The Kraut Music Festival received several approvals from the Caledonia village board that will allow it to sell hard liquor, shoot off fireworks and hold the four-day music festival.
The festival is expected to generate more revenue for the park and help bring larger events to the park grounds. The event will feature two music stages, a carnival midway, food tents that will feature sauerkraut, antique tractor show, local vendors, fireworks, a kraut queen contest, and kraut eating contest.
Ray Stibeck, owner of Route 20 Outhouse and a member of the committee that is organizing the event, told the village board at a meeting held Monday that he already paid the village $10,000 for a reserve class b liquor license. The license allows the Kraut Music Festival organizers to serve hard liquor in designated areas within the park.
Elaine Ekes, village attorney for Caledonia, explained that there will be designated areas within the park that will be tented areas and people age 21 and older will only be able to have and consume hard alcohol only within those areas.
“The reserve license will allow them to sell hard alcohol, but only in the areas designated which includes a small portion of park,” Ekes said.
A separate liquor license called “a picnic license” would allow the festival organizers to serve beer and wine, which can be consumed throughout the park. The Caledonia Historical Society has agreed to pull the picnic license in their name in return for a $1,000 donation to the non-profit.
Stibeck plans to use the park for two other music events, which are slated for August and October. However, he’ll need to come back to the board to renew the licenses. He requested that $8,000 of the $10,000 be used to pay for installing a fence along the west side of the park.
“Part of the reason we’re doing this is making a commitment to investing in the park so that we can make it more attractive, safer and more usable for residents or anyone else from the surrounding area that wants to use it,” Stibeck said.
He also told the board that he had met with officials from the Mount Pleasant and Caledonia police departments to go over their site safety plan, which includes having up to 12 on-duty police officers on site throughout the day.
“We want a well secured, well attended event,” Stibeck said. “So if there are problems it gets addressed right away. We want to make sure this is a positive experience.”