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Manitowoc celebrates submarines and veterans who served on them

Posted at 7:40 PM, Jul 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-01 20:40:25-04

MANITOWOC (NBC 26) — Manitowoc is celebrating the 8th annual "Subfest" at the Maritime Museum in Manitowoc July 1-4. The festival will be commemorating submarines and the veterans who served on them.

On July 1 the celebration will kick off with a historian's presentation of Manitowoc's contributions to America's World War Two effort. Maritime Museum Development Coordinator Emily Shedal said she's is excited for the festivities.

"We built 28 submarines here in Manitowoc. That is a big part of our World War Two history," Shedal said. "We're focusing on our nations independence, celebrating that and then also our military history as well."

At the festival, submarine veterans will be in the USS Cobia speaking with anyone who is touring the ship. Museum programming coordinator Caroline Diemer said this is an incredible experience.

"You'll get to chat with them in the rooms that they originally served in," Diemer said. "You'll get to hear all of their fun and quirky stories."

Submarine veterans Robin Onsoien and Wayne Hartlich believe these chances to share their experiences are very important.

"When we're gone you'll have to read it in a book or see it in a video," Hartlich said. "But there's not going to be anyone around to tell you what happened."

All of the veterans will spend the next few days speaking to individuals and in front of an audience on a round table. The veterans said they love the experience.

"I love showing kids this stuff," Hartlich said. "Because they have the eyes the size of dishes and they soak in everything you tell them, it's just amazing."

The festival will come to a climax on the 4th of July when food trucks and beverage tents will be lining the museum parking lot.

"Just a great family fun weekend celebrating our nation's independence and our submarine veterans and submarine heritage here," Shedal said.