On split vote, alcohol sales OK’d at Highland Labor Day Festival
By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent August 19, 2014 6:02PM
Updated: September 22, 2014 12:08PM
HIGHLAND — Alcohol will be sold in Main Square Park during the upcoming Labor Day Festival at the end of the month.
The Town Council during a special Monday meeting voted 3-2, with Council President Dan Vassar and Vice President Konnie Kuiper casting the dissenting votes. It’ll be the first time alcohol will be served on park grounds.
Parks and Recreation Superintendent Alex Brown and Community Events Council President Kelly Bridges at a study session earlier this month said the town’s beer garden would approximate the size of Our Lady of Grace’s Fourth of July Festival beer garden. It would be located at the southwest corner of Main Square Park, where the food vendors normally form an “L” and corner off, because there’s a NIPSCO electrical panel that easily would power the effort.
Doing so would mean the loss of around four food vendors, Brown said.
Vassar said that while he appreciates the efforts of Brown and the Community Events Council, having alcohol on city property “is just not acceptable.”
“Some things are more important than money,” he said.
Kuiper reiterated his earlier point that “parks are for family” and that having alcohol on its grounds could be setting up the town for liability.
“I know we have insurance but I have difficulty placing the town (into liability) perchance there is some sort of claim,” Kuiper said. “We can get along without it.”
Councilman Mark Herak, I-2, said that times are changing and Highland should start doing things other communities do in order to keep up with those times.
The vote also extends alcohol sales at the Lincoln Center for receptions and other events until 2015.