NEWBERRY — After requests from patrons, those attending Irish Fling in downtown Newberry will be allowed to have alcohol outside the venues.
Irish Fling is an annual event in downtown Newberry where restaurants and bars have specials to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. With the festival there are no events outside the private venues.
In past years, those attending Irish Fling could not take alcohol onto the street or sidewalks. If they did they faced potential fines from police.
After the 2011 event, those attending asked if the city leaders would consider allowing alcohol on the sidewalks and streets similar to what is done with Oktoberfest.
This year the city will provide up to 300 green plastic cups to businesses participating in the March 15 event. The customers can carry the beverages in the green cups between restaurants and bars without police intrusion.
However, Newberry City Council has said that no bottles or cans will be allowed outside the businesses and that all drinks must be in the green cups.
Cups will be allowed between Harrington, Martin, Friend and Nance streets and on Main Street up to Livingston’s station.
The Newberry Police Department will place signs along boundaries to make the area clear to patrons, said Mayor Foster Senn.
City leaders have requested local taxi companies to have a presence in the downtown area for Irish Fling should patrons need a ride home.
This year city leaders will not close any downtown streets for the event due to Mountain Heart appearing at the Newberry Opera House at 8 p.m. on the same night as the festival. Irish Fling will be held from 6 p.m. until midnight March 15.