City to allow alcohol at special events


FAIRBORN — Beer and wine may have the possibility to be included at special community events held within the City of Fairborn’s parks, after council passed an ordinance that would allow it at the latest council meeting.

“All we’re trying to do is be able to accommodate a large community event where alcohol would be sold and consumed in a confined area,” Dr. Alicia Eckhart, parks and recreation superintendent for the City of Fairborn said. “You wouldn’t bring your own alcohol to the event … It doesn’t mean that parks are accepting of alcohol, it means an event could sell alcohol if it so chooses to.”

With the proper permit application and approval, event organizers will be allowed to include beer and wine during designated events within certain areas in the city’s parks. Permit applications must pass through the hands of the police, fire, parks and recreation and street departments, as well as the city manager, who all have the ability to apply conditions in order to ultimately grant permission.

“We determine if the event has the integrity that we want to have in the community,” Eckhart said. “If the event is something that we believe would not be what we want or not to be family and community oriented, then it’s not going to pass the application process anyways.”

The police department will review the application to allow them to determine the amount of security that would be needed for the event according to specifications set forth by the event organizer; officers will be provided at the expense of the event organizer instead of the city.

“It’s not walk and drink wherever you want, whenever you want,” she said in regards to alcohol only being permitted in certain areas. “You step out of that area, you’re in violation of open container and they can ticket you.”

Eckhart feels that the ordinance would attract new event organizers to the community, which ultimately promotes tourism and allows citizens to stay close to home to be entertained. The ordinance does not allow event attendees to bring their own alcoholic products, walk around the entire park parameters with open containers or include the sale and consumption of alcohol within community parks not during special events.

“We believe we have a pretty conservative, restrictive policy in place that we [were] proposing, and will amend it if necessary,” she said. “If it ends up not being something positive for this community, then we won’t use it.”

Eckhart feels that the fall months would be the soonest an event organizer could try to include alcohol at an event within the City of Fairborn. Ordinances take 30 days to become effective after they are passed, and the facility the event is to take place within must be available and established at the time of the permit application.

“If we can start having some things at home, we provide for our people here and they don’t have to travel, and we get other people to travel to us — win-win,” Eckhart said.