Brown County Fair to make adjustments after vote by De Pere City Council

Local News

DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) Planning is underway for the Brown County Fair and despite concerns from the De Pere City Council, fair organizers say the show will go on. Kris Schuller explains the issue causing fair officials to make some adjustments.

When the Brown County Fair gets going this August, only 50 people or less will be allowed in this section of the grounds. It is owned by De Pere and the city council recently voted down a request by the fair to waive that restriction, imposed because of COVID-19.

“The property that we’re talking about, looking for the exemption, is one third of the south portion of fairgrounds which De Pere owns,” said Tom Van Deurzen from the Brown County Fair.

De Pere alders who voted against the request said they had concerns considering the danger of coronavirus and transmission in large crowds.

“I’m not against the fair. But I kind of don’t want us to be responsible if there are issues that come up from it,” said Alderperson Mike Eserkaln.

Van Deurzen says that property is typically used just for parking and with the restriction in place they’ll keep cars and crowds here to a minimum.

“We’re going to monitor that and as people come in, the staff person is going to make sure they flow into the fairgrounds,” said Van Deurzen.

For the fair it is just one of many precautions planned to keep people safe on the grounds, located in De Pere and Ashwaubenon, where 35,000 people are expected to gather this summer.

“At this point we are going to be spending $27,000 plus on additional safety precautions,” Van Deurzen said. “We hired additional cleaning staff so we will be monitoring our bathrooms, our tables where people eat and things like this – all day long.”

Masks will be encouraged, judges will wear plastic shields and social distancing signs will be everywhere.

“We feel we can put on a safe show during this health concern,” said Van Deurzen.

But on this section of land, there will be no gathering of 50 people or more when fair time rolls around.

This year’s fair is scheduled to run August 19 through the 23rd.

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