FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Appleton businesses thankful Mile of Music is back

Local News

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Despite having to deal with storms, organizers said the Mile of Music festival in Appleton ended on a high note Sunday.

The event brings together up-and-coming artists to play at bars, restaurants, parks, and other venues along a one-mile stretch of downtown Appleton. Nearly all shows were free to attend and the festival ran from Thursday to Sunday.

For some, coming to the event is a summer tradition. People like Cody Kanas who says he’s been coming here since the event began in 2013. On Sunday, he attended with two of his friends.

After Cody and other people who attended the festival finished up watching performances in Jones Park, many of them headed out to downtown Appleton to support the local businesses.

“It’s good to support all the small businesses in the area, I think that is another awesome part of this festival,” said Cody Kanas.

One of the small businesses that hosted bands this weekend is Fox River House. Co-owner Steve Olson said Mile of Music makes up 20 percent of his summer sales. He says this year’s festival is even more important than usual after the pandemic canceled the festival last year.

“Losing it last year was really tough for everybody (because) it’s just a big part of our year,” says Olson.

Dave Willems is Mile of Music’s curator.

“I think it was a bit of a psyche boost for the businesses because they want to get back to serving people and bringing back those good vibes,” says Willems.

He says numbers are hard to pin down right now. He says attendance may be a bit lower than some other years because bad weather hit Appleton on both Saturday and Sunday.

Those who were able to attend the event though said they had a great time.

“It’s nice to have a local bar scene with a bunch of artists that are just trying to get big,” says Kanas.  

Organizers did have to cancel their final set ‘A Song Before We Go’ because of storms in the area.

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