Easing restrictions spurs Milwaukee-area festivals to re-evaluate summer events

Posted at 10:24 PM, May 13, 2021

MILWAUKEE — With the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)and the City of Milwaukee announcing the relaxing of COVID restrictions, some local events that had been canceled for this summer are re-evaluating their options.

Organizers of Polish Fest, which normally happens on the Summerfest grounds, are planning a smaller event for July. The group canceled its big three-day event earlier this year, but with restrictions eased Thursday, they are moving forward with plans.

“We’ve got this July picnic coming up July 23, 24, 25 that just eases the pain a little bit,” said Polish Heritage Alliance Executive Director Jeff Kuderski. He says it eases the pain from the nearly $50,000 loss from having to cancel the event in 2020.

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Milwaukee Pride officials are also considering moving forward with a smaller event. In a statement, the organization’s president Wes Shaver said today’s news came as a surprise.

“I’ve led our team to act and plan accordingly to what’s best for festival attendees and our city’s unified efforts," said Shaver. "We are quickly assembling to consider any and all options to produce an event.”

Pride fest canceled its four-day celebration earlier this year when organizers were unsure what the COVID-19 situation would be in June.

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Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said the easing of restrictions by both the CDC and the city would likely spur many more events. “You can see that there is going to be expanded capacity for a lot of events… including festivals,” said Barrett.

The CDC eased masks for vaccinated people Thursday. The city of Milwaukee said many of its restrictions would end on June 15. However, the mask mandate remains in effect until further guidance from the city’s Health Department.

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