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Appleton’s Octoberfest is Reimagined for 2020

Reimagined for 2020: Octoberfest will look a little different this year, due to COVID-19.

By Nikki Voelzke, Octoberfest marketing committee member

From the very first Octoberfest in 1981 to today, the Octoberfest mission remains the same – to set a stage for nonprofit organizations to showcase the good work they do in our community and make money as food vendors, wristband sellers, and more. To date, Octoberfest has reinvested nearly $3 million in our community.

Octoberfest 2019

As we shared in May, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional Octoberfest and License to Cruise events are not being held this year, but we promised to create an event(s) that would allow us to continue to meet our mission – to raise money and awareness of local nonprofits and support local businesses.

The Octoberfest planning committee along with the Fox Cities Chamber are pleased to announce the details of our Octoberfest 2020 Reimagined event.

Here’s how it works:

  • Nonprofits connect with a local business for a day or a series of days starting September 26 and continuing through October where a percentage of sales goes to the nonprofit.
  • Both partners promote their partnership on social media to raise awareness
  • Octoberfest will promote the partnerships on our website, all of our social media channels and to local news media
  • The Fox Cities Chamber will promote the program to their business members to help raise awareness of the opportunity to partner with local nonprofits and encourage the other area chambers to do the same.

How to sign up:

  • Nonprofits should visit our website to download the Octoberfest Reimagined application
  • Connect with a community business and set a fundraising goal, event dates and details.
  • Nonprofits must submit your application to Octoberfest by August 28 to participate
  • Participating organizations can partner with more than one business or nonprofit and events can begin anytime from Saturday, Sept. 26 through the end of October

Octoberfest will help to promote the partnerships to our more than 20,000 followers on social media and include a searchable database on our website to make it easy for the public to support the events. We will also provide a press release template and social media graphics and work with local media to get news coverage of the events.

About Octoberfest

Octoberfest, an event of the Fox Cities Chamber, is a two-day festival in Appleton. Held every year on the fourth weekend of September, the festival is celebrating 39 years of food, fun, and philanthropy. The mission of the first event was the same as it is today, to serve as a fundraiser for nonprofit organizations. Octoberfest has grown to host 200,000 attendees annually, has 100 food booths supporting nonprofit organizations, arts and crafts, and entertainment for all. Funds raised from sponsorship and beverage sales are used for the competitive grant program that provides funding to nonprofits year-round. For more information, visit for the latest news and updates.

The Fox Cities Chamber captures the energy of one of Wisconsin’s most dynamic regions and transforms it into innovative programs and services for its business members. The Chamber serves all of the Fox Cities communities within the counties of Outagamie, Calumet, and northern Winnebago, and plays a leadership role in regional economic development efforts in Northeastern Wisconsin. For more information, visit

We invite you to donate now to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund. You can also learn about who has given to the fund, the fund’s grant recipients, and check out our latest news and updates.

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