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Preparing for more outdoor events in Phase 2

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Social Distanced Wedding

MADISON (WKOW) -- Businesses across Dane County are preparing to enter into Phase Two of reopening, which starts Monday morning.

That means all businesses can have up to 50 percent capacity with requirements for physical distancing.

Indoor gatherings can be up to 50 people, and outdoor gatherings can be up to 100 people.

Event organizing companies say the move to Phase Two is a major step to building confidence for people to have their events.

"When you're limited to ten, that's pretty difficult to do much of anything," said Greg Goke, general manager at Event Essentials.

He says their services have barely been needed over the past two and a half months.

Despite Phase One allowing gatherings of up to 50 people, he says for many people, it was still too soon to start having events again.

"Some of these are hard to plan in a two week period, so just the uncertainty of when things were going to shift more and more open," Goke said. "I think most people decided to just postpone or move their date one way or another."

Now with the start of Phase Two allowing for larger outdoor events, their phones have started to ring off the hook.

"You get to the point where you can have a hundred people, that's a pretty good sized event," Goke said.

He says they help set up for events across the state, so some areas haven't been that different from before.

But in Dane County, Sunday was one of their first weddings in months.

"Actually I dropped off some chairs for an even this morning, that they're having a backyard ceremony with a tent out front in their driveway, you know, about 40 people," he said.

Despite Dane County allowing events of up to a hundred people, social distancing is still an important part the Forward Dane plan.

That has changed they way they prepare for events now.

"You know, you're not cramming eight or ten people at a table anymore, it's: okay I've got 50 or 60 people, now you're going to need two to three times as much space," Goke said.

He says it's all about making sure people feel comfortable that their space will be safe.

"People can get together if they're smart about it and use the space that you have available to you or create space, then you can still create those memories and have that fantastic event," he said.

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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