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Summer like no other: Number of large events canceled in Milwaukee due to COVID-19

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee is known as the city of festivals, but this summer, with a number of them canceled or postponed, it’ll be much different.

For nearly four decades, the Milwaukee IrishFest has celebrated vibrant Celtic culture, but like many large events, they’re having bad luck due to coronavirus.

“We made the decision we had to cancel. It wasn’t a decision that was easy to come by,” said Mike Mitchell, executive director of CelticMKE.

The fest was scheduled to take place during the third weekend in August and attract more than 100,000 people. Organizers said the growing challenges and logistics left them with no other option.

“To bring people in from all across the world, to be able to participate in this festival, it didn’t make sense to postpone it, and we wouldn’t be able to do it as spectacularly as our festival always is,” added Mitchell.

It’s the latest Milwaukee festival to cancel amid the pandemic, including German fest, Greekfest, Polish Fest and Festa Italiana.

Although it’s shaping up to be a less festive summer, those at VISIT Milwaukee said there will still be things to do.

“There’s still good things brewing in Milwaukee,” said Kristin Settle, director of communications. “So as people might be getting down about what is going on, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This will eventually subside and Milwaukee’s gonna come out better than ever.”

In partnership with Northwoods,  Milwaukee IrishFest has launched a new website, MyFrontlineHero.org. They’re asking people to nominate a frontline worker who should be recognized at next year’s event.

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