Beer on tap for watermelon festival

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By Don Worthington

Organizers of the Pageland Watermelon Festival plan to sell beer at this year’s event.
The festival would need to be licensed to sell beer under a temporary permit from the state.
As proposed, there would be a Budweiser beer truck in the parking lot adjacent to Moore’s Park gazebo.
Those wanting to purchase beer would get a wrist band after proving they are of legal age to consume beer.
Beer would be sold by tickets, one beer at a time. No multiple purchases would be allowed.
The ticket/wrist band booth would be in a separate location from the truck. Festival volunteers will serve the beer.
Festival planners envision that patrons would be allowed to walk through the festival while drinking a beer.
Beer drinking would not be allowed in areas dedicated to children’s activities.
Beer would be sold Friday afternoon until one hour before the close of the festival. On Saturday, beer sales would start after the parade finishes and end one hour before the end of the festival.
Town Attorney Adam Foard said Saturday he is researching the request, but has not determined what the town would have to do to allow open-container beer sales in the park, as well as on town streets.
Mayor Jason Evans said Saturday that, so far, no one has approached him opposing the beer sales.
Evans said the town council, Pageland Police Chief Craig Greenlee and Chesterfield County Sheriff James Dixon need to discuss the issue.
“We need to look at the public safety issue, and not just look at raising money for the festival,” Evans said.
Evans said he also wants to carefully look at when beer sales are allowed and to make sure beer sales do not affect events geared toward children.