Having a beer tent at Forks Community Days last year was so successful that event coordinator Brian Lokitis wanted to go beyond a restricted area this year.
Lokitis pitched his plan to the Forks Township Board of Supervisors Thursday night to seek a motion allowing patrons the opportunity to carry their beer all around the festival instead of being fenced in.
The motion was later approved after much debate.
Lokitis argued that neighboring Palmer Township does it without incident at its community festival, it would help draw more people to the Forks festival and generate additional beer sales.
"People are asking for it," Lokitis said. "It's not unprecedented. We want to take every precaution necessary and are concerned about our perception. Our goal is to offer something for our residents. And it works very well in Palmer."
But the discussion over selling suds left one supervisor foaming at the mouth.
"Forks is a very wholesome community," Supervisor Robert Egolf said. "We have to examine where we are."
Egolf questioned whether the township was setting a double standard by allowing people to roam free in Forks Community Park during the festival with beer while the park prohibits alcohol on its grounds the rest of the year.
Resident Brett Bonfanti of Willow Drive also cautioned the board that by selling pitchers, people could pass along the beer in cups to underage drinkers.
The festival is planned for Sept. 15-16.
Lokitis said the beer tent would be moved this year across the street from the tennis courts and near the new amphitheater, farther away from rides where children are located.
Still, that wasn't enough for Egolf, who asked Lokitis, "What are you expecting to get out of this?"
"We didn't attract and draw the amount of people we were hoping for," he said. "People didn't like the confined area. If we give them more access, they will tend to stay longer, take in more of the festival, see more businesses and buy more beer. This is a fundraiser."
Lokitis said Community Days netted $1,800 from beer sales last year, but Palmer makes thousands.
Police Chief Greg Dorney said he would add an officer to the day and night shifts if beer would be allowed throughout the festival. Last year, Dorney said he had two officers on during the day and three at night during fireworks.
The supervisors passed a motion approving the request by Lokitis with certain conditions: that beer be steered clear of a football game going on at a nearby field that Sunday and that the police chief and Public Works Director Mark Roberts have the authority to enclose the beer sales to a restricted area if there are any incidents on the first day of the event.
Egolf voted against the motion.