State Fair, Irish Fest explain why they are moving forward with summer events

Posted at 10:38 PM, May 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-16 23:38:54-04

Several summer events are moving forward with their 2021 plans, after being canceled due to the COVID-19 lockdown in the summer of 2020. We talked with the organizers of both Irish Fest and the Wisconsin State Fair. Both announced in spring that they would be moving forward with an event, even before the CDC and the state relaxed COVID-19 restrictions.

"They have been dealing with cabin fever for over a year and a half and they are ready to have some fun again” said Mike Mitchell, the Executive Director of Celtic Milwaukee, the organization that puts on Irish Fest. The event, August 20-22 will be the first big event held at Henry Meier Festival Park, which has remained mostly quiet for the last year.

State Fair officials said it was time to make plans. “We’re at that point where we need to let our vendors know they need to order their supplies” said State Fair CEO Kathleen O’Leary. She says fairgoers should expect it to feel as close to normal as possible. “We are working tirelessly to do everything that we can to give everyone the experience of the Wisconsin state fair that they have come to love for 170 years.”

Both groups said their COVID-19 safety measures are still being finalized. Changing case numbers and restrictions will drive their decisions. Neither event expects to ask people if they are vaccinated to enter, but as of now can’t say if masks will be required.

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