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MADISON, Wis. a Madison Festivals, Inc., the group in charge of this years Rhythm and Booms, is not allowing any food or drink to be brought into the gated area downtown.

According to a list on the events website, beverages other than baby formula are prohibited in the closed down region on John Nolen Drive.  That includes water on whats forecasted to be a hot and humid day.

Madison Festivals, Inc. President Rita Kelliher said organizers are relying on concessions to bring in more than $240,000, a third of the eventas cost not covered by the groups funding. Kelliher said 20-ounce bottles of water will cost $2 within the event's limits.

No city tax dollars are being used for Rhythm and Booms this year,a Kelliher said.

Kelliher said while they are asking spectators to be responsible and abide by the list of acceptable items to bring to Rhythm and Booms, limited security will not be rummaging through personal belongings searching for banned items.

This will be first responders first downtown Rhythm and Booms event as well, and Madison Fire Department Medical Affairs Division Chief ChA(c) Steadman said people drinking enough water will likely be an issue.

My guess is that over half of the 911 calls we would have that day would likely be for dehydration,a Steadman said.

Steadman estimated there will be an extra 15 or so paramedics staffing Madisons biggest fireworks display, but it's still going to be a challenge.

When it was at Warner Park, smaller venue, we kind of had a better wrap around it," Steadman said.  "But this is a little out of the ordinary for us.  The crowds are going to be very spread out.  Law enforcement and fire and EMS are going to spreading ourselves out, but we can't keep an eye on absolutely everything."

Steadman mentioned Camp Randall changed its policies on bringing water into the stadium on particularly hot days and said he understands the logic behind those decisions.

"We know you need to stay hydrated.  You can bring your own water," Steadman said.  "And so it's understandable to charge for anything else, but water is definitely something we should let people bring in."

Overall, Steadman said he hopes everyone remembers to drink plenty of water when out watching the fireworks Saturday, no matter where they get that water from.

"We all think it's common sense for someone to keep themselves hydrated," Steadman said, abut unfortunately, it's not, and we do see a lot of 911 calls for this type of thing."

According to the Rhythm and Booms website, these items are prohibited from the gated area on John Nolen Drive:

Coolers
Grills
Food items
Beverages (except baby formula)
Plastic, metal or glass water bottles
Tents, canopies or structures of any kind  Grills, Glass containers  Alcohol, Thermoses, Sparklers or fireworks, Briefcases, backpacks, luggage pieces, or duffel bags, Wagons,Animals, reptiles or any type of pet, Umbrellas, Weapons (including knives), no taping or roping off of large areas, no overnight camping. Event grounds officially close at 11 pm Saturday.
Bikes, skateboards or skates - you must walk them in for pedestrian safety. If you ride your bike to Rhythm & Booms, valet parking is available on the west end of Monona Terrace.

The following items are allowed on event grounds:

Chairs
Seat Cushions
Blankets/Tarps (10 x 10 maximum), towels, sleeping bags & pads, Cellular Phones, Sunscreen, Small Personal Music Systems, radios and televisions,  Binoculars, cameras and camcorders,  Purses, Baby Bags, Strollers (only if carrying a child), Rain gear (jackets/ponchos)

Visit http://www.rhythmandbooms.com/ for more information.




Water on list of prohibited items at Rhythm and Booms

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