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Johnsonville named 'Official Sausage' of Summerfest in new sponsorship deal

Johnsonville was named "Official Sausage" of Summerfest on Friday, Feb. 10.

There's a new top dog — err, top sausage? — at the Summerfest Grounds, with Johnsonville announced as a new sponsor of the Big Gig starting this year.

The Sheboygan Falls-based tubed-meat purveyor claimed the space previously vacated by rival sausage company Klement's last year.

"Johnsonville Summerville" will be located on the North End of Henry Maier Festival Park, featuring a small outdoor stage that Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. says will spotlight Wisconsin-based artists. Fans can enjoy that local music with a side of sausage, with grilling demonstrations, samples and backyard games such as cornhole all included in the Summerville area.

“We’re no stranger to partnering with major Wisconsin sporting and entertainment organizations, so wherever the fun takes place, Johnsonville enjoys being a part of that and adding to that fun,” said Shelly Stayer, Johnsonville owner and board chair.

The space, formerly known as the Klement’s Sausage & Beer Garden, was made available after Klement's was dropped as a sponsor sometime after the 2022 festival. TheJournal Sentinelreported the company failed to pay its $140,000 fee last year, and MWF later sued for more than $1 million for an alleged breach of contract. The suit was dropped a few weeks ago.

With the move, Johnsonville gains more of a stranglehold on the Milwaukee summer fun market; the company is also the official sausage of the Brewers.

88Nine Social Media Manager | Radio Milwaukee