MILWAUKEE— Summerfest’s three-weekend format comes as a big plus to some, while others said they are hesitant to head to the grounds.

Carl Baehr said he likes to spend his days at Veterans Park birdwatching with his wife. And while that puts him near the festival, he said he doesn’t plan to go this year, even though he’s enjoyed Summerfest in the past.

“I suspect that it’s more crowded than it used to be when they had the 10 or 11 days and there were a few days in the middle of the week that were kind of quiet. We used to go on Thursdays, which was a senior day,” said Baehr.

Contrastingly, Jordan Dechambre, the director of marketing and communications for the Historic Third Ward Association, said the weekend format is a big plus for the district. She said it has brought a huge influx of people to the shops and restaurants in the area.  

“All people want to do anymore is come together and connect and that’s what Summerfest is really all about and it’s also what the Third Ward is about. We are kind of the ‘live, work and play’ of Milwaukee,” said Dechambre.

Baehr said even though some are comfortable with large gatherings this summer, he is still not ready to be in a big crowd.  

“You know they keep saying COVID is just about gone but I see the statistics and there is a couple thousand people in the United States [who] die every week because of COVID; so I’m still leery,” said Baehr.