Council allows alcohol at some Arts Fest events

Council allows alcohol at some Arts Fest events

PAWTUCKET – The City Council has approved an ordinance effectively allowing consumption of alcohol at the Pawtucket Arts Festival in September.

Instead of exempting private organizations having a lease arrangement with the city from a ban on serving alcohol in public places, it exempts any organizations having a written agreement with the city, requiring that they comply with rules and regulations set forward by officials.

Councilor Terry Mercer noted that this allowance is only for three areas where consumption and serving alcohol will be allowed: The Festival Pier on the Pawtucket riverfront, streets in the downtown district, and the city parking garage. It covers downtown festival events and dragon boat race events, among others.

Council President David Moran asked about an inquiry from the former festival director that the ban on alcoholic beverages in public places could be extended to Slater Park, where the Slater Park Fall Festival, an Arts Festival event, is held. Mercer responded that Parks and Recreation Director John Blais has been adamantly opposed to allowing alcohol there. He said he hasn’t heard any suggestions this year about allowing alcohol there.