On Opening Day of Summerfest 1 they made a deal: Now, wife keeps annual tradition alive, without her husband

MILWAUKEE -- Summerfest began in 1968, and the very first day of the inaugural Big Gig inspired another tradition for a Milwaukee husband and wife, one she's continued to this day -- without him.

There was some rain at Summerfest on Sunday, July 2nd. It may have kept the fair-weather fans away, but not Nancy Peterson. Summerfest 2017 marks her 50th year attending the Big Gig!

Nancy Peterson

"I just love the festival," Peterson said.

Peterson and her husband, Bill attended the inaugural Big Gig and made a deal.

"We said if we liked it, we would keep coming back. We fell in love with it, so we'd come back every Opening Day," Peterson said.

Together, they attended Summerfest for more than 30 years.

Nancy Peterson

"He liked country and and western music. Now he's up there in heaven. so I keep coming to every Opening Day of Summerfest," Peterson said.

Mr. Peterson passed away suddenly in 2001 from heart failure.

"I just come down by myself," Peterson said.

And she's never missed a year -- keeping the tradition going. She's made a lot of new friends along the way.

Nancy Peterson

"We were going to sit down to get out of the rain and we started talking to Nancy. We didn't know her," Diane Mejta said.

"I thought it was such an awesome story. In fact, I was running through the park trying to see if I could get somebody to interview her," Michael Lee said.

Peterson isn't done with Summerfest 2017 yet! She said Willie Nelson's show with Bob Dylan on the final day is the one she's most excited for.