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Milwaukee's Polish Fest has been canceled for 2021

Milwaukee will have to go a second year without Polish Fest. Today the festival announced that it would not be back this summer.

“After much consideration, we have made the difficult decision to not hold Polish Fest June 11 to 13,” Polish Heritage Alliance president Steve Chybowski said in a statement. “Planning was on track for this year; however, at present, Covid-19 is currently a part of everyone’s lives, we believe the best decision is to not hold Polish Fest this year so early in the summer to allow for more vaccinations to the broader community.

"Our Festival Committee and our Board of Directors reviewed many options," he continued. "We believe this is the best decision for our attendees, volunteers, entertainers, and vendors…our entire extended ‘Polish Fest Community.'”

It was always going to be a close call whether Milwaukee's major festivals would be able to return this summer. While the accelerating vaccination effort means that it's possible (though certainly not guaranteed) the population could approach something resembling herd immunity by June or July, the uncertainty doesn't leave festival organizers much time to prepare.

Festa Italiana and German Fest have both canceled for 2021, as has PrideFest (although PrideFest has left open the possibility of hosting an event later in the year). Summerfest, meanwhile, has been moved to three weekends in September, although a lineup has not yet been announced.