New open container rule not in effect for this First Friday

Matthew Bennett
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Steven Durow's sculpture "My Other Half" located at the Carbondale Town Hall in June 2016.
Glenwood Springs Post Independent file

Carbondale will once again welcome First Friday at 4th Street Plaza tomorrow, but the town’s new rules allowing for people to carry open drinks outside of bars aren’t quite in place for this edition of the monthly street party.

The May 4 event, billed as Spring Into Fun with the 6th annual Family Block Party, takes place from 4-8 p.m. along the town’s Main Street. The annual Festival Las Americas will also be taking place concurrently in Sopris Park.

Downtown festivities will feature local eats from Slow Groovin’ BBQ, Elevated Elixirs, and Carbondale Creamery and will showcase music courtesy of the Andy Zanca Youth Empowerment Program, as well as Sleepy Justice.

Marble Distilling Company and the Roaring Fork Beer Company will also serve craft brews in the beer and spirit garden.

However, with an assortment of bars and convenient stores in the area, First Friday officials strongly warn attendees against walking outside any establishment with an open container at the event.

Rewind back to Jan. 23 at Carbondale’s Board of Trustees regular meeting, when the board agreed to establish a new permit allowing for open containers of alcohol within a set area. In 2011, the Colorado General Assembly passed Senate Bill 11-273, which allowed the consumption of alcoholic beverages within an area known as an Entertainment District.

“We have adopted an ordinance that allows for an Entertainment District for the months of June, July, and August, those First Fridays,” said Carbondale Mayor Dan Richardson. “I think a lot of our downtown businesses see it as a pretty cool opportunity, and so we wanted to support that and see what can come of it.”

The Entertainment District sets its parameters from the town’s Main Street right of way from Weant Boulevard to Snowmass Drive. Carbondale Trustees also served as the Liquor Licensing Authority regarding the matter.

“We’ve already approved it, it’s just whether or not they’re going to follow through with it,” Richardson explained. “It’s like we’ve granted the liquor license and now they’re deciding whether or not they want to open the business kind of thing.”

Regardless of the Carbondale Chamber and business owners’ decision on whether or not they will want to allow the new open container rules at First Fridays over the summer, this week’s installment will not allow them.

“It’s not an open container law for other days other than those three First Fridays, and it’s pretty highly regulated,” Richardson said. “So I don’t want people to think that we now have an open container law. It’s a specific authorization for those three First Fridays this summer.”

In June, July, and August, First Friday open container laws may change. But until then, if you plan on drinking at this week’s First Friday, also plan on keeping it inside the establishment you purchased it from.

“The Chamber and the business owners that have championed this effort are still trying to determine if it is going to be feasible, because it requires security and volunteers and a lot more effort,” Richardson said.


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