By Tony Sandleben / ABC57 News
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. – For the first time in six months, the South Bend Record show was able to open its doors. Hundreds of music record enthusiasts came through the Ramada by Wyndham off Cleveland Road in St. Joseph County. Organizers were forced to cancel the show in April and June because of the Coronavirus, but after consulting with state and city leaders and getting masks and enough hand sanitizer to comply with the pandemic health and safety guidelines, they opened the doors once again.
“We had our event on February 9th, but, of course, because of COVID-19 and the Pandemic, we were forced to cancel our shows in April and June, and then, after being in talks with the state, talks with the city, talks with the hotel itself, we figured we were in compliance,” said show organizer Jeremy Bonfiglio.
Organizers set up a table at the entrance to the record show with facemasks and hand sanitizer as well as a sign saying both were required to enter. Bonfiglio said the focus was not so much on sanitizing the records because doing so after each time someone touched one “wasn’t really feasible.” Instead, Bonfiglio said the plan was to ensure there was plenty of sanitizer to go around so that people could keep their hands germ-free. Vendors said the health and safety guidelines were a far better alternate to canceling the show once again.
“You’ve got to live your life, and if I have to wear a mask to do this, I’m fine with that,” said Ron Snyder a vendor from Niles.
Other vendors said taking measures to ensure people’s safety and wellbeing is simply part of life.
“I brought along wipes,” said Mark Krueger, a vendor from Milwaukee. “I brought along spray. The promoter of the show has been very good with providing masks and all kinds of stuff. I’m a firm believer that if you take care of yourself, we’ve had things my entire life. There’s always been a virus or someone sick. There’s the flu. You’ve got to be careful now.”
Bonfiglio said canceling the last two shows left an impact on some vendors.
“For people who it’s their livelihood or they have a store, not having an avenue to sell product certainly is a detriment to their financial success and just to their livelihood in general,” Bonfiglio said.
Bonfiglio said he hopes a successful running of the record show Sunday would open the door for the year’s final two shows.
“As you can imagine, as it changes every day, we’re just going to keep it apprised, but hopefully, we’ll be able to have our shows in October, which is October 4th, and then again in December, which is December 6th,” Bonfiglio said.
Bonfiglio said a successful running of the show would see anywhere from 300 to 400 people come through. Sunday’s show ran until 5:00, and at 1:20, Bonfiglio said they had seen 250 people come through.