Crusherfest 2020 is postponed, with a hope to reschedule later this year, event organizers announced this week.
I support this decision 100%, as sad as it makes me.
Everything that promises to make Crusherfest so special — thousands of people gathering to celebrate a local icon and all that he stood for, at one of the nation’s most unique events — are exactly why it should be postponed, to a time when we can do so safely.
I want to thank the planning committee for all of the work they have already put into this. It will pay off, when the time is right.
I echo those thoughts to organizers of other summer events.
We have an amazing (and seemingly always growing) list of special events in South Milwaukee each summer. They are part of what makes our city, our city, and they are only as strong as the volunteers who power them.
Here is where some of them stand …
- Large May events — including the South Milwaukee Little League Parade and opener, Rotary Food Truck Festival and Memorial Day ceremony — are postponed or cancelled.
- The South Milwaukee Downtown Market is making plans to open May 28 as scheduled, but with safety measures, as advised by the South Milwaukee and St. Francis Health Department.
- As to June, in addition to Crusherfest, the City of South Milwaukee is cancelling our Flag Day celebration on June 14.
Decisions have yet to be made on large local July events, and beyond. Obviously, this is the focus of our festival season, with July 4th, Divine Mercy Fun Fest and Heritage Week activities. I and organizers of all of those events remain in close contact with the Health Department as decisions are made on their future.
I thank the volunteer organizers of these events for their patience and flexibility during their decision processes, and thank for them including health officials in conversations as they determine next steps.
I hate that we’re being confronted with choices like this.
We absolutely know the impact these choices might have on the organizations hosting these events — and on the community that looks forward to them every year. For many, these events are huge fundraisers, and losing them for even one year is a blow.
But the decisions made so far are the right ones. We must act in the interest of public health, recognizing that while the “Safer at Home” order may not be in place much longer, it’s likely that state and local guidance on social distancing and crowd sizes will be.
Here is my promise, as mayor: We will not defy state orders. And we will live by the guidance of federal, state and local health leaders. We have to.
I know there is an increasing push to reopen the economy and other aspects of normal life, and I want to see it happen as much as anyone.
I want to see these special events happen. I want to see more businesses reopen. I want to see live sports, concerts, large family gatherings, community dinners, parades and street festivals. I want to see my kids back at school.
And we’ll get there, together, eventually, safely.
We have made progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19. The curve is flattening. But the worst thing we can do is reopen too soon and lose that momentum and give back our progress. We must remain diligent and focused on beating the virus for the long term, listening to our health experts and taking actions now to ensure we can actually hold these special events when we’re ready and when it’s safe to do so.
This is hard on all of us. But we’re acting smartly, and doing the right thing, knowing there will be food trucks, fireworks, and festivals again.
I am excited for that day.