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Fete de Marquette canceled for second straight year

(NBC15)
Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 2:07 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The cancellation of a popular Madison event services as an important reminder that even with the vaccine rollout accelerating, everything won’t be back to normal this summer.

On Monday, organizers announced Fete de Marquette, the summertime festival benefiting the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center, would be canceled again this year “out of an abundance of caution for the safety of attendees and staff members.”

In a joint statement issued with Willy Street Co-op, its presenting sponsor, the center explained the decision came following a review of the Dept. of Health Services’ COVID-19 plan and discussions with local officials. The event had been slated for July 8-11.

It is the second year the pandemic has forced organizers to call off the festival, which raises money for emergency food services, after-school and summer camps for kids, teen employment, and more.

Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center Executive Director Gary Kallas explained the center will fall back on an online giving campaign to raise funds “and we hope that the people who would buy a raffle ticket or spin the wheel or buy a drink at Fete will continue to show their support as they did in 2020.”

Like last year, Willy St. Co-op will use the money it was going to spend on sponsoring the event and will instead use it for an online fundraising campaign.

“Fete has become Madison’s premier summer festival, and the single largest reason is the generous support Wil-Mar receives from the Willy Street Co-op,” Kallas added.

Because of the pandemic, the center itself remains mostly closed, except for some essential services: Wednesday’s Food Pantry, Saturday’s Meal Program and daily virtual learning child care for elementary children.

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