HUNTINGTON BEACH : Council to Evaluate July 4 Beer Booths

The City Council on Monday will discuss whether the Lions Club will continue to operate two beer booths along the Fourth of July parade route.

"These beer booths are a major fund-raiser for the Lion's Club and have been permitted with a one-day ABC (state Alcoholic Beverage Control) permit," said Ron Hagan, the city's director of community services.

Hagan, in a memo to the City Council, noted that the Huntington Beach Downtown Residents Assn. "believes the city should set an example that open alcohol consumption on the Fourth of July will not be tolerated."

The downtown organization has charged that the "party riots" last July 4 stemmed partly from easy access to liquor. Police rounded up scores of young people in the downtown area that night, accusing them of lighting bonfires in the street and destroying neighborhood property.

"It is the association's contention that alcohol consumption is hard enough to control from just the sales points of markets and liquor stores and that outdoor beer booths add to the party atmosphere and serve to encourage alcohol consumption on the Fourth of July," Hagan said.

He offered an alternative. He said that if the council still wants to allow the Lions Club to operate the beer booths, the booths should be more closely regulated and should be reviewed by the city's zoning administrator each year.

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