Wednesday, November 12, 2008

REPORTER BLOG: Watching the Beer Garden Blossom

By: Shana O'Malley

When I was first assigned the beer garden story I was relieved that I wasn't going to have to lug the camera Uptown in full costume in the middle of the Halloween party because it was something I could cover during the day.

At the same time, I was wondering if what was in store for me was really going to be any less discomforting. Beer, plus costumes, plus thousands of out-of-towners, pretty much guarantees that any tipsy Batman or Little Bo Peep was going to accost me and my camera. Luckily, I had my partner Danielle and the two of us were determined to go Uptown and get the good story. We were totally ready to unveil the highly anticipaed beer garden, that is until the nice security guard asked for our ID’s...

Oh Yeah, Those
While Danielle ran back to grab her ID, I decided to try and get a few interviews out of the way. Let’s just say after a few drinks, the “Cowardly Lion” from the Wizard of OZ was more than outgoing for our Midday camera. Actually, all the patrons at the beer garden gave me really great interviews about what they thought about it, and why they thought it was a good idea for the city to host.

City Harvests Money from the Beer Garden
After our interviews with the patrons, Danielle and I decided to speak with city officials to find out if they thought the beer garden could cause more harm than good because it was another drinking outlet for partiers.

I think we were both surprised to see the great effort that the city put into securing the garden. There was one deputy sheriff when we were there but two were scheduled for the evening shift. They also had handfuls of volunteers who were checking ID’s at the front gate as well as at the beer stand. Besides being another “place to hit up on court street”, city officials told us that they decided to do the garden because it was a great way to help the city make up some of the money it spends on extra security and clean-up during the annual Halloween Party.

I think the garden was successful and apparently so did the city. The day after the Halloween party, city officials say they made about six-thousand-dollars from the beer garden. They also had no reports of any problems at the garden so hopefully we will see it return next year.

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