Beer Sales Derailed for Loose Caboose Festival

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

The Loose Caboose Festival draws thousands of people into downtown Newton each year. For the first time, organizers were considering allowing beer to be sold there.

Late Thursday, the proposal was nixed, after a local woman protested.
Patti Liggett has some pretty strong words when it comes to alcohol.

"Alcohol is a direct tunnel to Hell, basically," said Liggett.

So when she found out the Newton Chamber of Commerce was considering selling beer at the festival in March, she began voicing her concerns.

Chamber director, Angie Burks, said she's just trying to hold a successful outdoor festival in the middle of a recession. She says many of the high-dollar sponsors have had to pull out or significantly reduce donations.

For that reason, Burks said the chamber is trying to get creative this year when it comes to funding the event. And where you have lots of children, she says you have plenty of parents ready to let loose a bit during some weekend fun.

"It's not like we are bringing beer to Newton," said Burks. "We are just trying to capitalize on what we already have."

All of the beer would have been donated by area companies, Burks said, so any beer sold would have been full profit to pay for the festival and help fund the the chamber throughout the year.

Late Thursday, the chamber board decided to table the issue until next year.

Burks says she plans to do her research over the next year to show how successful controlled beer sales have been for other community festivals.

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