The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

June 26, 2013

Open bottle could sink your Small Ships party

By Joe Wiercinski
Herald Staff Writer

SHARON — Sharon police, city officials and the owners of Quaker Steak & Lube restaurants want spectators to enjoy themselves Friday evening at the 33rd annual Small Ships Revue.

They also want everyone to observe the city’s open container ordinance. That’s the one that bans the carrying of open containers of beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages on downtown streets.

“We have kind of overlooked that in recent years but we want everyone to know we will be enforcing the law more vigorously this year,” said police Chief Mike Menster.

Problems related to alcohol – fights, domestic violence and accidents on city streets – have been increasing throughout the downtown during the anything-that-floats festival, he said.

Quaker Steak officials have agreed to make changes this year at the city’s request.

“We will be gating the property with temporary fencing,”  said Greg Whelan, QS&L marketing manger. “We’ll have security at all three access points to do our part. As much as we can we want to make sure that people don’t come onto the property or leave with alcohol.”

Menster said enforcement of the ordinance is intended to keep Small Ships a safe celebration.

“We encourage everyone to come to this event but leave your cooler at home,” Menster said. “If you want to enjoy an adult beverage you can go into one of the taverns downtown but you can’t carry alcohol on city streets.”

Those who do can expect a citation and a potentially expensive fine.

It’s up to the district justice to impose fines, Menster said, noting that fines could range between a minimum of $100 up to $300 for each violation.

“That could turn out to be a pretty expensive can of beer,” Menster said.