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First Friday event add to Oshkosh’s summer economic boom

Local News

OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) Wisconsin’s improving coronavirus numbers has sparked a new wave of optimism in the state’s tourism industry and one local city is cashing in.

EAA, Life Fest, and Water Fest have all announced they’re returning to Oshkosh and now the city is adding a new event called First Friday.

Amy Seckar Albright, Executive Director of Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau says, “You can see what things are going on with the arts with music with eateries, stores are staying open a little bit later so just a way to get people out on a Friday night.”

It’s the foot traffic of these major events that businesses hope will bring in the cash.

John Casper, President Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce says, “It’s hundreds of millions of dollars. EAA alone brings in 160 million. When that activity is going on, you see people engaged in buying things whether it’s bars restaurants, hotels so it’s hard not to miss.

Marlo Ambas, Owner of Manila Resto says, “It’s nice to see our guests gaining some more confidence and feeling safe about coming out.”

Businesses hope this summer’s events bring not only dollars but also back to a time when it was okay for a crowd to rock out under the sun.

Ambas says, “With First Fridays coming to downtown it’s huge because when we first opened up the restaurant live music was such a big part of it and it’s been nearly an entire year now since we’ve had live music.”

Organizers say they hope to make First Friday an ongoing event in Oshkosh.

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