Goat Fest in Jefferson Aug 14 | Jefferson

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JEFFERSON – Jefferson’s Third Annual Goat Fest – a celebratory community festival supporting the city’s weed-eating goats – will feature three live bands, goat races, Milwaukee Brewers Racing Sausages, raffles, activities for kids, food, drink and more.

The Rain or Sun event will take place on August 14 at Rotary Waterfront Park. Ample parking is available behind City Hall and in the adjacent Tyson parking lot, which the city has agreed to open for the occasion.

The idea was born of an unconventional weeding tool that the city has been using for several years: a group of goats.

Goats have been employed in recent summers to harvest unwanted foliage growth on a small, inaccessible island at the confluence of the Rock and Crawfish rivers, which has since been known as “Goat Island”.

The goats have become a bit of a public attraction, but it’s often difficult to spot them from the riverside. So the city began to receive a handful of requests from local families whose children wanted to meet the goats.

This is how the very first Goat Fest took place about two years ago, said event coordinator Heidi Pitzner, secretary of the Friends of Goat Island, a community group that supports goats, oversees their feeding. and their care.

The first Goat Fest was in 2019, and it was set to come back bigger and better in 2020. Then the pandemic struck.

Initially, there were concerns that the 2020 event might have to be canceled, but as researchers learned more about COVID-19 and determined outdoor spread was rare, organizers were able to move forward with the 2020 event. , which attracted 500 people throughout the day.

Organizers expect around 800 attendees this year, though people are still encouraged to socially distance themselves to protect the unvaccinated, including all children aged 11 and under.

Goat Fest 2021 will run from noon to 10:30 p.m.

Goats will of course be the main feature, with island goats and “kids” on display.

All proceeds from the holiday are used to feed, house and support the island’s goats, and to purchase fuel to allow goat herders to visit the island by boat every day.

Pitzner said the goat group had a new member this year, purchased from a local 4-H member through the sale of small animals at the Jefferson County Fair.

Since animals sold for sale as small animals are usually slaughtered for their meat, the island’s new goat is considered a “rescue”.

Pitzner said the Friends of Goat Island group is happy to be able to support 4-Hers’ local educational efforts while providing a lucky goat with the opportunity to experience the sweetness of life with companion goats and frequent human interactions.

Popular cover band The Van Eskes will kick off the list of live musical entertainment at noon, playing classic tunes. They will air until 3:00 p.m. when The Swing Crew takes the stage, performing until 6:00 p.m.

Then, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Milton’s Bree Morgan will take the stage, performing old and new female country vocals.

The Milwaukee Brewers’ Racing Sausages will be on site from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., kicking off a goat race on the Milwaukee Street Pedestrian Bridge.

There will also be food (tacos and more) and drinks available for sale throughout the festival. Raffle tickets will also be available at the event, with a $ 1,000 grand cash prize to be drawn that night, and Goat Island t-shirts on sale.

Also at the festival, Jelli’s Market will have a sweet corn tent offering fresh produce from their farm in Helenville.

New this year, S and S Plumbing is sponsoring an auto show from noon to 4 p.m. All participants will receive a dashboard plaque, a commemorative magnet that they can put on the dashboard inside their car.

Finally, there will be a number of children’s activities, sponsored by the Jefferson Parks and Recreation Department, and Jensen’s Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning of Lake Mills.

Organizers are prepared for any weather, and tents will be available with picnic tables and benches inside where people can shelter from the rain, sun or heat. People can also bring their own garden chairs.

Funds from last year’s Goat Fest helped build the new goat barn, a sturdy, sturdy structure to provide shelter for the goats on the island, Pitzner said.

This year, the proceeds from the Goat Fest will be directed to a new dock on the island from which kayaks can be launched.

The rest will go to regular food and maintenance.

With questions, people can check out the Friends of Goat Island Facebook page or call Jefferson City Hall at (920) 674-7700 and ask for Mayor Dale Oppermann.


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