Celebrate De Pere: The official kickoff to summer

andrew kruse-ross | celebrate de pere | may 2017

Perhaps nothing signals the start to summer in Brown County quite like Celebrate De Pere. What began 27 years ago as a one-day event now spans three days over Memorial Day weekend starting on Saturday, May 27.

Celebrate De Pere offers a little something for everyone, but the event has become a perennial favorite with lovers of live music. This year, the event brings another 20 bands to two performance stages. Among those acts are two national acts: Felix Cavaliere, the king of blue-eyed soul and pop-country hit-makers Sawyer Brown.

“We've always set up Saturday as a national rock 'n' roll act and Sunday as a national country act," says Celebrate De Pere President, Bob Tease. “Both of these acts are high-energy and we try to diversify ourselves with our musical acts."

Tease points out that the festival boasts both a main stage and river stage offering music simultaneously.

“If the band performing on the main stage isn't to your liking, you can head down to the river stage," says Tease.

Celebrate De Pere isn't just about music, however, an entire area is dedicated to children's activities. Not only does Celebrate offer a full carnival midway and inflatable ride area, a number of interactive talents geared towards children are on-hand during the event. Children's acts include performances by the interactive UB the Band, community drum circles by Ms Taku, Florida's Pied Piper of Percussion and the former Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey circus clowns Miller and Mike.

On Sunday, the Larry's Piggly Wiggly Family Fishing Tournament is open to the young fisherman or fisher girl in your family. New to this year's tournament will be assistance from the Great Lakes Sport Fisherman Association.

Kids and adults alike will enjoy the BMX Stunt Show. A relative newcomer to Celebrate De Pere, this event was a hit with audiences last year and is back for a second time, offering two shows on Saturday.

“The crowd was overwhelmed with this show last year," says Tease, “and by resounding applause, we asked them to come back for a second year."

A Veterans Salute area will be set up during the entire weekend with an annual Memorial Day Veterans Salute Ceremony taking place on the Main Stage at 12:45 p.m. after the De Pere Kiwanis Memorial Day Parade, which ends at Voyageur Park. This year, special guests Andi and Alex (of Queen Hilma) will perform the national anthem and “God Bless America" during the salute. All branches of the military will be recognized during this ceremony.

“It's an awesome day to come out and pay tribute, not only to those soldiers serving but to those who have fallen," says Tease.

Photos by Mark WellsGiving back to the community is what Celebrate De Pere is all about as the organization helps area non-profits not only with their food vendor program but also through committee-selected donations.

“This is the 27th year that Celebrate De Pere will be hosting Memorial Day activities and over the first 26 years we've given back to non-profit organizations in Northeastern Wisconsin nearly $3 million," says Tease.

“It's a great opportunity. Any money that people spend — you come out, you buy a hamburger, you buy a hot dog, you buy a ticket — a portion of that money not only goes to area non-profits, but the majority of it goes for veteran services and causes right here in Northeastern Wisconsin."

Celebrate De Pere runs May 27 – 29 at De Pere's Voyageur Park. Other events include a car show, fireworks, redneck regatta and more. For a complete listing of attractions visit celebratedepere.com.

Presale tickets are available for $7.50 at Festival Foods locations until May 22. After May 22, tickets are available at the gate and are $10 before 7 p.m. and $20 after 7 p.m.

Family of six packages are $40 and available at Festival Foods until May 22.

Celebrate De Pere is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sat. and Sun. (8:30 a.m. for family fishing tournament access on Sun.) and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mon.

Main Stage

Saturday, May 27, 2017

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. PANIC STATION

1:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. BAD HABITZ

3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. RPM

5:45 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. QUEEN HILMA

7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. JOHNNY WAD

9:30 p.m. FELIX CAVALIERE'S RASCALS 50TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR

Sunday, May 28, 2017

12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. BOOMBOXX

2:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. NASHVILLE PIPELINE

4:30 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. STAR SIX NINE

7 p.m. - 9 p.m. RED CLOVER

9 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. FIREWORKS

9:30 p.m. SAWYER BROWN

Monday, May 29, 2017

12:15 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. VETERANS SALUTE

1 p.m. - 4 p.m. FBI & THE UNTOUCHABLE HORNS

River Stage

Saturday, May 27, 2017

11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. FEEL GOOD KIDS

2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. POUNDING FATHERS

5 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. ONE HOT MESS

7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. ANNEX

Sunday, May 28,2017

11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. THE HOOKUP

2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. HURRY UP WAIT

5 p.m. - 7 p.m. DRIFTWOOD

7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. THE COUGARS

Monday, May 29, 2017

1 p.m. - 4 p.m. LET ME BE FRANK PRODUCTIONS

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