Athens City Council members on Monday unanimously approved a beer and wine license for the upcoming Athens Grease Festival.
Athens Main Street, the downtown revitalization group behind the Oct. 19 festival, requested the retail alcohol license. It represents the first time alcohol will be sold at the festival, which celebrates fried food.
Tere Richardson, director of Athens Main Street, sought to reassure the council that a number of safety checks had been put in place, “to make this run smoothly.”
Those wishing to imbibe while munching on funnel cakes or fried pies will be contained to the Marion Street side of The Square. Organizers have also attended vendor training sessions required for restaurants, bars and large festivals.
“We've also committed to employing several off-duty policemen to do security,” Richardson told the council. “We have a large number of volunteers I'll call our security force, and their job is to watch the crowd. If anything gets out of hand, they will contact the off-duty policemen who are on site.”
Turner Beverage has been selected as the beer and wine vendor. It will offer Bud Light, Michelob Light and a yet-to-be-determined Indian pale ale.
Richardson told the council a decision had not been made whether to serve packaged or draft beer.