revitalization of neighborhoods such as the Historic Third Ward, the East Side, and more recently Walker's Point, Bay View, along with attracting new businesses to its downtown area. The city continues to make plans for increasing its future revitalization through various projects. Largely due to its efforts to preserve its history, in 2006 Milwaukee was named one of the "Dozen Distinctive Destinations" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.. In 2007, the Census Bureau released revised population numbers for Milwaukee, that showed the city gained population between 2000 and 2006. This marked the first period of positive population growth since the 1960s.
Geography and climate
Milwaukee lies along the shores and bluffs of Lake Michigan at the confluence of three rivers: the Menomonee, the Kinnickinnic, and the Milwaukee. Smaller rivers, such as the Root River and Lincoln Creek also flow through the city. Because across Lake Michigan is large enough for water horizon, and the Great Lakes are a major shipping medium, Milwaukee's waterfront resembles that of an ocean more than an inland lakeshore.
Milwaukee's terrain is relatively flat, except for steep bluffs along the lakeshore that begin about one half mile north and four miles south of the downtown.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 251.0 km² (96.9 square miles). 248.8 km² (96.1 square miles) of it is land, and 0.9 square miles (2.2 km²) of it is water. The total area is 0.88% water.
Milwaukee's location in the Great Lakes Region means that it often has rapidly changing weather, and the city experiences the full range of the seasons throughout the year. The warmest month of the year is July, when the average high temperature is 82°F (28°C), with overnight low temperatures averaging 66°F (19°C); January is the coldest month, with high temperatures averaging 27°F (-3°C), with the overnight low temperatures around 13°F (-11°C). Of the 50 largest cities in the United States, Milwaukee has the second-coldest average annual temperature, next to that of Minneapolis.
Milwaukee's proximity to Lake Michigan causes a convection current to form mid-afternoon, resulting in the so-called lake effect, causing the temperatures to be warmer in the winter than regions farther from the lake, and cooler in the summer. "Cooler near the lake" is practically boilerplate language for local meteorologists during the spring and summer. Some local stations began tagging CNTL (Cooler Near The Lake) onto their weekly forecasts. Also, more snow falls in Milwaukee than surrounding areas, due to the lake effect. The lake causes relative humidity in the summer that is far higher than that of comparable cities at the same latitude, meaning that it feels hotter than the actual temperature.
Milwaukee's all-time record high temperature is 105°F (41°C) set on July 17, 1995. The coldest temperature ever experienced by the city was -26°F (-32°C) on both January 17, 1982 and February 4, 1996. The 1982 event, also known as Cold Sunday, featured temperatures as low as -40°F (-40°C) in some of the suburbs as little as 10 miles (16km) to the north of Milwaukee, although the city itself did not approach such cold temperatures.
In Milwaukee, the wettest month is August, due to frequent thunderstorms. These can at times be dangerous and damaging, bringing hail and high winds. In rare instances, it can bring a tornado to the more inland parts of the city. However, almost all summer rainfall in the city is brought by these storms. In spring and fall, longer events of prolonged, lighter rain bring most of the precipitation. Snow commonly falls in the city from early November until the middle of March, although it has been recorded as early as September 23, and as late as May 31. The city receives an average of 47.0 inches (1.19m) of snow in winter, but this number is highly variable. In 2000, 49.5 inches (1.26m) of snow fell solely in the month of December.
The city runs largely on the grid system, although in the far northwest and southwest corners of the city, the grid pattern gives way to a more suburban-style streetscape. This is no coincidence as former mayor Henry Maier sought to create "suburbs within the city" using recently annexed land to help counteract the urban sprawl that was damaging the city's economy. North-south streets are numbered, and east-west streets are named. However north-south streets east of 1st street are named, like east-west streets. The north-south numbering line is along the Menomonee River (east of Hawley Road) and Fairview Avenue/Golfview Parkway (west of Hawley Road), with the east-west numbering line defined along 1st Street (north of Oklahoma Avenue) and Chase/Howell Avenue (south of Oklahoma Avenue). This numbering system is also used to the north by Mequon in Ozaukee County, and by some Waukesha County communities.
It is crossed by Interstate 43 and Interstate 94, which come together downtown at the Marquette Interchange, which is currently under an extensive construction project set to be completed in 2008. Interstate 894 bypass runs through portions of the city's southwest side, and Interstate 794 comes out of the Marquette interchange eastbound, bends south along the lakefront and crosses the harbor over the Hoan Bridge, then ends near the Bay View neighborhood and becomes the "Lake Parkway" (WIS-794).
As of the census estimate of 2006, there are 602,782 people residing in Milwaukee . As of 2000, there were 232,188 households, and 135,133 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,399.5/km² (6,214.3 per square mile). There are 249,225 housing units at an average density of 1,001.7/km² (2,594.4 per square mile).
There are 232,188 households out of which 30.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.2% are married couples living together, 21.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 41.8% are non-families. 33.5% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.50 and the average family size is 3.25.
According to the 2000 Census, there were at least 1,408 same-sex households in Milwaukee which accounts for 0.6% of all households in the city. Although this number is slightly lower than other cities in the region such as Chicago and Minneapolis, Milwaukee continues to be noted for its generally accepting attitudes towards the LGBT community. As a result, many gay-friendly communities have developed in neighborhoods such as Walker's Point, Bay View, Historic Third Ward and Riverwest. Milwaukee and later the State of Wisconsin became the first in the nation to not discriminate against sexual orientation. In 2001, Milwaukee was named the #1 city for lesbians by Girlfriends magazine.
In the city the population is spread out with 28.6% under the age of 18, 12.2% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 18.1% from 45 to 64, and 10.9% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 31 years. For every 100 females there are 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 87.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $32,216, and the median income for a family is $37,879. Males have a median income of $32,244 versus $26,013 for females. The per capita income for the city is $16,181. 21.3% of the population and 17.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 31.6% of those under the age of 18 and 11.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line. At 43% in 2007, Milwaukee has the second highest black male unemployment rate in the country behind Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Race and ethnicity
According to the 2000 census, 39.5% of Milwaukeeans reported having African-American ancestry and 38% reported German ancestry. Other significant population groups include Polish (12.7%), Irish (10%), English (5.1%), Italian (4.4%), French (3.9%), with Hispanic origin totaling 14.9%.
The metropolitan area was cited as being the most segregated in the U.S. in a Jet Magazine article in 2002.  . The source of this information was a segregation index developed in the mid 1950s and used since 1964. In 2003, a more detailed study was conducted by researchers at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee which proved that while segregation does run deep in Milwaukee, as in most northern and midwest cities, it is not "hypersegregated" and actually ranks as the 43rd most integrated city in America.  Due to continued dialogue between Milwaukee's citizens, the city is making an effort to reduce racial tensions and reduce the rate of segregation. With demographic changes in the wake of white flight, segregation in metropolitan Milwaukee is primarily in the suburbs rather than the city as in the era of Father Groppi.
Milwaukee is home to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee, the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee, the Greater Milwaukee Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the headquarters of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The School Sisters of the Third Order of St Francis have their mother house in Milwaukee and several other religious orders have a significant presence in the area, including the Jesuits and Franciscans.
The Association of Religion Data Archives reported on the religious composition of the Milwaukee-Racine area as of 2000. Approximately 55% of residents were adherents to one of the 188 groups included in the data. Of them, 58% were Catholic, 23% Lutheran, 3% Methodist, and 2.5% Jewish. Others included adherents to other Protestant denominations, Orthodox churches, and Eastern religions. Historically African-American denominations were not included in the data. Elmbrook Church, an evangelical Christian megachurch, is located in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield, and is the largest church in Wisconsin. Also, the Muslim community has 5 mosques in the area with the biggest being located on S.13th street.
While not typically thought of as a "college town" Milwaukee has one of the highest per capita student populations in North America. A January 2000 study from McGill University ranked Milwaukee 6th in a list of U.S. and Canadian cities with the highest number of college students per 100 residents.
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is the city's largest higher education institution and the only public university. It is the second largest university of Wisconsin and one of the two public doctoral research institutions of the state. The largest private university of the city is Marquette University, which is also one of the largest Jesuit universities in the United States and was ranked #82 by U.S. News & World Report in 2007. In addition, Milwaukee is also home to Alverno College, Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Milwaukee School of Engineering, and Mount Mary College The campus of two other colleges, Medical College of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Lutheran College partially lie within the city's borders. Several other small national clerical and career colleges, such as Bryant and Stratton and ITT Technical Institute also maintain campuses in the area.
Primary and secondary schooling
Milwaukee maintains Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), the largest school district in Wisconsin and one of the largest in the nation. As of 2006, it has an enrollment of 97,762 students and employs 6,100 full-time and substitute teachers in 223 schools. Milwaukee Public Schools operate as magnet schools, with individualized specialty areas for interests in academics, or the arts. Rufus King High School, Golda Meir School, Riverside University High School, Milwaukee School of Languages, Milwaukee High School of the Arts and Lynde & Harry Bradley Technology and Trade School are just some examples of the magnet schools in Milwaukee. In addition to its public schools, Milwaukee is home to over two dozen private high schools, such as Marquette University High School, Divine Savior Holy Angels, and Pius XI High School among others, and many private and parochial middle and elementary schools.
Of persons in Milwaukee aged 25 and above, 84.5% have a high school diploma, and 27% have a Bachelor's degree or higher. (2000)
Government and politics
Milwaukee has three state Senate districts, each of which is composed of three Assembly districts. All 12 of the officials representing the city in the State Legislature are Democrats.
Milwaukee makes up the overwhelming majority of Wisconsin's 4th congressional district. Because of the district's loyalty to the Democratic Party, the Democratic primary for the seat is often considered more important than the general election. The district is currently represented by Democrat Gwen Moore. The small portions of the city located in Washington and Waukesha counties are in the 5th district, represented by Republican Jim Sensenbrenner. However, a Republican has not represented a significant portion of the city since 1949.
Milwaukee has a mayor-council form of government with a strong-mayor plan. The mayor oversees a Common Council of elected members, each representing one of 15 districts in the city. Milwaukee County residents also elect a county executive who oversees the County Board of Supervisors, or representatives from 19 districts of which nine are entirely within the city's borders.
Milwaukee and its suburbs are the home to the headquarters of 13 Fortune 1000 companies, including Johnson Controls, Northwestern Mutual, Manpower Inc., Kohl's, Harley-Davidson, Rockwell Automation, Fiserv, Marshall & Ilsley Corp., Wisconsin Energy, Briggs & Stratton, Joy Global, A.O. Smith, and MGIC Investments. The Milwaukee metropolitan area ranks fifth in the United States in terms of the number of Fortune 500 company headquarters as a share of the population. Brookfield is the leading commercial suburb of Milwaukee. Milwaukee also has a large number of financial service firms, particularly those specializing in mutual funds and transaction processing systems, and a number of publishing and printing companies, including Quad/Graphics. Milwaukee is also the headquarters of Midwest Airlines, the Koss Corporation and Master Lock.
Service and managerial jobs are the fastest-growing segments of the Milwaukee economy, and health care alone makes up 27% the jobs in the city. Twenty-two percent of Milwaukee's workforce is involved in manufacturing, second only to San Jose, California, and far higher than the national average of 16.5%.
Milwaukee was once the home to four of the world's largest breweries (Schlitz, Blatz, Pabst, and Miller), and was the number one beer producing city in the world for many years. Despite the decline in its position as the world's leading beer producer after the loss of three of those breweries, its one remaining major brewery, Miller Brewing Company, remains a key employer by employing over 1,700 of the city's workers. Due to Miller's solid position as the second-largest beer-maker in the U.S., as well as basing its world headquarters in Milwaukee, the city remains known as a beer town despite now only representing a fraction of its economy. The historic Milwaukee Brewery, located in "Miller Valley" at 4000 West State Street, is the oldest still-functioning major brewery in the United States.
Besides Miller and the heavily-automated Leinenkugel's brewery in the old Blatz 10th Street plant, the only other currently operating stand-alone brewery in Milwaukee is Lakefront Brewery, a microbrewery located in Riverwest. The suburb of Glendale is home to Sprecher Brewery, another locally popular microbrew. Various brewpubs can also be found throughout the Milwaukee area.
Violent crime in Milwaukee has declined substantially since the late 1990s: For several years, Milwaukee ranked among the ten most dangerous large cities in the United States, however in recent years, Milwaukee no longer appears among the top 25 most dangerous cities. However, despite its improvement, Milwaukee still fares worse than average when comparing specific crime types to the national average (e.g., homicide, rape, robbery); only aggravated assaults occur less frequently in Milwaukee than the national average.
Milwaukee's most visually prominent cultural attraction is the Milwaukee Art Museum, especially its new $100 million wing designed by Santiago Calatrava in his first American commission. The museum includes a "brise soleil," a moving sunscreen that unfolds like the wing of a bird. Milwaukee is also home to the America's Black Holocaust Museum. Founded by lynching survivor James Cameron, the museum features exhibits which chronicle the injustices suffered throughout history by African Americans in the United States. The Milwaukee Public Museum, Discovery World Museum, Betty Brinn Children's Museum, Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, the Charles Allis Art Museum, Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory and Milwaukee County Zoo are also notable public attractions. A Harley-Davidson Museum is scheduled to open in 2008.
Milwaukee is home to the Florentine Opera, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Festival City Symphony, the Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Skylight Opera Theatre, First Stage Children's Theater, Milwaukee Youth Theatre, and a number of other arts organizations including the Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps. Additionally, Milwaukee is home to artistic performance venues such as the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Pabst Theater, The Rave/Eagles Ballroom, Riverside Theater, and Milwaukee Theatre. The Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, a first-of-its-kind Arts-in-education facility, is a national model.
Milwaukee, "A Great Place on a Great Lake" has also advertised itself as the "City of Festivals," The Milwaukee metropolitan area hosts the Wisconsin State Fair, as well as an annual lakefront fair called Summerfest. Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest music festival in the world, Summerfest attracts around 1,000,000 visitors a year to its twelve stages.
Milwaukee is also home to a variety of primarily ethnically themed festivals throughout the summer. Held generally on the lakefront Summerfest grounds, these festivals span several days (typically Friday plus the weekend) and celebrate Milwaukee's history and diversity. In 2008 Riversplash, which markets itself as 'the official opening of summer', kicks off festival season on the last weekend of May. Festivals for the LGBT (PrideFest) and Polish communities follow in June. Summerfest spans 10 days at the end of June and beginning of July. There are French (Bastille Day), Greek, Italian and German festivals in July. The Wisconsin State Fair, African, Arab, Irish, Mexican and American Indian festivals wrap it up from August through the first week of September. 
Milwaukee has a long history of musical activity. The first organized musical society, called "Milwaukee Beethoven Society" formed in 1843, three years before the city was incorporated. This was later replaced with the Milwaukee Musical Society.
The large concentrations of German immigrants contributed to the musical character of the city. Saengerbund festivals were held regularly. Also notable is the founding of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in 1899.
More recently, Milwaukee has enjoyed a vibrant history of rock, hip hop, jazz, soul, blues, punk, ska, industrial music, electronica, world music, and pop music bands. Venues such as Pabst Theater, Marcus Amphitheater, Riverside Theater, The Northern Lights Theater, and The Rave frequently bring internationally-known and critically acclaimed acts to Milwaukee. 'Jazz in the Park', a weekly jazz show held at downtown Cathedral Square Park, has become a summer tradition. They are free, public performances with a kind of picnic environment for the audience. 
Through its Milwaukee Wireless Initiative, the city has contracted with Midwest Fiber Networks to invest $20 million in setting up municipal wireless network city-wide. Under the plan, the city will designate numerous government and public service websites for free access, and city residents will be able to access unlimited content for a monthly fee. Full wireless coverage was expected by March 2008, but delays have been reported
The city had previously established free wireless networks in two downtown city parks: Cathedral Square and Pere Marquette Park.
The Milwaukee County Parks offer facilities for sunbathing, picnics, grilling, disc golf and ice skating. The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center also offers educational and recreational sailing opportunities.
The U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee (formerly the Greater Milwaukee Open) is a PGA Tour event held at Brown Deer Park Golf Course in the bordering suburb of Brown Deer.
Additional recreational resources include the Milwaukee County Zoo and the Boerner Botanical Gardens.
Milwaukee has a rich history of involvement in professional and nonprofessional sports, going back to the 19th century. Currently, its major sports teams include:
Two of Wisconsin's main Interstate highways intersect in Milwaukee. Interstate 94 comes north from Chicago to enter Milwaukee and continues west to Madison. Interstate 43 enters Milwaukee from the southwest and continues north to Green Bay. Milwaukee has two branch interstate highways, Interstate 894 and Interstate 794. I-894 extends from the western suburbs to the southern suburbs, bypassing downtown. I-794 extends east from the Marquette Interchange to Lake Michigan before turning south over the Hoan Bridge toward the airport, turning into Highway 794 along the way.
Milwaukee is also served by three US highways. U.S. Route 18 provides a link from downtown to points west. U.S. Route 41 and U.S. Route 45 both provide north-south freeway transportation on the western side of the city.
U.S. Route 41, connects the city with the Fox Valley, is being considered for expansion which will qualify it for an upgrade to Interstate status. The proposed Interstate 41 would become Milwaukee's third main Interstate.
Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, serves Milwaukee, operating its Empire Builder daily in both directions between Chicago Union Station and the Pacific Northwest from the Milwaukee Intermodal Station, which was remodeled in 2007 and now also houses the city's Greyhound operations and the traffic management headquarters for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The city is also served by the Hiawatha Amtrak express service six times daily between Milwaukee and Chicago, and also has a stop at a new rail station located just west of Mitchell Field which opened in 2005.
The Milwaukee County Transit System provides a bus transit system. In addition, Milwaukee is home to two airports, General Mitchell International Airport on the southern edge of the city, and the smaller Timmerman Field on the north side.
A tram system known as the Milwaukee Connector was proposed and passed by the common council, but mayor Tom Barrett vetoed the bill over problems of cost and availability. Currently, a 0.5% sales tax is being proposed for the counties of Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha by the Southeast Wisconsin Regional Transit Authority to fund a commuter rail from Kenosha to downtown Milwaukee. The tax would also be used to fund the bus systems in those counties which currently rely on property taxes .
In recent years, Milwaukee has become one of the more bicycle friendly cities in the Untied States. The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin holds an annual Bike to Work Week. The event, held in May each year, has frequently featured a commuter race between a car, a bus, and a bike; and also a morning ride into work with the mayor. In 2006, it obtained bronze-level status from the League of American Bicyclists , a rarity for a city its size . The city currently has over 65 miles of bicycle lanes and trails, most of which run alongside or near its rivers and Lake Michigan. The city also has identified over 250 miles of streets on which bike lanes will fit. It has created a plan labeling 145 miles of those as high priority to receive bike lanes. As part of the city's Bicycle and Pedestrain Task Force's mission to "make Milwaukee more bicycle and pedestrian friendly", over 700 bike racks have been installed throughout the city.
Milwaukee's only surviving daily newspaper is the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The most prominent weekly is Shepherd Express, a free publication. Other local newspapers, city guides and magazines with large distributions include M Magazine, Milwaukee Magazine, MKE (magazine), Vital Source, and Riverwest Currents. OnMilwaukee.com is an online magazine providing news and events. The UWM Post is the independent, student-run weekly at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Onion, a weekly satirical publication, is distributed free in Milwaukee in addition to nine other U.S. cities.
Milwaukee's major network television affiliates are WTMJ 4 (NBC), WITI 6 (Fox), WISN 12 (ABC), WVTV 18 (CW), WCGV 24 (MyNetworkTV), and WDJT 58 (CBS). Spanish language programming is on WBWT 38 (Azteca America) and WYTU-LP 63 (Telemundo). Milwaukee's public broadcasting stations are WMVS 10 and WMVT 36.
Other television stations in the Milwaukee market include WMKE 7 (America One), WVCY 30 (FN), WMLW 41 (Independent), WJJA 49 (HSN), WWRS 52 (TBN), and WPXE 55 (ION)
There are numerous radio stations throughout Milwaukee and the surrounding area.
Journal Communications (a NYSE-traded corporation), in addition to owning the Journal Sentinel, also owns: WTMJ-TV; WTMJ and WKTI radio stations; the weekly MKE; and well over a dozen local weekly newspapers in the metropolitan area.
The city of Milwaukee has four sister cities, while Milwaukee County has two sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc (SCI) and Milwaukee's Sister Cities:
City of Milwaukee
In popular culture