St. Joseph County Parks officials want alcohol restrictions lifted so they can host more events

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By: Krystal Vivian kvivian@953mnc.com

The director of St. Joseph County Parks is asking for a lift on alcohol restrictions at the parks in an effort to expand programming and raise more money.

Evie Kirkwood said that while attendance is up at county parks, allowing beer and wine to be sold would allow the parks to offer expand current programming and offer different types of events, according to the South Bend Tribune.

“With the changing nature of recreation and the greater acceptance of beer and wine at recreational events, when you think about things like Beutter Park that has beer festivals and concerts or Potawatomi Zoo has Zoo Brew, where if you’re 21 or older you can go in and see the animals and taste beer and wine, those are some of the things we could do if our ordinance was modified,” Kirkwood told the Tribune.

As of now, county ordinance only allows alcohol to be sold during amphitheater events at St. Patrick’s Park only.

If the ordinance is changed, the parks would likely seek a third party vendor to sell wine and beer at events, the Tribune reported.

The St. Joseph County Police Department expressed an interest in being at the planning table for the events so the department is aware of how many people may attend the event and how much alcohol would be sold. 

Kirkwood said that St. Joseph County Council member Corey Noland agreed to sponsor a bill amending the ordinance.

Read more about the request and another alcohol-related request Kirkwood made at the St. Joseph County Council meeting this week in the full story from the South Bend Tribune.