MainStreet seeks city council’s permission for Beer and Nut festival

By Sarah Meyer, PNT Staff Writer

The Portales City Council is considering approval of a resolution that will allow a downtown Beer and Nut festival.

The topic was discussed at Tuesday’s City Council meeting and will come back at the Oct. 7 meeting.

The MainStreet Program requested permission to use the Farmers Market property at the corner of First Street and Avenue B for the Oct. 25 festival, which will follow Eastern New Mexico University’s homecoming game.

Co-City Attorney Steven Doerr presented the request, which includes closing Avenue B between First and Second streets to traffic and permission to serve alcohol. The site would be fenced off and there will be a $10 entry fee. Those wishing to purchase alcohol must present a government-issued photo ID card, such as a driver’s license.

Doerr said the Santa Fe Brewing Co. will serve eight varieties beers, and local companies will serve a variety of peanuts.

Councilor Alfred Bachicha objected because of an ordinance stating that it is unlawful for any person to drink in public.

“How can we overlook this ordinance?” he asked.

Doerr argued that with the area fenced off, “it’s not a public place.”

Co-City Attorney Randy Knudson said code allows amendment to the ordinance by resolution.

“We’re asking you to give (MainStreet) exclusive use of the property and authorize the sale of alcohol,” Doerr said.

Councilor Dianne Parker wondered if such approval would open the door to other requests.

“We’ll have to consider that on a case-by-case basis,” said Mayor Orlando Ortega Jr.

“Ordinance 129 would beg to maybe have some revision,” said Councilor Mike Miller.

Knudson said Ordinance 1761, adopted in 2004, also deals with drinking in public. Ordinance 129 was adopted in 1935, he said.

“We do understand that some people are going to be unhappy with alcohol anywhere,” Doerr said.

Councilors approved the motion to move forward with a resolution 6-2. Bachicha and Councilor Jake Lopez voted against the resolution.