I'm trying to imagine what it's going to be like for people trying to get to Country USA this week. In years where there has been little construction, backups along Highway 41 stretched halfway to Neenah and Fond du Lac in each direction. Toss in the amount of road work and overpass closures we have this June and attendees might be better off just camping on the highway and forget about actually getting onto the grounds.
I'd like to tell you that the promoters have made changes in their parking, camping and admissions policies and procedures to ease the congestion on the surrounding highways and streets--but Starshow Presents didn't return our calls for comment last week. So we have no idea if anything has been done to get people into Ford Park any faster than in the past.
I do know that the drinking culture of the event has not changed. A couple of 20-something guys in my golf league look forward to Country USA more than anything else in the year. A week's vacation from work, truck-fulls of beer and drunk women stumbling around the campgrounds. They don't even go inside the gates most of the days--really don't like country music. But Oshkosh is where the par-tay is going on this week, and that makes it the place to be for unattached, beer-lovin' men. In a way, making it impossible to get back out of the concert grounds helps to limit the number of dangerous drunk drivers on the roads. Maybe there is a method to this madness.
As for us locals, we'll avoid the far south side of the city this week, stay off 41 and the frontage roads and remember the "economic impact" our redneck friends bring to town.