City develops safety protocols for summer event
By Taylor Hale
City leaders unveiled their safety protocol plans for the 2021 Riverfront Rendezvous, slated to take place on July 2-4. The plans were discussed during a park board meeting on April 7.
“As you recall last year, we took it down to our final window as we were working through the COVID-19 protocol, and when we elected to cancel, we actually started planning this year’s event already back then,” said Stevens Point Parks Director Dan Kremer.
Kremer said that certain clauses in the Riverfront Rendezvous contracts allow the city to back out of event obligations due to COVID-19 up to May 1, or 60 days before the event.
“If the city moves forward and announces the lineup and goes past that May 1 deadline, what happens is if we voluntarily cancel we would have a situation where the contractual language doesn’t contain that 60-days clause, we’d be back down to force majeure,” Kremer said, referencing a standard clause that leaves both parties free of liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance occurs, such as the pandemic.
The outdoor event will have no guest limits, with procedures in place to reduce the risk of contact spread. The council will meet on April 19 and the city will either announce the lineup for this summer’s Riverfront Rendezvous, or any other modifications that may arise due to COVID.
“If something would trigger force majeure would go down that road or we would put this event out and on as safe as we can,” Kremer explained.
The city will also be lighting off fireworks from the river this year during the event, which means bigger mortar shells and more locations to see the light show. The fireworks were traditionally shot from Mead Park, across the river from Riverfront Rendezvous, held at Pfiffner Park.
The city is working hand-in-hand with the CDC and other health agencies to maintain a safe environment for guests.
Changes for food and vendors
Sneeze guards installed on all serving counters; cleaning/sanitizing products located at each booth to frequently clean counters; hand sanitizer stations out front of each serving location; space for social distancing between each food vendor tent; food vendors who are serving visitors must wear masks at all times; four food trucks being allowed in on the north end of the grounds – food trucks will have a second location; picnic tables that are eight feet apart will be placed in this location to aid social distancing.
Changes to mainstage and grounds
RV to be rented for headliner, with only headliners’ band allowed on RV; RV cleaned each day between bands; separate rooms/tents to be placed for sound/light crew, promoters, security, and other personnel required at Mainstage; painting white line grid from Crosby to River for social distancing ques; grid system will begin at front of stage to the south beer stage.
Riverfront Rendezvous is held at Pfiffner Park, in Stevens Point.