'We're glad it's not canceled': Summerfest vendors prepare to adjust to new September dates

Posted at 5:59 PM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 19:09:53-04

Local vendors are already planning to adjust their summer schedules amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The adjustments came hours after Summerfest's announcement of moving its dates to September.

"We call it a year's worth of retail in 11 days," said Dan Elias, VP at TSMGI, the official vendor of Summerfest merchandise.

Elias has been involved with Summerfest's merchandising for more than 20 years. He's happy to see the festival working on committing to 2020.

"We weren't anticipating a cancellation, and we're glad it's not canceled," Elias said.

This year's Summerfest will move from June and July to the first three weekends in September.

Last year, more than 700,000 people attended the 11-day festival, even with severe thunderstorm warnings on four of the days.

"There's going to be some changes, and we're excited about some of the changes, and we'll adapt and adjust," Elias said.

The pandemic's impact was unexpected. Elias said those new days could mean more flexibility for vending.

"Having the festival take a break during the weekdays will be interesting and allow us to do some things that are challenging where they're all consecutive," Elias said.

It may not be convenient, but it's essential to vendors who hope to be within Summerfest gates when it happens in September.

"For Robby's Roasted Corn, it is our biggest event. Summerfest," said Speech Thomas, owner or Robby's Roasted Corn.

Thomas works along his wife Yolanda Thomas runs Robby's from Georgia. They learned about Summerfest's decision Tuesday morning.

"I've been looking every single day for the last week to see if they were postponing and how we need to plan," Yolanda Thomas said.

This year's Summerfest will take place on: Sept. 3-5, Sept. 10-12, and Sept. 17-19.

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