Utica Fest will go on in August after being cancelled last year, except for a fireworks show, due to COVID-19.
The 2021 festival is Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 5-8, at Utica Park on County Highway B between Stoughton and Cambridge. It will include live music, truck and horse pulls, softball, concessions and a firework show on Sunday night.
Utica Community Association President David Smithback said activities are being expanded this year from three days to four in honor of the festival’s 50th anniversary.
Smithback called the expansion a “one-time deal,” to mark the anniversary.
“We’re trying something a little out of the ordinary to see how it works,” he said.
The music line-up includes Cherry Pie, a rock cover band, on Thursday, Aug. 5; Kings of Radio, an 80’s heavy rock cover band, on Friday, Aug. 6; SuperTuesday, a pop/rock cover band, on Saturday, Aug. 7; and RetroBus, a rock cover band spanning four decades of music, on Sunday, Aug. 8.
Smithback said the festival will also add its first-ever cornhole tournament this year.
Smithback said the association, and other groups that work with it to put on the festival, felt an August date would be possible for an in-person event as the pandemic wanes.
“Everybody is on the same page,” Smithback adding that he’s “hopeful everything (will be) close to normal.”
“With Dane County opening up more all the time,” and the Dane County Fair set to happen in-person in July, Smithback said he believes things will be “back near normal” by the time Utica Fest comes around.
All of the festival activities were cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic except for a drive-in firework show in early August.
Smithback called that show a “fantastic event” that allowed participants to park at Utica Park, watch fireworks from their cars and enjoy free ice cream.
Smithback said safety measures will be in place this year but because it’s an outdoor event, he doesn’t foresee masks being mandatory.
“We will do everything we can to make it safe for everyone,” Smithback said. “If people want to wear masks, that’s up to them.”