Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. officials today celebrated the opening of the new North Gate and community plaza at Henry Maier Festival Park, an addition they say will better connect the Summerfest grounds to downtown Milwaukee.
The new gate and plaza, which has been under construction since last fall, features a new turnstile area, box office, benches and seating areas and interactive play areas, including a “percussion jam garden,” “chime garden” and interaction electronic sound and light sculptures.
“This new plaza will be open year round for the community to enjoy,” said Don Smiley, president and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival. “It’s been designed with recreation and music in mind.”
The new gate structure doubles the capacity for visitors entering the park, Smiley said.
The project is part of a sponsorship deal with Madison-based American Family Insurance that included the construction of the festival park’s new amphitheater.
American Family Insurance today also announced its sponsorship of a new grant program that will award $2,500 and performance opportunities to six music-related nonprofit organizations in Milwaukee County.
“We have great excitement about the program and the scholarships that will come as a result of this,” said Jack Salzwedel, American Family Insurance chairman and chief executive officer. “It’s going to help kids pursue their dreams of making music.”