Popular beer garden likely to be more than a weekend affair

Ordinance would allow the weekday events suggested by organizers

The Port Washington beer garden opened for the season to nice weather last July. This year, organizers are considering adding a few Thursdays to the events, which are typically held on Saturdays in Upper Lake Park. Press file photo
Ozaukee Press staff

Port Washington aldermen on Tuesday took the first steps to changing the schedule for this summer’s beer garden series.

Aldermen got their first look at an ordinance change regulating the days and hours for the beer garden and another change that regulates the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages in the city’s parks.

The beer garden series, which is run by the Friends of Port Washington Parks and Recreation, has traditionally run on Saturdays from July 4 to mid-October.

But last week, representatives of the group told the Common Council that they would like to eliminate the last two Saturdays from the schedule and replace them with two Thursdays in August.

“The last two weekends have traditionally been not very well attended,” Recreation Director Tyler Mentzel said.

The reasons for that, he said, include poor weather and the fact many other events are held on those weekends, including homecoming and the Fall Street Festival.

The Friends of Parks and Recreation have also received “an influx” of interest from nonprofit groups that want to host the beer gardens, Mentzel said, adding they are considering adding a third Thursday beer garden to the schedule to accommodate some of that interest.

“We don’t want to limit the ability to add more beer gardens,” he said.

The proposed revision would allow beer gardens to be held between May 15 and Oct. 15 on days established or revised by the Common Council.

The Friends group will work with city staff members to determine the best dates for the new beer gardens, officials said.

Aldermen also got their first look at an amended ordinance that outlines which city parks people may consume alcoholic beverages in.

It also changes the language to reflect the fact that the beer garden series can be held on any day of the week.

Mentzel told aldermen that the current ordinance is confusing to many people and steps need to be taken so they understand the regulations.

“This cleared up so much mud,” Ald. Dan Benning said.

The proposed ordinance states that fermented malt beverages and wine may be consumed in all parks and public grounds during the official park hours at city-sanctioned or sponsored events, at Parks and Recreation sponsored events and by groups of one to 10 adults of legal drinking age.

But, it states, alcoholic beverages cannot be consumed at the city’s beaches, nature preserves, city parking lots, at Birchwood Hills Nature Area, Fisherman’s Park, Gatzke Nature Area, Hales Trail Community Garden, Heart of the Harbor, Oakland Avenue Green, the Ozaukee Interurban Trail, Pirates Hollow Community Waterpark, Possibility Playground and the mountain bike trails in Upper Lake Park.

Final action on the measures is expected at the council’s Wednesday, April 5, meeting.


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