Gaslight Festival: Health officials recommend attending crowded events ‘with caution’
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Late summer in Kentucky sees some of the most crowded events in the state -- the Kentucky State Fair, UofL and UK football games, music festivals, and Jeffersontown’s Gaslight Festival.
It starts Sunday, and thousands of people are expected fill Jeffersontown.
Such crowded events are happening as Jefferson County is seeing some of its highest numbers of COVID cases. The Department of Public Health and Wellness data dashboard shows that on Sept. 4, 3,500 new cases were confirmed. That figure was 20 times higher than it was two months ago.
However, Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Dieruf said a COVID spike isn’t going to cancel J-town’s biggest party.
”It’s always an event where people look forward to that time of year,” Dieruf said. “Because it says fall is coming, and we’re enjoying the city that we’re living in.”
Previous Gaslight festivals have brought as many as 200,000 people, making it the second-largest festival in the state. Dieruf said he doesn’t expect record-breaking numbers this year, but encourages people to come if they are vaccinated.
”So it’s going to be down this year,” Dieruf said. “We expect that, but we want to be able to have a safe environment for those people that come.”
The festival will provide hand-sanitizing stations throughout the area, and is spacing out the vendor booths more than in previous years. Many of the festival’s events, like the parade and motorcycle rally, provide space for social distancing.
University of Louisville’s Dr. Mark Burns said that if people are vaccinated, they should enjoy community events carefully.
”Now just because I’m vaccinated doesn’t mean that I am going to go without my mask, jump into a mosh-pit or anything like that,” Burns said. “I would never do anything foolish like that. Again, you have to be careful, you have to be cautious.”
When asked if he would go to a crowded Gaslight festival, Burns said yes.
”No. 1, I’m fully vaccinated,” Burns said. “No. 2, I would definitely wear a mask the whole time, and No. 3, to the best of my ability, social distance as much as possible.”
The Gaslight Festival represents an economic boon for Jeffersontown, with more than 130 area businesses scheduled to participate.
For more information about the Gaslight Festival, click or tap here.
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