Lifest Christian festival says safety is the top priority
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - After a carnival ride in Crandon left riders hanging upside down for almost three hours on Sunday, safety with rides at festivals is top of mind.
It comes as Lifest in Oshkosh begins. The Christian music festival kicks off Thursday afternoon and the only carnival style ride you’ll see is the Ferris wheel.
“We want to be mindful of safety here at the festival and still bring fun things that the kids can do…the Ferris wheel, it screams and it looks fun,” said John Dougherty, the Lifest Festival Director.
Lifest used to have other rides at the family-friendly event until about 5 years ago.
“We used to have some carnival rides in the downtown area but we’ve transitioned that over to just a food court, so it was actually mostly a space issue as to why we phased some of those out,” said Dougherty.
Lifest says safety is a top priority and it experienced its own tragedy in 2007 when a 16-year-old girl died after a giant swing-style ride malfunctioned during the festival.
“Our intention is that this becomes a place where people don’t have to worry about any of those issues in the outside world and yet we’re prepared for them if something were to happen,” Dougherty said.
A fully staffed medical team, including a doctor, will be onsite, as well as security patrols and other activities such as crafts, speakers and bounce houses will be available.
“We have a thing called warrior training which is where guys run around and basically hit each other with Nerf swords. It’s kinda fun, it’s fun to watch certainly, but there’s teaching moments involved with all of that as well,” said Dougherty.
Some of the biggest acts in Christian music are scheduled to perform, with around 30,000 people estimated to attend each day.
“It becomes an experience more than music but music is what brings everybody together to see the big concerts,” said Dougherty. “It’s fun to see everyone come together like a big family and just be onsite together.”
The four-day festival kicks off Thursday for its 25th event.
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