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Barstool Open planner unsure of the event's future

Barstool Open planner unsure of the event's future

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2019 Barstool Open

Michael Sagebarth of Norfolk, Neb., tries to push the ball into a pipe during a stop at the Marquee during the 2019 Barstool Open.

The Barstool Open is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic but one of its organizers says it could return when large groups can assemble.

"You don’t want to have an event and not have people come,” Phil Claeys said. “It’s the fear factor. What’s that fear factor with people going out?”

Claeys said it’s hard to predict when that fear factor will go down and get to the point where people won’t be afraid of getting sick.

A fund-raiser for River-Cade and the Historic Preservation Association, the Barstool Open has been a popular event on Fourth Street for years. Claeys said he and his son, Jesse, started the fundraiser as a way to draw patrons to the area.

2019 Barstool Open

Anna Rosenbeck of Sioux City plays mini-golf at the Diving Elk during the 2019 Barstool Open.

The concept: 18 hole of mini-golf at bars, restaurants and other locations on Fourth Street.

“We get about 500 people, it starts at noon,” Claeys said. “Six dollars and everyone goes bar-hopping, from bar to bar, and plays mini-golf. And it’s been very successful and very popular.”

Now that bars have been given the OK to open, there is hope that it can return, along with other River-Cade events.

“Next Saturday, the first week of June, this would’ve been the 24th year that we'd have the youth fishing derby,” Claeys said. 

2019 Barstool Open

Libbi Thompson of Sergeant Bluff reacts after scoring at the Diving Elk during the 2019 Barstool Open.

He said  it’s another popular event, but he doesn’t understand how organizers can take 400 kids fishing right now.

“When will it be safe?” Claeys asked.

Claeys said the public understands that event planners, like himself, won’t schedule anything until it’s safe to do so.

“Stay patient, it is a tough time,” Claeys said.

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