City council to vote Monday on Decatur Celebration fencing plan

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Decatur, Ill. (WAND) - The fate of future Decatur Celebrations could now lie in the hands of the Decatur City Council.

In the Decatur City Council meeting docket released Thursday, leadership for the celebration outlined plans to fence in this year's event. The city council is expected to approve the plan on Monday.

This is the first year there will be a charge for the Decatur Celebration. Everyone who attends will pay for a wristband. The wristband is good for the whole weekend. They are $5 in advance and $8 at the gate. Children 12 and younger are free.

In order to make sure they are getting the admission charge, fences and checkpoints will be in place. According to the proposal, if city council does not approve the fencing  Decatur Celebration producer Lori Sturgill believes this could be the last year. " Unfortunately, the model of a free festival just isn't sustainable. When I started as Producer 7 years ago the savings was depleted and we were losing money every year. We've started many new fundraising initiatives to help close that gap including the King & Queen/Campaign, Haunted House, French Fried 5K, and many more ... but none have put us in a sustainable financial position. Should the fence not be approved my best guess is we would limp along this year and it would be the last year of the festival," Sturgill said.

Safety is also addressed in the proposal. The Celebration staff, Decatur Police Department, EMS and festival security have plans to address safety in the event of an emergency. Every admission gate will have security who are trained on how to quickly move the fence out of the way if needed.

If you don't plan to attend the Decatur Celebration and still want to watch the "Razzle Dazzle Good Times Parade" downtown, half of the parade route is on Main Street which is outside the festival fence line. If you don't have a wristband you can watch from that area. If you do have a wristband you can watch from Franklin and North Streets. The parade is Saturday August 5th at 10:00 a.m.. You can also watch the parade on WAND's COZI channel on 17.2.

Those who live and work in the downtown area will get a special wrist band granting them access to all admission gates.

The carnival ride area will remain free and not require the "Band Together" wristbands.

This years festival runs August 4th - 6th. Headliners include Nelly, Travis Tritt and Bret Michaels.

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