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Brown-Pusey wants to sell beer at May festival

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Asked city to temporarily lease parking lots during BBQ, Blues and Bikes

By Marty Finley

The Brown-Pusey House in downtown Elizabethtown will partake in the city’s second BBQ, Blues and Bikes festival in May and intends to serve alcohol during the all-day event.

The historic home needs to obtain a temporary event license to sell beer on its premises. Officials said Monday afternoon they want to extend the space in which patrons can enjoy adult beverages.

Mo Miller, speaking on behalf of the Brown-Pusey House, asked Elizabethtown City Council to authorize a one-day lease or rental of nearby municipal parking lots, allowing Brown-Pusey to use the property as an extended walking area where festivalgoers can mingle outside with their drinks while listening to live music.

Miller said it would assist in the policing and security of alcohol being sold.

The area, he said, will be clearly marked with signs alerting visitors they cannot leave the licensed premise with beer in their hands. But the home has no enforcement powers to physically restrain or stop attendees from breaking the rules, he said.

All beer will be sold in the Brown-Pusey House, Miller clarified.

Alcoholic Beverage Control Officer Tom Reynolds said he had no qualms with the request, telling the council licensees must obtain a temporary lease or a letter of permission when they want to extend the licensed premises onto someone else’s property.

Police Chief Tracy Schiller said the department would look to provide similar staffing as it did last year and did not indicate he was worried about an uptick in abuse of the rules.

Historic State Theater Executive Director Emily West also plans to sell alcohol in the theater, and some council members wondered aloud if visitors may try to move between the two venues while drinking.

Councilman Kenny Lewis said he was concerned about using city-owned property as part of an alcohol license, saying it may require the city to change its policies on alcohol use.

But other officials said the city should address each request on a case-by-case basis. In this case, the alcohol would not actually be sold on city property.

Miller said The Brown-Pusey House could not rule out other future requests, but this license has an extremely finite life.

“This event is one-and-done,” he said.

Most of the council indicated they were comfortable with the use of the lots.

“I don’t have a problem with it,” Councilman Terry Shipp said.

The festival is staged by the Elizabethtown Heritage Council and is scheduled for May 24.

Marty Finley can be reached at 270-505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.