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Appleton’s Octoberfest / License to Cruise named ‘Community Event of the Year’ by Mid-America Chamber Executives

Fox Cities Chamber MACE AwardAppleton’s Octoberfest and License to Cruise, programs of the Fox Cities Chamber, were recently recognized as the 2022 “Community Event of the Year” by the Mid-America Chamber Executives (MACE).

Representatives from the Fox Cities Chamber accepted the Community Event of the Year award at the Midwest America Chamber Executives conference last week in Sioux Falls, SD. Pictured are, left to right, Eric Hortness, Executive Director of the Greater Madison Area (SD) Chamber of Commerce and current chair of MACE, presenting the award to Becky Bartoszek, Fox Cities Chamber President and CEO; Aimee Herrick, Director of Events and Emerging Talent; and Laura Wiegert, Executive Vice President – Marketing & Events.

This award was presented at the 2023 MACE Annual Conference in Sioux Falls, SD, to honor excellence in Chamber-led community events. According to MACE, judging criteria included “value to the community and chamber, resonance within the community, and measurable results and innovation.” MACE is comprised of chamber professionals who belong to their state chamber executive organization or state chamber of commerce within Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

“Octoberfest is truly put on for the community, by the community. Each year, the money we raise is given back to the community through grants and donations. In total, over the past 40 years, we’ve been able to give over 2.5 million dollars to local non-profits,” said Paul Shrode, Chair of the Octoberfest Committee.

Added Becky Bartoszek, President & CEO of the Fox Cities Chamber, “We’re incredibly proud to be recognized on a regional level by our Chamber peers for the impact this beloved event has on our community. The event is a mile-long celebration of food, fun, and philanthropy that has become a cherished tradition for many.”

In 2022 the Chamber celebrated its 40th anniversary of Appleton’s Octoberfest and 30th anniversary of License to Cruise.

This year, License to Cruise and Octoberfest will be held on September 29 and 30. Held in downtown Appleton on College Avenue, the weekend kicks off Friday with a classic car show, complete with about 400 classic cars and live music. On Saturday the day begins with a celebratory toast, in acknowledgement of the ritual Spaten keg beer tapping that takes place every year at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. Appleton’s Octoberfest features five music stages with 17 local and regional bands, close to 100 food vendors, a large Arts and Crafts section, and a Family Fun area with activities for all ages.

The Octoberfest committee is currently seeking volunteers for the fall event. The most critical volunteer positions include bartenders, bar managers and block captains. Volunteers must be over the age of 21 and do not need a bartending license unless managing a bar. Registration is available at octoberfestonline.org/volunteer.

Applications are still being accepted for food vendors for Octoberfest; anyone interested can sign up at octoberfestonline.org/food-vendor-information.  

Key sponsorship opportunities also still remain. Email [email protected] for details.


About Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce

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