North Augusta reviewing ordinance to allow public consumption of alcohol at city sponsored events

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) – North Augusta city leaders are voting on a new ordinance that will allow people to drink alcohol in public during special events.

During events like Jack O’Lantern Jubilee vendors sell beer that people enjoy during the outdoor event, but according to the current city code, that’s technically not allowed.

The 34th annual Jack O’Lantern Jubilee won’t look much different from previous years, but by city standard it definitely will be.

In the past, the festival was violating a city ordinance – the public consumption of alcohol, which states that drinking in public is illegal.

However, Mayor Bob Pettit says city council is finally updating the code.

“As you know we have several large festivals throughout the year, including the upcoming Jack O’Lantern Jubilee and the city sells beer at that function.” Pettit told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “So we in essence were encouraging people to violate our ordinance. So this revision still prohibits open containers and public consumption expect for city sponsored events.”

Rewriting the ordinance gives the city the option to allow people to drink during large-scale events, and that’s great news for local businesses like Antonio’s.

“It’s our busiest day of the year. No day even touches it,” said Antonio’s Manager Stuart Micek.

The ordinance would apply to more than just the 2-day Halloween celebration. City leaders hope to eventually add city sponsored events, at Riverside Village, to the Public Consumption Ordinance.

“We are hoping to have cafes in the median, where people can sit outside and certainly enjoy some food and beverages with it.” Pettit said.

Jack O’Lantern Jubilee is a 2-day event in North Augusta happening on October 27th and 28th this year.

The first reading of the ordinance is Monday at the city council meeting.

It has to pass 3 readings before it becomes law.

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story.

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