Beer garden a great addition to Summer Festival, provided people stick to their limits

Published 1:26 am Friday, June 12, 2009

By Staff
The Daily News has received a number of Sound Off comments recently about the beer garden at this weekend’s Summer Festival — some negative, some positive. The garden is a new addition this year to what has become one of the area’s largest and most-successful events.
That the beer facility has raised such a ruckus should come as no surprise to anyone who has lived in the Bible Belt for any length of time.
Some area Christians, as they have referred to themselves in the comments, seem to believe the beer garden promotes public drunkenness and is therefore an affront to traditional family values the festival is attempting to promote.
In organizing the festival as a family oriented affair — especially now with emphasis on local vendors and community groups — the beer garden seems like a step in the wrong direction.
But is it?
Not necessarily.
In many festivals around the country, beer gardens are generally a big draw and potentially a significant revenue source. It’s a good bet that some adults will attend the Summer Festival primarily to enjoy the beer offerings, and what’s wrong with that?
Nothing, for the most part — provided festival officials and public-safety personnel ensure that beer-garden devotees behave themselves should they get a bit “happy.”
We’re excited to see the new addition to this year’s Summer Festival.
Provided we all keep our beer drinking at a reasonable level, everyone will be free to enjoy a fun weekend. Give the garden a chance, folks, and perhaps it will return next year.