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Heritage Days wristbands for drinkers proposed

It might cost revelers at least $1 to stroll down Broadway Avenue with a beer in hand during the 2010 St. Paul Park Heritage Days festival.

That was just one of many suggested changes proposed by new Heritage Days committee chair Greg Langbehn, as he spoke to city council members last week.

"The wristbands would aid police in controlling underage drinking and bring in a little more revenue for Heritage Days," Langbehn said.

Langbehn told the council he met with Broadway Avenue business owners in early November.

"They had a long list of recommendations and suggestions," Langbehn said. "They also emphasized their support for Heritage Days and their willingness to work with the planning committee."

At the top of the list was a request to maintain the same hours for public consumption of alcoholic beverages and the same boundaries within which to drink.

For the 2010 festival, Langbehn is suggesting wristbands be sold for a minimum of $1 to anyone who is legally allowed to drink and who plans to drink on public streets. He also wants private coolers banned from the streets.

The committee proposes to build a mobile stage for the weekend at the corner of Third Street and Broadway Avenue and surround it with picnic tables, move city fire trucks further west on Broadway and relocate vendors away from city businesses.

On the chopping block for the 2010 festival are themed T-shirts and the Sunday night fireworks.

"T-shirts are an easy cut," Langbehn said. "They cost the committee nearly $900 and only 150 were sold last year. We're still trying to sell them at city hall."

Whether or not to continue the fireworks display is still under discussion. The display costs approximately $4,000 and cutting it would help the committee meet its budget, Langbehn said.

St. Paul Park City Council will consider public drinking hours and boundaries for the 2010 Heritage Days celebration at its Monday, Dec. 21 meeting.