With dazzling biggest bang ever fireworks, a plenitude of food, and over 50 performances and activities -- all jam-packed into opening day -- the extravaganza that is the world's largest music festival is off to a great start.

Celebrities are preparing, locals are rejoicing, and diehard fans are flocking in from all over for Milwaukee's annual 10-day festival  boasting both the biggest names as well as up-and-coming bands.  

Tonight's major performance at the Marcus Amphitheater will feature Peter Gabriel, who is one of the many artists incorporating Summerfest into his tour. Gabriel, who will release his newest record New Blood later this year, has fans excited about the 46-piece orchestra that will accompany him tonight.

Other shows to look forward to this afternoon are performances by the popular indie bands lady danville, of Verona, and He is We, and indie singer Matthew Mayfield. Southern rock band Saving Abel is also scheduled to perform later this evening.

The Bel Airs, the Missouri-based 1960s trio, is still going strong with an evening performance, and locals may appreciate Rabid Aardvarks, a veteran Milwaukee rock band that has been playing at Summerfest for five years.

And, ever patriotic, Summerfest is featuring The Volunteers, just one component of the United States Army touring show band.

But music is not all Summerfest has to offer, and opening day is no exception. Families will enjoy U B the Band, where kids of all ages can enjoy the 'interactive musical show' that provides drums, guitars, microphones, and a specially selected list of songs. The Splash Pad will keep the children cool after the interactive programming at the SportsZone, and Mad Science of Milwaukee and the Kohl's Captivation Station will both inspire curiosity amongst the young ones. Jugglers, acrobats, and magic shows abound at the family friendly festival.

For the more active adults, a Zumba class was offered at noon. Those who don't want in on the exercise, however, will be captivated by the incredible talent displayed during wheelchair sports and be awed by the sheer fearlessness demonstrated by the Division BMX Stunt Team.

But of course, Summerfest would not be complete without a touch of feel good community service programming. Cops4Kidz & Community, a 'non-profit community service campaign that builds relationships between law enforcement and the youth,' will be at Summerfest every day, ready to play basketball and hand out some exciting giveaways.

More is to come this week and next week, including an unbeatable World's Largest Happy Hour and the patriotic Summerfest Salute. Summerfest will have scheduled performances and activities each day for the next ten days, excluding the Fourth of July.