Booze is back on Penticton beaches this summer but so are festivals and major events for the first time since 2019.
The city is allowing outdoor consumption of liquor in areas along Okanagan Beach and in Okanagan Lake Park and Skaha Park. The open consumption will be allowed from May 1 through Oct. 31, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. with installed signage in all locations indicating where responsible consumption can occur.
Similar to the kick-off year in 2020 and follow-up in 2021, Penticton city council has requested staff prepare a final report this fall providing a summary of observations collected over the summer.
But unlike the summers of 2020 and 2021, both of which were impacted by COVID-19 event cancellations and reduced gathering capacities, the summer of 2022 will see the bylaw run parallel to a full season of events and festivals.
The review in the fall will assist council in determining if the bylaw should be made permanent going forward.
“Over the last two years, feedback to the city has consistently indicated strong support for the bylaw overall and the information collected from staff and RCMP showed no notable pattern of irresponsible behaviour,” said the city’s director of development services Blake Laven.
Consumption of liquor will be permitted on the beach east of Power St. and at Rotary Park, Okanagan Lake Park, Marina Way Park and Skaha Park.
Feedback from November 2020’s staff report to council found that RCMP did not see additional strain on their resources, while bylaw did find waste to have increased individuals who did not pay attention to the deadline or were committing acts of public urination.
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