Electric City Music Festival in Kaukauna will be centered at Hydro Park. File photo.

KAUKAUNA — An electric start to the Fox Cities’ summer music season will make its long-awaited return to Kaukauna in 2021.

Electric City Experience is back, featuring food, family fun and five stages of live music in the heart of Kaukauna’s picturesque downtown. The festival will take place from June 9-12, 2021, centered at Hydro Park and the Kaukauna Farmers Market Lot, according to a news release.

Festivities will include a carnival midway, food trucks, cold beer and other beverages along with plenty of the best music talent from across the region.

Events start Wednesday, June 9 with a Live From Hydro Park kickoff from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday is made for families with Kids Carnival Day from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday are built for music. Live music will run until 11 p.m. on both nights. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday.

While many can’t wait to get out and celebrate, it’s understandable that some remain wary as we work to put Covid-19 behind us. The event will be fully outdoors and organizers are planning safety measures in the interests of community health and wellbeing.

It’s the region’s first music festival of the year, and while it draws fans from throughout the Fox Cities, Electric City Experience keeps its home at heart.

It’s a festival with a dual mission: beyond providing an electric weekend of fun, it’s raised money to benefit Kaukauna year-round.

Though Covid-19 precluded a 2020 event, organizers worked to meet community goals even as the pandemic kept bands off stages.

Working with the Kaukauna Public Library and its Little Free Pantry program, the festival team has been able to distribute more than 50,000 pounds of food to date.

Pop-up pantry events allowed for residents to pick up fresh produce in addition to packaged goods.

Efforts will continue to ensure Kaukauna families can meet their food needs regardless of uncertain circumstances brought on by the pandemic.

By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.