MILWAUKEE -- Can you believe it's nearly over? Summerfest 2016 officially ends on Sunday, July 10th after 11 days of music, food and fun. Maier Festival Park was the place to be for many on a beautiful, sunny Saturday on the eve of the close of the festival.
FOX6 News caught up with some who began lining up at 7:00 a.m. Saturday ahead of the noon opening!
The line stretched around the block -- and just kept going.
"It`s just a fun place to be!" a festival attendee said.
Most showed up to donate books in exchange for a free admission ticket as part of Northwestern Mutual's "Make A Child Smile" Day. The first 1,500 patrons who donated new or gently used children's books with a $10 minimum value received a free Summerfest ticket.
The donated books will be donated to the Betty Brinn Children's Museum.
"You should see the books. It`s incredible!" a festival attendee said.
Others avoided the lines and tailgated.
"Right here, front seat to the main entrance," Sergio Vazquez from Illinois said.
Vazquez and family have been camping out for each Summerfest for the past 12 years!
"Because it`s just amazing. It`s the world's largest music festival. A great place to tailgate, have fun, bring friends, family," Vazquez said.
Vazquez and family take two weeks off work, rent a condo three blocks from Maier Festival Park and enjoy the non-stop music during the Big Gig.
"Most of the lots are owned by Summerfest and those are not tailgatable. This is like, one of the rare places you can actually get away with it," Vazquez said.
So for them, Summerfest's 11-day run is a big party, with lots of laughs and the welcoming of new friends.
"And then they`ll come up here every year and be like 'Sergio, we knew you were going to be here. We we`re looking for you!' And they`ll stop and have drinks," Vazquez said.
Occasionally they go through the gates, but it's in the parking lot where Vazquez and family spend most of their time during the Big Gig.
"Every year! Same spot. Come find me," Vazquez said.
On Sunday, from 12:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., the first 50,000 people to show up at Maier Festival Park will receive a FREE ticket to Summerfest 2017 in celebration of the Big Gig's 50th anniversary.
CLICK HERE to learn more about this promotion.
CLICK HERE to access Summerfest's website to check the complete lineup, take a look at admission promotions and Summerfest's Get Around Guide -- and more.