OCONOMOWOC — The purpose of a taxpayer-funded trip two
Oconomowoc representatives took to the city’s sister
city in Germany earlier this summer was strictly
business, said Mayor David Nold.
and Oconomowoc Economic Development Director Bob Duffy
visited Oconomowoc’s sister city of Dietzenbach, Germany
from July 25 to Aug. 1.
trip was financed by the city of Oconomowoc. After the
business concluded, Nold said, he remained in Germany on
vacation using his own financing.
said much of the trip was spent touring cities — like
Frankfurt — to see what they’re doing well.
said both sides are attempting to maintain and improve
long-term relationships, which could in turn enhance
help to get German citizens to vacation in Wisconsin,
and vice versa.
Oconomowoc representatives also learned about large wine
festivals in Germany. Nold said the city could perhaps
use what they learned to incorporate a sort of wine
celebration in Oconomowoc or enhance an existing event
with wine offerings.
Ideas stemming from Oconomowoc’s relationship with its
sister city are nothing new.
very popular German Christmas Market that has been held
in Oconomowoc in the three days following Thanksgiving
for the past six years was inspired by the Christmas
markets of Europe.
Oconomowoc High School students constructed the huts for
the original market in their building trades class and
the city has continued to coordinate the event.
said the German Farmers Market has provided a big boost
to the local downtown shops that had, in the years prior
to the market, lost holiday shoppers in the three days
added that the stores in Oconomowoc now do “fantastic
business” during those all-important days.