Granby Chamber needs one more approval for alcohol sales on July 4
May 3, 2016
Granby's annual Fourth of July festivities are a tradition for many who call the Grand County high country home.
The celebration is not without its own unique characteristics, including the very real possibility of snow falling on the day's parade. This year could see the beginning of a new tradition though as the Granby Chamber of Commerce works to finalize their plans to host a beer and wine garden in Polhamus Park during the event.
Granby Chamber Director Cathie Hook and Main Street Manager/Special Event Coordinator Gayle Langley received approval from the Granby Board of Trustees last week for the use of Polhamus Park to hold the beer and wine garden on July 4. The measure was approved unanimously by voice vote last Tuesday, April 26.
Granby Town Trustee Robin Trainor expressed her hesitant approval of allowing alcohol sales at the event: "I'm willing to give it a try this year. As long as it is contained."
Trainor added, if the Town Board received complaints from community members about having alcohol sales at the event those complaints would be factored into considerations for allowing alcohol sales at next year's event.
Hook said she was cognizant of concerns certain members of the Board and community have regarding allowing liquor sales during the ostensibly family event.
"If we get complaints or pushback we will reconsider," she said. "We want to raise money, but we are sensitive to what the public thinks."
The beer and wine garden will be held in Polhamus Park in an enclosed area approximately 40 feet by 75 feet. According to Chamber Director Hook state law requires the premises be enclosed with some form of fence or barrier. The garden will be located adjacent to the live music venue that is planned for Polhamus Park on July 4, to allow those imbibing to easily hear the performers. The Chamber is working to lock down a wholesale liquor distributor for the event, which will be staffed by volunteers that will handle the actual liquor sales, including at least one TIPS certified volunteer.
Anyone looking to drink an alcoholic beverage during the July 4 festivities will be required to purchase and drink their refreshments within the confines of the beer and wine garden's secured area. Alcohol is not allowed to leave the confined area. Granby has an open container law that prohibits open alcohol containers on town streets.
During the Granby Board meeting last week Hook informed the Board she expected the beer and wine garden to operate from around noon to 3 p.m.
"Everything usually wraps up by a 2:45 p.m.," she said.
July 4 is on a Monday and the Chamber is expecting reduced crowd numbers from last year when July 4 fell on a Saturday.
The beer and wine garden is intended to be a fundraiser for the Granby Chamber, which Hook hopes will net the organization between $1,000 and $1,500.
"It will be an experiment," said Hook. "We hope it goes well. If it does go well we expect it to continue."
Now that the Chamber has secured approval of the use of town property to hold the beer and wine garden the Granby Chamber must now secure it's special events liquor permit from the Granby Liquor Licensing Authority Board before they can legally sell beer and wine at the event. The Granby Liquor Licensing Authority Board is made up of the same members as the Granby Board of Trustees. According to Granby Town Clerk Deb Hess after the Granby Chamber formally submits their application for the special events liquor permit a public hearing will be held on the issue, a standard practice for all liquor licenses.
Any entities, such as the Granby Chamber, that are eligible to receive a special permit are allowed only 15 special events permits each year. The Granby Chamber typically uses several of their allotted special events permits over the summer for the Granby Farmer's Markets, which feature alcohol sales. Granby Town Clerk Deb Hess pointed out the Granby Chamber could request many more special events permits this year before they reached their allotment of 15.
Granby has not allowed liquor sales for the Fourth of July event. Hess said no liquor sales have been allowed at the yearly event in Granby during her tenure as Town Clerk, over the past 12-years. The town has allowed liquor sales at Granby's summer Farmer's Market events, which are also put on by the Granby Chamber of Commerce, she said.