Village Board votes to allow alcohol at Maritime Festival again

FILE PHOTO | The Greenport Village Board voted in favor of suspending the policy of no open containers of alcohol in public for the Maritime Festival.

Alcohol will be available during this year’s Maritime Festival.

The Village Board voted 4-1 on Monday in favor of suspending the policy of no open containers of alcohol in public between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 21 and 22, the dates of this year’s festival.

Trustee Mary Bess Phillips cast the lone no vote. She said she was not necessarily against the policy suspension, but was looking for additional information from the East End Seaport Museum, which puts on the festival to raise funds. Her motion to table the resolution failed for lack of a second.

“At this point I feel like it would be best to talk about it to have a better handle about what’s going on,” Ms. Phillips said. “We need to be smart about it.”

Mayor David Nyce said the decision to temporarily waive the village’s public open container laws would not give vendors of alcoholic beverages free reign. The East End Seaport Museum is required to operate the festival within parameters the board will set in upcoming months, Mr. Nyce said.

“If we want to stipulate to them that they not have people vending beer in the park we can do that separately,” he said. “This resolution has nothing to do with that.”

The village has always suspended the open container ban during the festival, allowing visitors to stroll the streets with plastic glasses and bottles of beer and other alcoholic beverages in hand.

During the recent village election, all three candidates, including Ms. Phillips and Trustee-elect Julia Robins, opposed lifting the ban.

In a separate resolution, board members voted unanimously to approve the public assembly permit application needed to hold the event.

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