A Bass Lake area resident says an annual event held around the Fourth of July in a private subdivision north of Winnebago is getting out of control.
“This thing has gotten bigger and bigger. It’s a free-for-all,” says the resident. “It’s just a matter of time that someone is seriously hurt.”
Around 12:30 a.m. Saturday, three Faribault County deputies, Winnebago police and Minnesota State Patrol responded to a call that an unresponsive juvenile female was lying in the yard of a residence located in the north shore area.
The 13-year-old girl was intoxicated and transported by Winnebago Ambulance to the emergency room at United Hospital in Blue Earth and released around 7 a.m.
The Bass Lake resident — who did not want to be identified — says the outdoor gathering for the past five years has been billed as “Wolfstock” and was promoted on social media.
Chief Deputy Scott Adams estimates there was around 1,000 people when law enforcement arrived at the scene.
According to the resident, it’s not those living in the subdivision that may be the problem. Rather, it’s all the other people who come out there.
“Some people leave for the weekend,” says the resident. “They don’t want to be around and go on vacation.”
It’s not uncommon to see under-age drinkers, says the resident, driving four-wheelers and golf carts.
“It is sad and disheartening how some people let their children run wild,” says the resident. “I don’t think this is what we want to be known for.”
While there was someone directing traffic at the entrance to the subdivision, there is no security or any presence of law enforcement.
“They know who it is and what’s happening, but they avoid it altogether,” the resident says. “If they come out here, they would have to do something.”
The time may have come, says the resident, for county officials to consider adopting a social host ordinance.
Under such a law, it would be illegal to provide an environment where underage drinking takes place, regardless of who furnishes the alcohol. It does not make it against the law to give alcohol to persons under 21, that is already illegal.
County Board chair Greg Young, who has served eight years as commissioner in District 2 and is seeking re-election, says commissioners would likely seek advice and guidance from the county attorney, sheriff and district judge if they decide to consider a social host ordinance.
“I would certainly think that this type of law would help maintain the welfare of the public,” says Young.