Prescott school district to allow alcohol sales at 6 on-campus events in 2016
PRESCOTT – School officials gave the green light this week to allow six community events to sell alcohol on Prescott Unified School District grounds.
“The emphasis was on wanting to cooperate and partner with the city,” school board member John Mackin said.
The board voted unanimously to approve all six events that include Urban Eats & Drinks, May 21-22; Party in the Pines and Desert Rose Flea Market, June 4; the city’s Fourth of July event; Food Truck Festival, Sept. 10-11; Oktoberfest, Sept. 24-25; and Habitat Music Fest, Oct. 8-9.
The six events will all be at Prescott Mile High Middle School, though school officials haven’t ruled out the possibility of allowing similar use of other district-owned property.
Mackin highlighted the change of venue for the city’s Independence Day celebration and said he’s pleased the district will be part of it.
“I think that will be a fun change for Prescott,” he said.
“It was great when it was in Pioneer Park, but I love downtown events,” added Superintendent Joe Howard.
All six events will benefit a local nonprofit group, a requirement for event organizers to receive a short-term liquor license from Prescott city officials.
The city approached the district last spring about allowing event organizers the use of school facilities, particularly the track and football field at Prescott Mile High Middle School. At that time, city Parks and Recreation Director Joe Baynes said a driving factor was creating a space that would allow events more setup and cleanup time and not cause the traffic disruptions tied to street closures.
“At least for me, I feel like it’s a good use of our property and facilities to cooperate with the city,” Mackin said.
The discussion last spring led to one event with alcohol sales on school grounds in September, when Steve Gottlieb hosted a food truck festival.
School officials said that event went well, and they’re ready to plan more events with the city.
“When the city says they’ll leave the place cleaner than they found it, we know them and we know that will happen,” Howard said.
Mackin noted the events will be during non-school hours, and an extra stipulation for the district was that event organizers must allow at least two school-affiliated organizations to participate in the event – that could be a booster club, an after-school club or any other group connected with any PUSD school, regardless of where the event is.
On Tuesday, school officials learned event organizers will even help the school groups with setup and cleanup.
Further, the city will extend its insurance policy to cover the district during events, events will provide or contract their own security, events will host a “kids zone” away from alcohol sales, and a city “event boss” will help assure compliance.
While the district will lift its alcohol ban during the events, there’s still no tobacco use allowed on campus.
Follow reporter Les Bowen on Twitter @NewsyLesBowen. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 1110, or 928-830-9305.