News and Updates

May 02, 2024 News

Local business owners excited for potential visitors during RNC's Convention Fest

MILWAUKEE, Wisc. — This summer’s Republican National Convention is less than three months away and the preparations are in full force, including how to get as many people to see the countless businesses that make our city so special.

That includes entrepreneurs like Karla Martinez.

“We are a small family business. So, I think I talk for all small vendors when I say this is a great opportunity,” said Martinez.

Karla and her husband Cristian run Birrieria La Tia Juana, a food truck out of Milwaukee's Southside that serves traditional Mexican dishes around the area of 39th and Burnham.

“When we came here, we were looking for something with a taste from over there. I think everyone likes to find food that helps you remember where you came from,” said Martinez.

For more than a year, Karla says they have tried to get as involved as they can but often struggle to find a place where they fit in.

“We try to apply to different public events so we can meet more people, not just focus on the south side, but reach different areas,” said Martinez.

That's where Convention Fest comes in.

Held outside the Baird Center, more than 100 vendors will get the chance to show off their work during the four-day event, just steps from the heart of the RNC.

Both the Host Committee and the RNC say that their goal for Convention Fest is to give people a true understanding of everything Milwaukee has to offer.

“We're accepting all people. It's bipartisan. It doesn't matter whether you lean right to left. Just reach and apply and see what happens,” said Janiyah Thomas, Director of Media Relations, Republican National Convention.

Karla says she put her name down as soon as she could, hoping to make the cut.

She hopes participating will give her business a major boost.

"We are excited for everything. I mean, it's something new for us. All of this is new for us, so we are excited to share it with the people,” said Martinez.

Applications for Convention Fest are due by May 22.

If you are interested in getting involved, click here.