Klement Sausage to sponsor new stage at Summerfest

Rendering of new Klement's Sausage & Beer Garden. (Eppstein Uhen Architects)

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:11 pm

Milwaukee-based Klement Sausage Co. has signed a new 10-year sponsorship agreement with Summerfest, which includes the construction of a new stage area on the north end of Henry Maier Festival Park.

The new Klement’s Sausage and Beer Garden area will include a seated lounge area, picnic tables, barbeque grills and locations to purchase Klement’s products. It’s scheduled to open in time for this year’s festival.

Don Smiley, president and chief executive officer of Milwaukee World Festival Inc., and Tom Danneker, president and CEO of Klement’s Sausage Co., announced the sponsorship, which makes Klement’s the “Official Sausage of Summerfest,” Tuesday morning.

“Klement’s is the hometown sausage of Milwaukee and Summerfest being the hometown musical festival and the world’s largest musical festival, it’s a natural combination for us to come together and work together,” Danneker said.

In January, Klement announced it had been dropped as the sponsor of the Famous Racing Sausages at Miller Park, ending a more than 25-year partnership with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Smiley and Danneker struck up discussions about a possible Summerfest sponsorship for the first time on Jan. 24, the day after Danneker announced the end of the Brewers sponsorship to his employees. Smiley said the timing of that initial meeting was “pure coincidence,” and it had been scheduled prior to the Brewers news.

“We were there to present our event and how we could work together, so it was just a matter of excellent timing,” Smiley said.

Smiley said he and Danneker arrived at a deal within 36 days of their first meeting.

“I think it’s safe to say, both the management at Summerfest and Klement’s, there’s really no grass growing underneath our feet,” he said.

Milwaukee-based Eppstein Uhen Architects is designing the new stage area. Milwaukee-based construction firm C.G. Schmidt will be the general contractor for the project.

The Klement’s Sausage and Beer Garden will be built on what is currently a lawn area adjacent to several food vendors on the park’s north end. The stage will feature acoustic music from 2-8 p.m. daily, with a focus on featuring local artists, Smiley said.

It’s one of several new construction and renovation projects at Henry Maier Festival Park in recent years.

The park’s new U.S. Cellular Stage, located across the walkway from the planned Klement’s stage area, is also set to open this year.

Last year, the park opened the new Miller Lite Oasis area, which included a renovated stage, new viewing deck and redesigned bar areas, a hospitality deck expansion, new Summerfest Store and a new Miller Brew House space.

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