“Bo” Black dies at 74

Elizabeth "Bo" Black, photo courtesy of WISN-TV Channel 12.

Last updated on July 15th, 2022 at 11:04 am

Elizabeth “Bo” Black, who was the executive director of Summerfest from 1984 to 2003, died Friday at the age of 74.

Black grew Summerfest into a massive event, with its attendance peaking at more than 1 million in 2001 and 2002, until she was dismissed by the Summerfest board.

Black, who lived in Arizona during her later years with her husband, former Milwaukee Brewers manager Tom Trebelhorn, returned to visit Summerfest in 2011 after tensions from her dismissal had eased.

“Today our Summerfest family is mourning the loss of Elizabeth ‘Bo’ Black,” Summerfest said on Twitter. “She was a force. We are all grateful for her efforts, creativity and flair, which help make Summerfest the incredible experience it is today. On behalf of everyone at Summerfest past and present, we send our heartfelt condolences to Bo’s friends and family.”

“Bo Black was a huge part of Milwaukee for many years,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said in a statement Friday. In the entire history of Summerfest, no one name is more associated with the annual event than Bo Black. She brought enthusiasm and glamour to her position as the head of Milwaukee World Festivals, and she was also a demanding leader who set Summerfest and the ethnic festivals on a course for ongoing success. Bo Black was truly a Milwaukee celebrity. She will be long remembered for her impact on our city.”

Read more about Black from WISN-TV Channel 12, a media partner of BizTimes Milwaukee.

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

No posts to display