Tater Daze in Brooklyn Park Postponed to Aug. 15, Cancellation Likely
The city of Brooklyn Park has postponed Tater Daze to Aug. 15, but there’s still a good chance the one-day festival will be canceled altogether. At a recent work session, council members discussed increased costs as well as enforcing social distancing compliance at the event.
At a May 4 work session, the council discussed what to do about Tater Daze in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions. The majority of council members supported the decision to cancel the festival this year.
“I’m okay with canceling Tater Daze this year only because it costs a lot of money to put that thing on,” said council member Terry Parks. “I think it will save us some money.”
The work session came on the heels of a city council discussion about the novel coronavirus’ impact on the budget. You can see that story here. Additionally, small local businesses who support Tater Daze might not have the financial ability to do so this year.
“If it is going to cost twice as much to put on the event, we are completely defeating the purpose of putting on the event in the first place,” said council member Mark Mata.
“I’m not in favor of Tater Daze,” said council member Susan Pha. “I think we do need to cancel that. Postponing until fall is great, but honestly, I don’t see that fall is going to be a time when we can have a large gathering.”
Tater Daze 2020 Would Look Very Different
Because of COVID-19, if Tater Daze does happen, it will look much different than it has in year’s past. There would be no inflatables, no vendors or teen events. Other activities, like a beer tent, entertainment area, and youth and game area would be modified. There’s no way to guarantee people would comply with social distancing requirements, which concerned some council members.
“If we say that we are going to have social distancing at events, good luck in getting that enforced,” said Mayor Jeff Lunde. “People just won’t come.”
Police Chief Craig Enevoldsen even expressed doubts because there are questions about how staff would deal with people violating social distancing.
“My recommendation is just not to do it because we can’t predict people’s behavior,” said Chief Enevoldsen.
Other council members recommended pushing off the decision to postpone as far out as possible.
“My big concern with Tater Daze is I know there was a big push to get rid of it completely this year. If we cancel it this year because of COVID, my concern is we’ll just lose it,” said council member Lisa Jacobson. “I do worry about that, as someone who doesn’t want us to forget about the heritage of our community and continue to celebrate that as well.”
Residents won’t have to wait long for the decision to cancel either. The city plans to present a recommendation to the city council on May 25 on whether to keep Tater Daze on Aug. 15.
So far, Robbinsdale, New Hope, Crystal, Maple Grove and Golden Valley have canceled summer or fall festivals.