This morning I read an article in TJT – read HERE – about the likelihood of Brew Fest finding a new home, outside of Racine. After the loss of other big summer festivals I have enjoyedoverr the years, this is another blow to the summertime social scene which makes Racine original and entertaining – not to mention the morale of the citizens and theencouragementt to visit ofout-of-townerss.

The TJT states that there is a state law which the city isinterpretingg to read that public events cannot offer home brewed alcohol and that glass containers cannot be used. Brew Fest, put on by the Kilties, is an event not just for the double fistedwinoss or the 23 year old slobbering drunks…but for grown ups who enjoy having a couple on a gorgeous summer night. It also brings many beer connoisseur whom enjoy home brews and sure as shit don’t want to drink stale tappers from aDixiee cup.

Anyway, Here is the comment I left on the article – let me know what you think:

I would like TJT to post the actual law…talk to an impartial legal expert who can make this law understandable to the average reader and print it. If this law can be interpreted differently, if a class B license is a viable option, there is NO reason the city shouldn’t try to keep these festivals in Racine.
When Festival Hall first opened – it was all the city could boast about. Everyone wanted to go see this big aqua blue monstrosity (sorry, as great it is as a venue – it sure is UGLY) when they came to town. I remember it well. I also remember having a lot of fun times at the different festivals. The loss of Harborfest was tragic to the social life of Racine.
No, not only does Racine have this remarkable location (I mean, how lucky are we??!!) on the lakefront but we have a bagillion dollar structure which holds great potential. What do we do with it? Let it go to hell. This perfectly enviable (is that a word?) venue is being wasted!! What a shame.
IF it is true that the city can have some wiggle room in these mandates, then they need to wiggle. IF the law is the law and the city would be in danger of consequences from the state, well then there is not much they can do about that. BUT they can possibly make up for that inconvenience by helping with other fees/costs/rules. But I have to wonder…would taxpayers be willing to allow the city to help with lowering fees? I would. But would the rest of you??

I understand (or am assuming) that this home brewing law is in effect for safety reasons. The same with the glassware. Home brewed beer does in fact have the potential to be harmful, dangerous and even deadly. (which the TJT neglected to explain). However, this is extremely rare (again, my understanding). AND why isn’t it possible to simply put up a warning? People who can drink are 21 or older. That is old enough to make decisions for one’s self. Why can WE not make the decision to take the risk just as we do when getting in a car or puffing on a smoke. I mean, getting shit-faced isn’t necessarily healthy either, but hey, this is Wisconsin and we all know that activity isn’t going anywhere. Put up a disclaimer and let people chose for themselves.

About the glass. COME ON. Seriously?? Hire an extra custodian for Pete’s sake…if that is even necessary. Glass can be swept up fairly quickly. There is glass ALL over the art fairs, can that not be broken? How about getting rid of the windows on Main Street? This is a silly law.


2 thoughts on “Brew Fest Leaving Racine Hungover?

  1. I run the two designated driver (craft sodas are handed out) booths at Great Lakes Brew Fest. As far as I am aware, there a few “rapid responders” that, in the event of a dropped glass, are there within moments to sweep it all up. We have been doing this for many years now — we are efficient, keep things safe, and we are proud of our 4000-ticket, exceptionally well-behaved crowd (when tickets are that expensive, you get a different kind of crowd). This is the primary annual fundraiser for Kilties (members also have to pay $300 to be in Kilties) and without this event — we would no longer exist. A few years ago, we did an economic impact study to demonstrate to area businesses and the City, what this event brings to local hotels/motels, stores, food establishments and the bars (they are packed after the event). The Kilties are a 501(c)(3) charity. Who tries to “shake down” a chairty? I guess Festival Park Management with the aid of City officials. A 76-year Racine Establishment. Go figure. But, as a 10-year member of The Kilties, I would be just as happy to perform NATIONALLY representing Kenosha instead. Our Sundays are already spent practicing in Kenosha — on artificial turf, with bathrooms and water — and shade, when needed — instead of mud and weeds and an outhouse chained to a telephone poll in Racine. Citizens of Racine: are we important enough to keep? Talk to the officials you just re-elected.

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