Pour it, and more will come

Two organizers of a local music festival intended to raise funds for a fireworks display approached Tiffin City Council with an unusual request: Allow alcohol to be served at the event.

Nathan Mullins and Mark Wade want to offer a beer garden at the Tiffin Music and Art Festival scheduled for June 7-8 at Hedges-Boyer Park. Last year, the inaugural event raised $1,175. This year, they hope to raise $10,000 to help pay for an Independence Day fireworks display at the park.

The ambitious plans call for twice the number of stages and double the number of bands and performers. The beer garden is seen as a way to help boost attendance and revenue.

The concept of a beer garden isn’t a foreign one. The Tiffin-Seneca Heritage Festival has featured one for years. Readers probably have seen them at other parks in Seneca County communities; mobile tap trailers surrounded by snow fencing to control access.

But one hasn’t been seen at Hedges-Boyer Park. That has some people concerned. Would the festival lose its family-friendly atmosphere?

That’s likely to be discussed during a Recreation and Public Property Committee meeting at 5 p.m. today in City Hall. We hope committee members consider whether similar beer gardens greatly altered the nature of other events and the parks where they were hosted.

The Music and Art Festival could become a significant annual fundraiser, if it is allowed to develop. Allowing the sale of malt beverages in a controlled, secure area could be a key part of that development.