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Kicking off the summer

The celebration is the biggest annual event in De Pere, so it has a little something for everyone-especially veterans. Celebrate De Pere photo

By Melanie Rossi

Contributing Writer

DE PERE – Celebrate De Pere 2023, an annual event held to kick off the summer, will take place in Voyager Park on May 27-29.

Run exclusively by volunteers, the event will host a wide range of activities, including an antique car show, a kids’ fishing competition, a marketplace, live music, fireworks, and more.

The celebration is the biggest annual event in De Pere, so it has a little something for everyone—especially veterans.

Market Place Director and Committee Member Stanley Kroll said, “The event is primarily a celebration for our veterans over Memorial weekend. It is the largest veterans celebration in the state of Wisconsin.”

As a way to celebrate them, all veterans and active service members can attend the event for free.

With the rest of its family-friendly activities, the event doesn’t shy away from its label as one of the biggest celebrations in De Pere.

“It is also the biggest music festival in Brown County,” Kroll said. “There is a lot going on out there. We also have the biggest kids’ fishing tournament in Wisconsin, we have a large antique car show, we have a fireworks display.”

The proceeds of the volunteer-run event go entirely to local charities and to maintain the event for future years.

“A lot of it goes to veterans’ organizations; a lot of it goes to local schools. . . Pretty much it’s all local Brown County charities, with an emphasis on veterans, but not exclusively on veterans,” Kroll said.

The event has run every year since 1990—except during the pandemic—raising about $2 million for local charities during that time, Kroll said.

The celebration begins on Saturday, May 27 at 11:30 a.m. and runs until 11:30 p.m.

Sunday follows the same times, but on Monday, May 29, the event will begin at 12:30 p.m., right after the Memorial Day Parade, with a “solemn veterans ceremony with all branches of the service and the mayor,” Kroll said. “It’s a big deal for the veterans every year.”

To learn more about the event, visit https://www.celebratedepere.com.

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