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

Nonprofits react to Appleton’s Octoberfest cancellation

Local News

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV)-Dozens of nonprofits have lost a major fundraising source with the decision to cancel Appleton’s Octoberfest.

It’s normally a weekend filled with music, classic cars, good food, and of course beer. Normally thousands of people attend and the city closes off downtown Appleton.

Organizers canceled the event this year because of a lack of volunteers and vendors leaving many nonprofits without one of their major fundraisers they rely on during the year. Last year organizers canceled the event because of COVID-19.

“Just disappointment in addition to being out there working it’s just a fun day to be with the crowds and interact with all the different people who are walking by,” says Bob Starner who is the Vice President of Music at the Fox Valleyaires.

Bob is part of the Fox Valleyaires Men’s Barbershop Chorus. It’s a nonprofit group that has attended Octoberfest since the festival first began 40 years ago. Octoberfest is one of four major fundraisers they have during the year.

“We are in a fairly good position financially as opposed to some of these (nonprofits) where this is their only chance to earn funds, for us it’s about $2,000 of income maybe $3,000 on a good day,” says Starner and Paul Schreiner who is also an executive with the Fox Valleyaires.

For more information on the Fox Valleyaires click here.

In addition to the nonprofits that become the food vendors at Octoberfest, a festival committee allocates the funds the event raises to local nonprofits like the St. Joseph Food Program. Executives there say they have received about $20,000 from the festival.

St. Joseph Food Program tells Local Five they don’t anticipate they’ll get a check from the festival this year since it got cancelled but are confident the support they get from the community will carry them through the rest of the year.

For more information on St. Joseph Food Program click here.

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