African World Festival and Mexican Fiesta receive marketing grants

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MADISON -- African World Festival and Mexican Fiesta each received a $10,000 marketing sponsorship to increase each festival's promotional reach outside of the Milwaukee area.

The marketing sponsorships will allow both events to extend their promotion reach outside of Milwaukee into Northern Illinois, specifically the Chicago area, a key market for travelers to the state.

"These funds will be used to strategically grow the events. There are already over a 100,000 people, but we know if we get 1,000 more, that means more people are coming here, spending the night, fueling up, buying snacks, eating out, staying in a hotel. That generates jobs and extra income," Department of Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett said.

A proprietary tracking study conducted by the Department of Tourism reports travel to Wisconsin is on the rise among African American and Hispanic travelers. In May 2010, 59 percent of African Americans and 69 percent of Hispanics reported having "vacationed or taken a leisure trip in Wisconsin in the past three years."

By December 2011, these numbers grew to 65 percent of African Americans and 76 percent of Hispanics reported having "vacationed or taken a leisure trip in Wisconsin in the past three years.”

African World Festival, held August 4-5, offers a variety of ways to explore and learn about African-American heritage and culture through music, food and interactive activities.

Mexican Fiesta, August 24-26, brings the sound, culture, and taste of Mexico to Milwaukee, with a special focus on opportunities for Hispanic children to further their education through scholarships.

Both events are held at the Summerfest grounds.

Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and Department of Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett were on hand to present the $10,000 sponsorships Tuesday, May 15th.