Fete de Marquette canceled for second year due to the coronavirus

The Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center and Willy Street Co-op decided to cancel the event out of caution for attendees and staff members who work the event.
La Fete de Marquette celebrates French heritage

For the second year, Fete de Marquette is canceled. According to a release, The Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center and Willy Street Co-op decided to cancel the event out of caution for attendees and staff members who work the event.

Fete de Marquette, which was planned for July 8-11, is the largest fundraiser for the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center. Since starting 15 years ago, it has raised more than $1.2 million. The money supports programs, including emergency food services, after-school and summer camps for teens, meals and fitness activities for seniors, and subsidization of mental health services.

“We are committed to making sure we’re able to take care of the people we serve during this pandemic, so we’re going to have to rely on community support in other forms,” says Gary Kallas, executive director of the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center.

The decision to cancel the event was made after looking at the state’s COVID-19 plan, discussions with local officials and consultation with presenting sponsor, Willy Street Co-op.

Kallas says they plan to launch an online giving campaign this year. Willy Street Co-op pledged to give the money it would have used to sponsor the event to support the giving campaign.

“Fete has become Madison’s premier summer festival, and the single largest reason is the generous support Wil-Mar receives from the Willy Street Co-op,” Kallas says.

Donations to the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center can be made here.