Visit Milwaukee
Press Release

VISIT Milwaukee Launches Giving Fest to Support Local Hospitality Community

50+ exciting virtual events benefit local hospitality companies Jan. 15 - Feb. 28

By - Jan 11th, 2021 08:00 am
Giving Fest.

Giving Fest.

MILWAUKEE (Jan. 11, 2021) – This past year has been unlike any other for the City of Festivals, and that’s why VISIT Milwaukee is thrilled to launch the first-ever virtualGiving Fest. 

Giving Fest is a series of over 50 virtual events that celebrate and, most importantly, support Milwaukee’s hospitality community, which has been devasted by the economic effects of the pandemic. Imagine your life without the restaurants you love, the retail shops you frequent, the concerts with friends that create memories, or the venues where you’ve celebrated life’s milestones. That could become a reality if we don’t do what we can to support them now. 

VISIT Milwaukee is showing its support by giving $50,000 to eligible participating local hospitality companies and encouraging locals to show their support by attending as many Giving Fest events as they can.  

The last 12 months have been nothing short of devastating for many of Milwaukee’s hospitality businesses. Thousands of hospitality workers are still unemployed, and many businesses are on the brink of closure as we head into what are usually the slowest months of the year,” says VISIT Milwaukee President and CEO Peggy Williams-Smith. “It’s for these reasons that we wanted to create this opportunity to directly impact hospitality businesses while encouraging the public to support them, too. No matter where you live, we hope all who love Milwaukee enjoy as many Giving Fest events as possible.”  

Through Giving Fest, Milwaukeeans and those who love Milwaukee will be able to take a cooking class with their favorite chef, see a virtual performance from Milwaukee’s myriad arts groups, take behind-the-scenes tours of Milwaukee icons, and explore more of Milwaukee safely from home. 

Here’s what you need to know:

  • All Giving Fest events will take place from Jan. 15 through Feb. 28.  
  • Fifty Giving Fest events hosted by VISIT Milwaukee partners and Milwaukee County hospitality businesses will receive $1,000 directly from VISIT Milwaukee. The $1,000 prizes will be given to the first 50 events loaded to, VISIT Milwaukee’s free community calendar, beginning Jan. 15 
  • All participating events will be entered to win a grand prize of $5,000 from VISIT Milwaukee.
  • There is no cost for businesses to participate in Giving Fest. 
  • To encourage the fun in a safe manner, all Giving Fest events will be virtual. 
  • All Giving Fest events will be ticketed or by donation. After all, these events are supposed to raise funds to help these businesses through some of their darkest months. 

Giving Fest events and additional information can be found at beginning Jan. 15.  

About VISIT Milwaukee
VISIT Milwaukee is the Greater Milwaukee area’s convention and visitors bureau, marketing the destination as a top choice for business, convention, and leisure travel to national and international visitors in order to increase the economic impact of tourism in the region. Each year, tourism supports over 53,200 full-time jobs and brings more than $5.9 billion to the community. VISIT Milwaukee has over 700 members, including hotels/motels, restaurants, attractions, services, and area businesses. The Wisconsin Center District and Potawatomi Hotel & Casino are strategic partners with VISIT Milwaukee, providing funding support for conventions and tourism programs. For more information call (800) 554-1448 or visit

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