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St. Paul Park council sets drinking times for Heritage Days

The St. Paul Park City Council voted to waive city code and allow consumption of alcohol on public property for two days during the 2010 Heritage Days Festival after a lengthy discussion Monday night.

Drinking will be allowed on public property from 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 21 and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 22 contingent on the purchase of a wristband.

"The wristband will make it easier for police and reserve officers to maintain proper control," said council member Tim Jones, liaison to the city's Public Safety Committee, which has been working with the police department and the Heritage Days committee to try to control incidents due to overdrinking by festival participants.

The details of street dance hours and the exact locations where drinking will be allowed can be decided by the Heritage Days committee working with Police Chief Monahan, said city administrator Kevin Walsh.

Heritage Day planners have been discussing major changes to the festival since last fall. Committee chair Greg Langbehn said coolers will not be allowed on the street but will be allowed in the mud volleyball area because the games continue all day.

The committee also has said it planned to move the street dance to the northwest corner of Third Street and Broadway Avenue, with fences around the area and volunteers at entrances to control alcohol being taken in or out of the area. At last night's meeting, Langbehn said those details have not been determined.

City council member Steve Hunstad noted the council is setting a time frame for this year only. "I'm interested to see how fencing the street dance area works. There are no promises for 2011."