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Video: Fall festivities take on new procedures to adapt to pandemic

Sep 13, 2020 05:50AM ● By Editor

Watch the KSTP-TV Eyewitness News Report here

Photo: KSTP-TV

By Crystal Bul of KSTP-TV Eyewitness News - September 12, 2020

The pandemic is affecting Sever's Fall Festival in Shakopee, and longtime staff are adapting, too, as they welcome visitors.

“I've been working here since I was, like, 12 years old,” said Steven Bondarenko. “I've had a lot of people tell me that they're really happy that we're open and we're not shut down. We've had to cut it down a little bit for the events to be more safe and sanitized.” 

They're cutting it down to 10% capacity.

Apple orchards around the state, such as Pinehavan farms in Wyoming, Minnesota, and Apple Jack Orchard in Wright County are following state health guidelines by cutting capacity down to 50% outdoors and limiting customers for the indoor markets.

How visitors enter is different, too. To minimize contact, visitors have to schedule an arrival time and purchase tickets online.

And while that means this family-owned venue will take a hit, they're still appreciative of the chance to operate.

“For us, it's really important to be grateful and look at the bright side of things that we're open, and being able to provide that fall tradition that friends and family are looking for,” said Nikola Peterson with Sever's Fall Festival.

And those coming to enjoy fall festivities say they feel lucky to be outside. 

Denise Moehrle spent the day with her grandsons and family.

“First time here, first year here, and the boys are loving it,” Moehrle said. "We've hit everything as we've gone down: zip lines, trains, you name it. We've danced. We've gotten beads for dancing in front of the DJ, and buying acorn squash a day ago … it’s been really fun.” 

Activities like the corn maze on the 100-acre property provide ample space so that one area isn't more crowded than the other.

“We don't have corn pits this year because we are not going to be able to control the socially distanced aspect of those,” Peterson said.

To watch the original story and see related reporting, follow this link to the KSTP-TV website.