O’FALLON, MO. – Video from this past Saturday in St. Charles County showed a large concert crowd and few masks. FOX 2 showed the video to St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann.
“It’s disappointing to see the video,” he said. “I would ask the parents out there, ‘Do you know where your 20-somethings are?’”
Ehlmann said people are flooding his county because of restrictions everywhere else.
“We ended up with everyone out here,” he said. “That is not a good situation.”
He’s resisted a shutdown but has asked bars to do the right thing.
“We need voluntary compliance. We need them to be responsible,” he said.
On Nov. 24, his office and the St. Charles County Health Department ordered bars to shut down at 11 p.m., but Ehlmann fears scenes like Saturday night might require him to issue more orders.
“Yes, it makes me think that,” he said. “I certainly hope that I don’t.”
The video was shot by Carter Rethwisch, aka “The Cardinal Cowboy,” who’s known for rallying sports fans, but also documents other celebrations.
“We said, ‘Hey, let’s go out there and see what’s going on.’ You have to wear masks or whatever and whatever the rules are and we showed up, it was quite an event.”
Rethwisch pointed out that everyone followed the rules, which don’t require masks in St. Charles County.
“I brought mine. I saw a couple people in the crowd that wore ‘em but not many,” he said. “The rules are not such in St. Charles County that you have to wear them indoors.”
“So, you just partake and follow the guidelines. I know one of the stipulations is you have to be closed at 11 p.m. and so they closed at 11. So, whatever the rules are, follow them and let’s keep plugging along so we can get through this.”
The crowd was there to see the band Platinum Rock Legends, whose spokesman told FOX 2 they are one of the only bands drawing large crowds now. The spokesman added that they’re ready for a return to St. Charles County as well as another big concert planned this month in the Metro East.
“You could argue about the level of fear that people have but I don’t know that anyone at this point doesn’t understand it’s a serious situation that requires some changes in our behavior,” Ehlmann said.
The county executive said he’s hoping to avoid punishing all St. Charles County businesses for the poor choices of a few.