Pandemic concerns bump Giro d’Grafton

Postponement of bicycle racing event to August may be first in series of disruptions for summer community activities
Ozaukee Press Staff

The annual Giro d’Grafton bicycle racing event has been postponed to Aug. 8 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tour of America’s Dairyland Racing Series was initially scheduled to come to downtown Grafton on June 18. The organization, which customarily holds its races throughout the state in mid-June, has shifted all of its races to the last week of July and first week of August.

Grafton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Pam King said it will take about three weeks to finalize the plan.

“There are some major challenges and hurdles that need to be overcome for any of us who want to have an event moving forward,” King said, noting the challenges include ensuring social distancing is maintained and securing sponsorships from local businesses.

King said the races might not have spectators present because of social distancing. If that becomes the case, the event could be moved outside of the downtown area because it wouldn’t be practical to close access to streets in the business district.

“To have the race in our downtown and not have any spectators doesn’t seem like an option because it’s on the road and people walk around and sit outside to watch it,” King said. “It’s going to take a lot of patience and planning to make sure we are respectful of our businesses and ensure the safety of our participants and spectators.” 

King said the postponement of the race could mean other Chamber and community events such as Ladies Night Out on Aug. 4 and the Grafton Area Live Arts summer concert series could be delayed or canceled. The annual Chamber Business Awards Banquet, which was scheduled for May 28, has already been moved to September.

“Everything is going to be impacted in some way. Our goal is to protect the integrity of our events and protect the safety of our participants,” King said. “While we want to have events, we are cognizant of the challenges our businesses are facing.”

King said that even if the events continue, they may look very different from years past. For instance, free food samples most likely won’t be offered at farmers markets this summer. King said the Chamber is considering hosting virtual events if necessary.

King said her greatest concern is the financial impact on downtown businesses and sponsors. 

“Our events are a big financial investment for a lot of our businesses. At this point, I’m not sure if people will be spending money at these events if they are out of work or if they have other financial burdens,” she said.  



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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