Havelock rejects beer sales at Chili Festival

Published: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 10:34 PM.

Beer won’t be flowing from the tap at the Havelock Chili Festival this October.

The Havelock Board of Commissioners on Monday voted down a plan by the Havelock Chamber of Commerce to serve suds at the group’s annual charity fundraiser held at Walter B. Jones Park.

The beer service would have required an amendment to city regulations to allow a one-time offering of the alcoholic beverage. Instead, commissioners voted 3-2 against the measure.

Stephanie Duncan, executive director of the Havelock Chamber of Commerce, said in a presentation to the board that, if approved, beer would be dispensed at a single site, with controlled access for adults only. Duncan said individuals would be able to purchase tickets for up to three beers. The chamber planned to partner with dispenser R.A. Jeffrey’s to serve beer from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday and from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday during the Oct. 17 and 18 event.

Duncan said the festival had raised $41,000 over the last six years, and the festival committee had agreed that serving beer would be a way to grow the festival, which has run for more than 32 years.

The vote came when Commissioner Brenda Wilson made a motion to serve beer on Friday only. Wilson’s motion was seconded by Commissioner George Liner. Wilson and Liner voted in favor, while commissioners Karen Lewis, Jim Stuart and Danny Walsh voted against.

“They can move it to another area that’s private property and they can continue on having the beer, but I can’t see it in the city park, because once we break that thing, everybody’s going to want to do the same thing and we can’t control it.” Walsh said.

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