50,000 FREE “golden tickets” for 2017 as thank you to fans on final day of Summerfest 2016

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MILWAUKEE -- Sunday, July 10th was the final day of Summerfest 2016 -- and there was something exciting in store for the first 50,000 through the gates at Maier Festival Park.

Summerfest 50th anniversary

In 2017, Summerfest officials will mark a big milestone: The Big Gig's 50th anniversary!

As thousands passed through the gates on Sunday, "Fan Appreciation Day," they not only got in for free on Sunday morning -- but they also received a free ticket for Summerfest 2017!

"To my knowledge, it`s the first time we`ve ever given away 50,000 tickets at once," Sarah Pancheri with Summerfest said.

Summerfest "golden tickets"

Pancheri said the giveaway was a "thank you" to Summerfest fans. The huge stacks of golden tickets translated into golden grins.

"I want to make sure I get one of those!" Yusuf Muhammad said.

The giveaway also helped build anticipation for the 11-day party that seems to get bigger and bigger each year.

Summerfest

Summerfest

The headliners at the Marcus Amphitheater Sunday were huge: Sting and Peter Gabriel.

What's was your favorite Summerfest show this year? What's your favorite Summerfest memory of all time? Share your thoughts in the comments.