Durand Railroad Days, Curwood Days and countless other festivals offer beer and entertainment tents as part of festival activities. Recently, a citizen expressed concern that beer tents were a slap in the face to local establishments that are already licensed and insured to serve alcohol, and therefore, should not be allowed. If that is the case, carnivals and civic groups should not sell food, entertainment should be prohibited, and gifts and trinket sales should be halted, since local merchants also offer similar services and goods.
Many people do not understand the dynamics involved with hosting a festival. Festivals and municipalities must have liability insurance, just as other businesses do, to help protect participants and local governments in case of accident or injury. The state of Michigan provides regulation and licensure for alcohol sale. The health department regulates and inspects food sale sites.
Volunteers spent countless hours organizing and planning activities so people can gather to renew pride in their community and reflect upon their heritage. Let’s welcome visitors and locals alike to our festivals, beer tents and other activities. If everyone enjoys festival activities, they will patronize local establishments for years to come. Enjoy your hometown festival by participating or volunteering, and quit complaining.
Jan Harper, Durand