As cases rise in Wisconsin, Head of the Lakes Fair in Superior still on with safety measures in place
A carnival worker walks past a ride Friday morning, July 17, in the parking lot of the Head of the Lakes Fairgrounds in Superior. (Jed Carlson /

As the number of newly reported COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin continues to surge, the Head of the Lakes Fair in Superior is scheduled to begin Tuesday with safety precautions in place to help prevent further spread of the virus.

First and foremost, Head of the Lakes Fair Director Daniel Litchke said that while he wants people to come and enjoy the fair, he's asking that anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to the virus not to attend.

"That's when there's problems, is when people aren't taking responsibility," Litchke said. "If you're sick or you think you may have been exposed, please don't come until you've been tested."

The state of Wisconsin is nearing 1,000 cases reported per day. On Saturday, the state set its most recent all-time high with 978 new cases. In Douglas County, 18 new cases have been reported since Sunday, July 12.

The six-day fair is scheduled to run through Sunday, July 26. Last year about 2,900 adults and 800 kids attended. With no other fairs set to take place in the area this summer, Litchke said it's hard to predict whether or not they can expect fewer attendants this year due to the pandemic.


"It could be a lot of people so that's what we're preparing for so we're not overwhelmed," he said.
Rides and food trucks are parked next to each other Friday morning, July 17, at the Head of the Lakes Fairgrounds in Superior. (Jed Carlson /

Safety precautions

Both the state and county health departments were consulted during the planning of the fair.

Everyone who attends the fair will have their temperature taken at the entrance and anyone with a fever will be turned away.

The fairgrounds, located on Tower Avenue near the Richard I. Bong Memorial Airport, consists of 1 million square feet of land that will be optimized to allow physical distancing, Litchke said.

Certain activities that Litchke was hoping to introduce this year, like rock climbing and a ninja course, had to be scrapped, as did the traditional face-to-face judging. Bingo cards will be single-use only. Hand washing stations will be located throughout the fairgrounds.

Attendants will be encouraged but not required to wear a face covering. Face masks will be available for sale at the fair.


On Tuesday, the Superior City Council will vote on a face mask requirement , but, if passed, that would only apply to indoor public spaces and wouldn't go into effect until Monday, July 27.

A couple of people will be posted on the fairgrounds to monitor capacity. If those monitoring feel physical distancing can no longer be maintained, those at the gates will stop allowing admittance, which Litchke said he doesn't anticipate will need to happen.

"But we still have to be prepared in case there is a large influx of people that want to come," he said.

The carnival company is from northern Michigan and will not be offering rides that put people in enclosed and tight spaces. Litchke said the company uses disinfecting fogging machines used to help kill germs on the carnival rides.

Each of the food vendors stationed at the fair will have their own safety standards to follow.

"If we didn't feel that we could provide a safe place for people to come, we wouldn't have it," Litchke said. "We couldn't have this without going through health department procedures. We went through procedures and made sure we could make this as safe as possible."

What To Read Next
Get Local