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Press Release

January 16, 2020

Summerfest Marketplace Officially Opens at MKE

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, along with Airport Director Brian Dranzik, Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. President and CEO Don Smiley, and Paradies Lagardère President and CEO Gregg Paradies today unveiled the first-ever Summerfest merchandise store outside the grounds of Henry Maier Festival Park. At 3,466 square feet, Summerfest Marketplace, located inside the main terminal of Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport, is the largest retail space at MKE. It features Summerfest t-shirts, drinkware, hats, a one-of-a-kind Summerfest-branded guitar, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle display, and unique merchandise from more than 30 other local vendors.

Summerfest Marketplace brings the flavors, feels, and looks of Cream City to MKE with products from House of Harley-Davidson®, Brew City Brand, Drink Wisconsinbly, and more than 15 Wisconsin artisans and small business owners. The brands were brought together at MKE in collaboration with Paradies Lagardère, a longtime MKE concessionaire, and their Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) partner, Mark II, LLC.

“Summerfest is synonymous with Milwaukee, and we are thrilled that MKE was chosen as home to the first and only Summerfest store outside the festival grounds,” said County Executive Chris Abele. “This partnership reflects Milwaukee County’s commitment to providing travelers at MKE with a distinctly Milwaukee experience, showcasing our beloved city to millions of visitors each year from all over the world.”

“Each year Summerfest brings people from all over the world together to celebrate music and culture, and we couldn’t be more excited to extend the Summerfest experience to MKE, and showcase not only Summerfest, but other great local brands, at our first ever location away from Henry Maier Festival Park,” said Don Smiley, President and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.
"Paradies Lagardère is delighted to help bring one of Milwaukee’s most iconic brands to MKE," said Gregg Paradies, president and CEO of Paradies Lagardère. "We are passionate about marrying rich, local brands with the travel experience by partnering with Summerfest and other authentic Wisconsin products.”

Summerfest Marketplace is part of a major transformation of nearly two dozen shops and restaurants at MKE. The project is scheduled to be fully completed in June and will significantly enhance the travel experience for the approximately seven million travelers who choose MKE each year. The Airport's agreement with Paradies Lagardère includes 30 percent participation from local Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, which exceeds the County’s goal of 25 percent. This partnership highlights Milwaukee County’s commitment to racial equity by supporting local businesses owned by women and people of color.