While the organizers of Kraut Fest haven’t formally applied for any liquor licenses, the Caledonia Village Board gave organizers a preliminary nod.
Kraut Fest will return to the Caledonia and Mount Pleasant Memorial Park this summer, and organizers have an agreement with the Joint Parks Commission for a four-day music festival at the Mount Pleasant-Caledonia Park in Franksville. But, they needed assurances from the village board that they would be able to get a liquor license to sell hard liquor so that they could enter into agreements for some of the music acts.
Ray Stibeck, owner of Route 20 Outhouse, explained to the board that the festival won’t just be about sauerkraut, but will emphasize a variety of music — from reggae to country to rock music.
Stibeck plans to have more than 30 bands at the four-day event, which will be held June 18 through June 21. The festival started 52 years ago and ended 12 years ago because of lack of funding. One issue that the committee needed to overcome relates to being able to serve hard liquor. The group plans to have a stage sponsored by Jaegermeister, which makes hard liquor. In exchange for setting up the stage, Jaegermeister is asking that it be able to serve samples of its products.
Caledonia village attorney Elaine Ekes explained to the board that the village would need to issue two liquor licenses: one that would allow festival goers to drink wine and beer throughout the park, and one that would allow hard liquor to be consumed only in designated areas.
“We needed to talk to the village about this to see if you were generally ok with this,” Ekes said.
While the village has already met its quota for bar-type establishments, the village could exceed the quota if it wanted to issue one. However, by state statute the liquor license would cost $10,000.
Stibeck plans to apply for the permits this week.
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